Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Pigeon Tower

This rather medieval looking structure is a tower for the raising of pigeons. Pots and pipes are cemented together in horizontal layers with some of them opening to the outside of the tower and others to the inside. Inside the tower there is either a ladder or a stairway by means of which the owner can climb up to claim the squabs (young feathered pigeons who are not yet flying) to confine them and fatten them up for eating. Pigeon is eaten stuffed with either rice or whole wheat or it is grilled or made into casseroles. They are a dark meat bird and very tasty. Most pigeons that have any colour plumage other than the feral dark greyish blue (the wild rock dove) are owned by someone in Egypt because they are so easy to raise.

One of the most famous incidents of Egyptian/British conflict (the Dinshaway Incident) came about as a result of a group of British soldiers going out pigeon shooting near the village of Dinshaway in 1906 not realising that the pigeons they were shooting belonged to the villagers. When the villagers protested, the soldiers not understanding Arabic, thought that they were being attacked and began shooting at villagers and running away in the extreme heat. Although the villagers actually tried to assist the officers suffering from heat stroke, one officer died and the villagers were rather brutally punished for defending their pigeons, leading to a great deal of anger.


bitingmidge said...

I've enjoyed catching up on the last month's pics, but the pigeon tower has given me some terribly nasty ideas!


Sunshine Coast Daily - Australia

USelaine said...

What an amazing story! Ignorance and fear of the unknown - and history just keeps repeating itself.

Anonymous said...

This story been taught to Egyptian students about how brutal the Brits were. The Egyptian villagers ,who were found guilty by the Martial tribunal, were hung. All these little incidents can turn the whole population against you. The west is repeating itself again and again. The west must study the do's and don'ts before they go to countries with deep rooted civilizations like Egypt or Thailand for example. In Thailand it is a no no to display the bottom of the foot to passersby, it is insulting for them. cheers

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