Friday, May 31, 2013

Just In Case You Were Wondering

Life in Egypt is just a teeny bit schizzy these days. On one hand we have a bunch of bozo Salafi parliamentarians who want to ban ballet because it is pornographic, and on the other hand we have mannequins modeling outfits like these in a normal upper middle class mall in Maadi. Are these the new Salafi militia uniforms?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wondrous Sound

I generally post a photo here but a while back I was visiting the mosque and madrasa of Sultan Hassan in Cairo with a friend when one of the men offered to show us how the construction of the mosque facilitated the transmission of sound from the area where the sheikh would be preaching to the people sitting in the large courtyard. This mosque was built in the 1100's long before anyone could dream of microphones, but the effects are extraordinary.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Summer Evening

Egypt is hot but the temperatures drop quickly when the sun sets, and even more quickly if you are lucky enough to be on a felucca, one of the old wooden sailing boats, on the Nile.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Taking Care of Younger Ones

Out here in the villages you often see younger children and babies in the care of their older siblings. It isn't something you see so much in the city, especially with middle and upper class families who might have staff working for them to take care of the kids. But I remember being the oldest of four and essentially being responsible for my younger siblings when my mother had something else to do. I guess it's a bit of a lost art some places now.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Dwarfed

The mosque of Ibn Tulun is one of the largest mosques in Cairo and also one of the oldest. Built in about 880 AD it was attached to the royal palace of the Abbasid ruler of Egypt at the time, but it is the only building of the era that still exists. It is one of my favourite mosques, its clean lines and open spaces give a sense of isolation from the chaos outside. Click for a larger version of the picture and you will have a better sense of the size when you see the two people in the upper left corner of the courtyard. The Gayer-Anderson museum is attached to that corner of the compound.