Cairo Observer has an excellent post on the gutting of Egypt's heritage:
"The destruction of Egypt’s modern architectural heritage is widespread in cities across the country ... various reasons for this have been mentioned and they range from legal and inheritance issues but the state is mostly to blame for failing to provide a legal framework that protects this heritage without undermining the economic interests of the property owners. Additionally corrupt local governments and the lax regulations regarding building code and building heights have further threatened surviving structures, many of which were designed as villas surrounded by gardens. Such villas, even if they survived, their value as villas has been jeopardized because no one would invest in a villa overlooked and surrounded by 10+ story apartments.
The Villa Aghion (photo above) built by the Perret brothers in Alexandria in 1926-1927 is considered an important modernist villa reflecting Alexandria’s society and architectural culture. It had survived until 2009 when there was an attempt to demolish it. Today it stands partially destroyed and abandoned. This has been the fate of many more less high-profile structures in Alexandria, Cairo, Mansoura and other cities."