Architecture students apparently flock to New Qurna, especially those from France and Germany, to see the mud brick houses and mosque designed by the famous architect Hassan Fathy in (I think) the 1950s. We stopped for a look at the mosque and found that a family who live in a house in the same street welcome visitors (a tip is appreciated, and probably expected). We had a guided tour by an English-speaking family member and, although it was quite interesting, I suspect that only architecture buffs would want to go out of their way to visit. Fortunately, you don't have to divert more than about 20 or 30m from the road that leads from the west bank ferry to the Colossi of Memnon. These houses are, by all accounts, immeasurably better than the Old Qurna dwellings where the occupants lived previously, but the one we saw was pretty basic. The family clearly love it though, and say that it's cool in summer, warm in winter, etc. (Fathy specialised in buildings that suit their environment.) If you are making you're own way to the more established west bank sights and have 10 or 15 minutes to spare, it's definitely worth a visit to get a glimpse of how the locals live.
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