The sabil-kuttab, a water fountain surmounted by an elementary school, originated as a charitable foundation incorporated into the corner of a mosque or a madrasa. The sabil-kuttab of Qaytbay, built in 1479, is the first example of a freestanding version of this kind of institution. In the succeeding Ottoman period, this independent structure becomes a favorite type of urban charitable-endowment building. The sabil-kuttab also provides an excellent example of rich surface decoration from the Qaytbay period, like the red, black, and white ablaq courses in the portal.
Behrens-Abouseif, Doris. Islamic Architecture in Cairo. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1989.