The People of Cairo

by Tina Meparishvili December. 04, 2016 4010 views


One can never tell what he might find in the historic streets of Cairo, where every single face and every object has a history to tell. Exploring the areas of Downtown and Islamic Cairo is the best way of learning more about the city and its people.

A Bawab is a janitor in Egypt. He always wears Gallibaya, a traditional dress and sits in front of a building patrolling the area, waiting the dwellers to ask him for a job to do. Downtown Cairo is a perfect place if one is looking for the characteristic feature of Bawabs. 

One must carefully observe every little coffee and Shisha shop in Downtown. Some characters there are worth not missing. 

The little ones have the biggest eyes that reflect their pure souls. This kid in Khan el Khalili in front of Al Azhar mosque melted my heart by his look. 

Upper Egyptians have the most distinct features. Every single line of their face is mysterious. Their colored dresses highlight their characteristic guise.  

Al-Zahir Baybars is a 13th century mosque in the Islamic part of Cairo. One gets transported from the hustling streets of Khan el Khalili to a remote inner courtyard, where the plain wall surfaces, niches, chandeliers and observant pigeons nestling on wires create the best environment for worship and meditation. 

What is an afternoon without a cup of tea in a glass cup and a newspaper, or a traditional Egyptian gift shop without an owner who doesn't follow this wonderful habit.

What would amaze one more than a boy who can balance while riding bike selling Aish Baladi (traditional Egyptian flat bread).

Egyptians love selfies. That is a given fact. One will find countless fop girls with or without vales taking self portraits. 

This cozy cafe in the heart of Downtown is called "El Horreya". The word in Arabic means 'liberty'. It used to be a gathering places for creative, artistic, rebellious people in early 20th century. Nowadays, one can enjoy a cup of coffee, a bottle of Egyptian beer "Stella" or enwrap in the smoke of Shisha.   

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Ben Mckechnie 4 years, 1 month ago

Tina - thanks for taking us on this walk around Cairo and introducing us to a handful of its characters. It's a great post! I particularly love the niqab selfie (#8). You're not only talented with cats, but humans too :) Keep these stories coming, I really enjoy them.

4 years, 1 month ago Edited
Tina Meparishvili Replied to Ben Mckechnie 4 years, 1 month ago

Thank you for a kind comment :) I will try to make the blog as interesting as I can.

4 years, 1 month ago Edited