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Kavala is the birthplace of Mohamed Ali, who founded modern Egypt and launched in 1813, as a donation to his hometown, the construction of an impressive Imaret, which was a Koranic school and charitable centre. The complex included an elementary school and two higher level colleges dedicated to the instruction of the traditional Islamic curriculum, modern sciences and mathematics. The edifice supported the educational, social and religious needs of the Muslim population and ceased its operation, after their departure from the area. Located below the fortress in the lower walled city, Imaret is a rare example in Europe, a masterpiece of 19th century Ottoman Baroque, which also features elements of timber secular structures.
In 2001, following an agreement with the Egyptian government, a private investor undertook the task of restoring both monuments, the house of Mohamed Ali and Imaret, in order to achieve a contemporary use, compatible with their identity, cultural significance and history. The restoration was acclaimed as the most important and costly procedure, by the private sector in Greece. The house of Mohamed Ali has now been turned into a hub for art and culture and within the premises of Imaret there is a highly praised boutique hotel. Both monuments are unique landmarks of history and cultural heritage of the Arabic civilization in Europe.