People of Cairo, Cairo
This is a beautiful city with lot of similarity with our Indian city. We got down from Luxor at 5.30 in the morning, the city was on the move, people were buying tea, breakfast, going to work or school.
I really love the way, people live there! It also shows that people are not lazy like many Asian countries, where people sleep through sunrise or till it is a day!
Favorite thing: Many Westerners live in the Zamalek & Maadi , particularly Degla parts of Cairo so if you try to be close to these arears you are likely to meet many .. You will also meet many expats and fellow travellers in coffee shops & restaurants of the five star hotels around the nile & the city centre so if you target these arears hopefully you will never feel alone and will also get some good advice etc.. all the best
Favorite thing: You may read many warnings from me about the safety and bad experiences I had experienced in Cairo in cairo forums or in my tips. Nevertheless, I met Cairo`s beautiful people too. The cute children who are excited to observe the foreigners spending time in their beloved hometown and the elders who are proud to be the egyptians and welcome you to explore their country. Some people may ask you to take pictures with them as they find that your feature is totally different with theirs. Just smile, appreciate your host warm welcome, and take some shoots with them.
Take this advice offered by my hotel manager on my day of arrival: whenever you need to ask for directions on the streets or anywhere else, only talk to the tourist police (the Men in White). You might be asked for baksheesh (tips) if you ask anyone else, and those who stop by and offer you help before striking up a conversation ("why, I used to study engineering... and I have a friend back in England too!") are out to get commission. I've tried this time and again, and always got dragged into a perfume shop along another street, sometimes in a completely different direction from the one I needed to go in.
That said, the people in general are really nice, and you'd often be greeted just walking down a street ("Hello, welcome to Egypt!" "Hello, Japanese! Korean!")
Fondest memory: This is a man whose name I did not have the foresight to ask.
We ran into him on one of our last days in Egypt.
He drives a taxi in Cairo.
He has three kids, all grown up.
He speaks as much English as we do Arabic.
He has the infectious enthusiasm and curiosity of a kid.
This was taken during sunset, as the trellis of age on his face glowed in the last rays of the day.
This is the man whose face I caught but not the name.
This is a man I got to know, so very briefly, on a random taxi journey.
This is the man with the most stunning green eyes I have ever seen.
The remaining almost 10% of the population are Christians belonging to the Coptic Orthodox Church, most of them being located in the upper Egypt around Cairo and Alexandria.
According to the estimations the numbers of Egyptian Copts is from 3 million to 7 million.
Egypt was Christianized during the first century AD, when the country was part of the Roman Empire, by St Mark.
The head of the Coptic Christian it is called pope and is traditionally based in Alexandria.The current Pope is Shenudah III.
The Copts can be recognized from the cross tattoo on their hand.
Fondest memory: Many people, especially around tourist spots, including police officers would ask for a "tip" after pointing you in the right direction or volunteering to help for which you didn't ask for. But the difference was that they were never pushy like in many other parts of the world and would leave you alone if you ask them politely. Never felt safer walking around in any other city than I did in Cairo and was easy to strike up friendly conversations with people.
Fondest memory: I really missed the wonderful doorman at the Victoria Hotel when we went to Luxor. He was terrific in giving us advice on how to get anywhere from a train to grabbing a taxi to get out and about to all the sites, basically he had good knowledge of his country and gave great service. This man had a toothless grin and had probably been working at the Hotel from time he was a young man. I was very grateful to him as he opened the door for us each day and towards the early evening. I do not remember his name but he was the only person I felt compelled to give Baksheesh (tips) to in Cairo. He was geniune and never asked for anything but with the service he gave, I felt he deserved it. He worked hard to help others and it showed. He would have been a great person to have showing you around all the Pyramids and other places of interest making sure that you wouldn't get ripped off. A great person who truly deserves this recogniton. Shukran jazleen!
·Al-Ahram Weekly [In English]
·Al Manar Aljadeed
·Business Today [In English]
·Cairo Times [In English]
·Egypt Today [In English]
·El Hadara (Cairo)
·La Revue d'Égypte [In French]
·Middle East News Agency [In English]
·The Middle East Times [In English]
·Shabab Misr (Cairo)
Fondest memory: CHECK THIS
OM KOTHOUM WAS BORN IN A SMALL RURAL VILLAGE TO A POOR FAMILY.HER BACKGROUND TYPIFIED THAT OF THE MASHAYIKH AND DIDNT DIFFER SUBSTANTIALLY FROM THAT OF MANY OF HER CONTEMPORARIES.
The "Golden Age" of Umm Kulthum
Om Kolthoum's musical directions in the 1940s and early 1950s and her mature performing style caused this period to be popularly called the "golden age" of Om Kolthoum. In keeping with changing popular taste as well as her own artistic inclinations, in the early 1940s she requested songs from composer Zakariya Ahmad and colloquial poet Bayram al-Tunisi cast in styes considered to be indigenously Egyptian. This represented a dramatic departure from the modernist romantic songs of the 1930s. The result was a populist repertory that had lasting appeal for the Egyptian audience. Later in the decade, Om Kolthoum engaged the young composer Riyad al-Sunbati to set a number of qasa'id by Ahmad Shawqi. The result was stylistically different from Zakariya and Bayram's songs but, as neo-classical works based on historically Arab poetic and musical practices, they were also viewed as indigenously Arab and were very well-received. These songs established al-Sunbati as the foremost composer of qasa'id of his generation and returned Om Kolthoum to her genre of choice.
Favorite thing: Travelling in Egypt with children is very easy. All Egyptians love children and they are welcome everywhere. Our daughter was overwhelmed by all the attention she got and all the little presents (and no, not con to get us to buy things, people truly are generous!)
Favorite thing: For each of our days in Cairo we hired a taxi and driver and he would wait for us and then take us on to the next place. I very much recommend this way of getting around Cairo and Ghiza, it is stress free and costs a lot less than overpriced tours. We paid LE160 for about 6 hours of travelling around for the three of us.
Favorite thing: There will always be someone at any tourist site who will offer their services as a guide. This was the only guide we had, well he had keys to a tomb we wanted to see so with a little baksheesh we were in!
I liked to meet the people in Cairo. Drinking a glass of tea, chatting somewhere on a bench or just at least greeting and waving when we walked in the backstreets.
This family was very curious, when we passed their house.
The colors, smells and life
Fondest memory: New years' Eve in a taxi for one hour and a half because the driver's English was only yes and Sheraton has several units in Cairo...
I am so greatful to have met up with fellow VTer Mongy in Cairo, so show us a brief but interesting tour of such a great city.
Fondest memory: Being shown the best spots :)