Join Kareem Ibrahim, an architect and CEO of Takween Integrated Community Development, as he reveals  an Egyptian hidden gem,  the ancient city of Esna, and an innovative project to introduce sustainable tourism through community “site-doing”rather than site-seeing!


Kareem Ibrahim is an Egyptian architect and urban researcher who graduated from Cairo University’s Faculty of Architectural Engineering. He has worked on a number of urban rehabilitation projects in Egypt, including a UNDP  rehabilitation plan for Historic Cairo and The Aga Khan Trust for Culture’s al-Darb al-Ahmar’s Revitalisation project. He co-founded Takween Integrated Community Development in  in 2009 in Egypt in response to a foreseen growing demand for innovative urban solutions in a world where it is predicted that by 2030, 80% of the world’s inhabitants will be living in urban centres.

Takween’s team specialises in the development of integrated packages and solutions that on the one hand complement the efforts of tackling urban challenges while at the same time preserving the urban fabric that makes cities unique.

In 2018, Kareem received The Egyptian State Award for architecture for Takween’s work designing and building for local communities in informal areas.  In 2019, he was selected to be a member of the Jury of the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

This podcast is part of Converging Paths, a partnership with Asia House, kindly supported by the Altajir Trust, and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture’s Education Programme.