One of the things about the crowded Nile Valley is that there are so few places for leisure activities. Of course, leisure for the boys and men is football (soccer to North Americans) and for this you need a football field. These players are from the village of Abu Sir which is to the left of the photograph. Every Friday they gather on the edge of the desert and have a complete football league that plays in impromptu pitches. In our little village, a clever land owner has built a football pitch complete with light poles on a piece of empty land. He will rent it out to people wanting to play by the hour, about LE 50 per hour which works out to be only about LE 2.5 per player for people wanting to play a game.
I came to Egypt as the wife of an Egyptian/Canadian businessman and the mother of our children in the late 80's. My husband is no longer with us, the children are pursuing careers abroad, but Egypt is still my home, albeit, a rural rather than urban one. You can reach me at msgabbani at gmail.com