Since the revolution in January of 2011 the pictures of Tahrir Square have become the image of Cairo for the world. But during my recent visit I found a different Cairo. A peaceful Cairo where people go about their daily life, and don’t think of Tahrir Square.
I visited a supermarket, which was as modern and as well stocked as here. I took the subway – the first few cars are only for women, but nobody stopped me when I went into the one for men. People were as anxious to get to where they want to go, as in any subway in the world.(Until November 2011, when Algiers Metro began service, Egypt had been the only country on the African continent to have a subway).
What did I buy? A beautiful antique silver and turquoise bracelet and ring, three leather puffs, for which I have trouble finding enough newspaper to stuff them with; lots of little camels made from camel skin and fur for souvenirs and of course scarabs to bring me luck and protect me!
Mui’z street which is part of this quarter, is also called Islamic walk. It once was Cairo’s main street, but today it is known for its Islamic and Medieval monuments, surrounded by small stalls and stores.
The tower at the end is a Sabil or Fountain. They were built by wealthy citizens to provide water for the poor
Some street are very narrow, but still people have stores there. live there and even dry their laundry, as you can see on the picture below
Cairo has several nicknames: Mother of the World, Capital of the Arab World and the city of a Thousand Minarets. One of these minarets belongs to the Mosque of AL RIFA’I, where the Shah of Iran found his last resting place, close to the tomb of King Farouk. You might not know, but they were once brother-in-laws. The Shah of Iran had married King Farouk’s sister Fawzia. She was his first wife.
The Mosque on the right is the Al Rifa’i mosque and the one on the left is the Mosque Madrassa of Sultan Hassan – their magnitude and closeness increases the overwhelming feeling of power and authority
From the Cairo Tower, a landmark built in 1961 (187 meter high) you look down on the streets and buildings of this fascinating city and you can see how the Nile winds its way through and around this city and how much it is part of it.
I know that during my visit to Cairo, I just saw a small part of it, but it was enough to show me that there is so much more to Cairo than Tahrir Square.
More from Egypt soon