Saturday, February 10, 2007

A City of Layers


One less than lovely aspect of living on a farm is the fact that I have no land line for telephone/internet and occasionally my mobile phone connection collapses, like yesterday. What can you do?

There is nothing simple about Cairo. Layers of civilisation, pockets of antiquity next to yesterday's treasure, new surrounded by old, forgotten surrounded by barely imagined, Cairo is complex beyond simple understanding. Max Rodenbeck's book, Cairo The City Victorious, is the best book I've ever read about this city, and one of the very few to truly touch on the complexity of this wonderful place.

One of the oddities of Cairo is the City of the Dead. This is an enormous area to the east of the old city of Cairo where the Mamelukes began burying their dead in what was then the desert. It contains everything from simple mausoleums still used by modern families from Cairo to mosques and palaces built almost a thousand years ago. Oddly enough it also contains the homes of many less wealthy Cairenes who have gradually moved into unused tombs and turned them into villages among the tombs. There is life in the City of the Dead.

5 comments:

Mimmu said...

It`s really a totally different world, which you have there compared with my world here.
Since I read the Finnish author Mika Waltari`s book Sinuhe as a child, Egypt has been a special place to me.
My husband and our son made a journey
there last February. They have been reading a lot about Egypt`shistory and the journey was perfect, as they told me.
You are welcome and my family is willing to see your posts.

Jazzy said...

welcome to CDP family, looking forward to see way of life in your part of the world.

Mandi said...

Very interesting. Great photos too.

John said...

Great images, looking forward to seeing more of Cairo.

Charrie said...

Maryanne, I have been reading your blog "Living in Egypt" forever, and I can't tell you how happy I am to discover you've joined DailyPhoto! Your photos are wonderful, authentic, and coupled with your unique writing style offer us a perspective on this amazing city unavailable anywhere else ... thank you!