The American Research Center in Egypt is committed to helping Egypt preserve its rich cultural heritage for the benefit of future generations worldwide.
In 1993 and 1995 ARCE signed agreements with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to administer multimillion-dollar grants in support of work and programs that promote the preservation of Egyptian antiquities. Later, the U.S. Congress allocated further funds to establish the Antiquities Endowment Fund.
Through its Egyptian Antiquities Project (EAP), the Antiquities Development Project (ADP) and the Antiquities Endowment Fund (AEF), ARCE seeks to serve the conservation, preservation and documentation needs of Egyptian antiquities.
This structure is one of two commemorative sabils built for deceased sons of Muhammad 'Ali. Ahmad Tusun died in 1816/1231 AH after contracting the plague and is buried in the family tomb, Hosh al-Basha. His brother Ismail's sabil is located on the Bayn al-Qasrayn.
The decoration of the sabil is lavish and rococco, with wood, metal, marble, and painted plaster, in what would become a characteristic style of the Muhammad Ali period. The bronze grilles, wooden projecting eaves, marble inscription plaques, and wooden dome over the sabil room are particularly noteworthy. A two-story kuttab flanks the sabil on either side.
The building was restored by the American Research Center in Egypt from 1998 to 2002. During that restoration, a vast cistern for the storage of water was discovered under the sabil.
Warner, Nicholas. The monuments of historic Cairo: a map and descriptive catalogue, 151. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2005.
Williams, Caroline. Islamic monuments in Cairo : the practical guide, 163-164. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2008.