Saturday, January 30, 2010

Through The Gap


A child plays in an alleyway seen between two tombs in the City of the Dead. Families have been living in the tombs outside of Cairo for decades. I've often thought that despite the neighbours the circumstances were better for children than the crowded apartment buildings.

5 comments:

brattcat said...

The Newbery Award for children's literature went last year to a book about a living child raised by spirits in a cemetery. I think it must be a very different story here in Cairo.

Leslie in Adams Morgan said...

We drove through the City of the Dead when I was in Cairo last and I found it very interesting although a little macabre.

Shammickite said...

Are the original inhabitants of the tombs still in residence?

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

The tombs are small house-like mausoleums, totally un-Islamic since one is meant to be buried in an unmarked grave in the desert according to Islam, but totally Egyptian. When someone dies he/she is washed, wrapped in a sheet of cotton and laid on a slab in the tomb. The previous occupier has hopefully had time to deteriorate and is moved off into a small crypt. If the family has died out or moved, then other than the bones in the crypt, the tomb is more or less empty.

annechung said...

I was in the city of the dead in February 2009 and was really heart broken when a little girl asked me for paper and pencils. She didn't ask for money though my taxi driver insructed us to give the family some. We went to see how a family lived here. I asked the taxi driver to take me to Zabaleen. I wrote about Zabaleen in my blog. I have googled many times regarding what I wrote about Zabaleen.