"Although modest, this house if one of the few that survive from the sumptuous palaces of the elite built in this area of Birkat al-Fil.
In 1911 this house was identified as one of three (the other two have since been destroyed) that were requisitioned in 1798 by the French to house members of the Committee of Sciences and Arts, who had come with Napoleon Bonaparte's military expedition to make a methodical study of the country. Although the house had been built just a few years earlier (by an amir of Murad Bey who had started as a humble doorman from southern Nubia), it contains all of the features of a medieval Cairene house: the inner courtyard with maq'ad, the qa'a of the harem that stretches from the street view in front to the maq'ad view in the back, and a north-facing malqaf over the qa'a to catch the prevailing breezes. In the front of the house was once an extensive garden. When the current restoration by a French-Egyptian team is complete, the building will serve as an art center and bookstore."
Williams, Caroline. 2002. Islamic Monuments in Cairo: The Practical Guide. Cairo: American University of Cairo Press,137-138.