Are you sure there isn't a typo somewhere ? This word doesn't seem to exist in french, and I can't think of any word that would even slightly look like that.
If this is not a typo, it could be an arab word. Maybe a little more context would help.
If it's in Alexandria, I would definitely go for an arabic word. And it's likely to be a structure, but not something like a tunnel, since tunnels don't need foundations.
If you find out what a "chouneh" is, I'd be very interested in knowing it