Unfortunately, most of Egyptian intangible cultural heritage, including Egyptian heritage lifestyle, food, traditions, and customs have not been well recorded and therefore we don’t have plenty of resources documenting the memories for future generations.  On the other hand, I would like to acknowledge Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage (CULTNAT) which is dedicated to documenting Egyptian intangible heritage through its innovative information and digital technologies as well as its publications.

Egyptian dish still has its unique features and taste, although Egyptian culture knows various dishes as a result of globalization.  Regarding to the origins of lifestyle in Egypt, major Egyptian intangible heritage features belong to rural community including customs, traditions, proverbs, dishes etc.  

Egyptian kitchen has its culinary traditions exploring the ingredient “milk” specifically with dessert dishes such as:

Umm Ali

Umm Ali Photo Credits: https://flic.kr/p/6xamJj
Umm Ali
Photo Credits: https://flic.kr/p/6xamJj

Umm Ali (mother of Ali), is considered one of unique heritage dishes in Egypt.  It is very delicious dessert and does not need much effort to prepare. The dish consists of pastry, cream, and high amount of milk as well as other elements regarding the preferences.  This dish in itself preserves one of the greatest political stories at the end of Ayyubid dynasty and the beginning of Mamluk period.

This Egyptian sweet pastry dessert was called by this name regarding a magnificent story.  Ezz El-din Aybak is considered, regarding some history scholars, the first Sultan of Mamluk period. He had two wives; one of them was called Umm Ali, mother of Ali, while the second one was called Queen Shagar el-Dorr.  

After death of Aybak, Queen Shagar el-Dorr had arranged to kill the first wife, mother of Ali.  Indeed, her order was implemented and soldiers killed Umm Ali. Thus, Shagar el-Dorr ordered her chefs to prepare the most delicious dessert in order to celebrate mother of Ali murder.  

Chefs already succeeded to get a magnificent a sweet pastry dessert and called it by Arabic language “Umm Ali”. Queen Shagar el-Dorr ordered distributing this plate all over Egyptian streets with golden coins.  The majority of Though one it is one of the most popular dishes in Egypt, people unfortunately don’t know its historical background. 

(The Egyptian Kitchen, 2010; Tour Egypt, n.d.)

Roz Muammar

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 10.03.42 am
Clay “Roz Muammar” Photo Credits: http://www.elhawanem.com/images/posts/21069_large.jpg


Roz Muammar is considered one of Egyptian dishes which were created as a traditional treat during frugality period at the houses of Egyptian rural community specifically in the territory of Egyptian Delta. The required ingredients were easily available in the house of peasants. With time, it becomes a staple of Egyptian culinary culture and is still cooked in the traditional clay.(Aziza Sami, 2016)


Aziza Sami. (2016, May 16). Roz Muammar: A Simple, Sumptuous Egyptian Treat. Ahram Online. Cairo, Egypt. Retrieved from http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/216718.aspx

The Egyptian Kitchen. (2010, January 22). Dessert: Umm Ali [Blog]. Retrieved from http://abissadacooks.blogspot.com.eg/2010/01/dessert-umm-ali.html

Tour Egypt. (n.d.). Food, Drink and the Culinary Arts of Egypt [Tourism Company]. Retrieved from http://www.touregypt.net/food.htm

[1] CULTNAT: Centre for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt (http://cultnat.org/General/Cultnat.aspx).
Egyptian Culinary Traditions Exploring the Ingredient “Milk”

  • Mohamed Badry
    Mohamed Badry

    HeritageForAll Initiative Founder

    Mohamed Badry is from Cairo, Egypt. He is a founder of "HeritageForAll" initiative that was founded in April 2017 focusing the field of the heritage and/or museum management and conservation throughout a group of capacity building activities. He has an extensive background in the field of heritage management and marketing. Holding M.A. in Heritage Conservation and Site Management from Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (Germany) and Helwan University (HU) (Egypt) (2015); a Guidance Diploma, Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management (FTH, HU) (2011); and a Bachelor in History, Faculty of Arts – Cairo University (2009), he held numerous internships with UNESCO Cairo office, and UNESCO New Delhi-supported initiative GoUNESCO. His M.A. dissertation was specified in the field of heritage marketing under the title of "Developing Innovative Marketing Plan to Augment the Visitation of Egyptian World Heritage Sites: A Case Study on Saladin Citadel". He was a research and teaching assistant in the field of heritage management focusing the theme of “Authenticity and Socio-economic Integrity of a Living Heritage” at German University of Technology in Oman [affiliated to RWTH Aachen Uni.]. Since 2012, he worked a freelance English-speaking tour guide in Cairo. Then in 2016, he worked for a while as a heritage development officer at Children's Civilization and Creativity Centre (Child Museum). Also, he got an individual ICOM membership. Then, he worked as a monitoring and evaluation officer at OEcumene Studio with UNHCR CSR Unite-funded projects. Also, he participated the former company, as a researcher, in the heritage project “Siwa Architecture Community Centre: towards an Inclusive and Heritage-conscious Urban Transition (SIWI Project)” raising awareness of the local community about Siwan architecture and the cultural significance of traditional architectural heritage. Then, as a founder of HeritageForAll initiative, he launched a workshop "Urban Architectural Heritage and Social Interaction" understanding the heritage context in Rashid as Egyptian tentative world heritage city; estimating socio-economically how the local community deals with their surrounding cultural heritage; what their requirements are; and how far they welcome the heritage tourism in their historic city. Furthermore, he participated a consultation team of Shaboury Company - Heritage Development in preparing a proposal of Giza Plateau Master Plan (2019 – 2022) as a part of UNESCO Egyptian World Heritage Site "Memphis & its Necropolis".

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