Friday, July 29, 2011

The Water Cooler

In a country with heat like ours, water is very important. Traditionally it is something that people provide for others. During Mameluke times people built sabils throughout the city where people and animals could get a drink. This tower contains terracotta jugs that absorb some of the water and then cool their contents through evaporation through the walls.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Street Art

After years and years when anything like street art was illegal, the wellsprings of graffiti have burst their boundaries and I love it. We found this on Road 9 today. Wonderful stuff.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Don't Point Your Fingari!

A graffiti portrait of one of the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces generals whose name is Fingari. The pun is pretty obvious. This is from Tahrir. Finger pointing is considered very rude in Egyptian culture and he gave a speech in which he did that a lot.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Colourful gardening

Wheelbarrows are quite simple to make and despite the cheap factories of China, most of them in Egypt are still made here. And Egyptians like colour. So why shouldn't your wheelbarrow match your flowers? The wooden poles in the barrel are handles for tools that are also made by hand by our blacksmiths

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Managing Summer

Our fields are amazingly fertile and supply Egypt with its vegetables. This is all done with irrigation since essentially it doesn't rain. Summers are hard here for my work, riding and teaching, because they are so hot but shady trails and the cooling effect of evaporation help a lot.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Best Bread

We needed to stop for some bread today. There is a bakery near a friend's place that makes really beautiful bread...whole wheat pita bread of course. I decided to take a picture of the bread on a rack, fresh from the oven and still puffed up. The baker's assistant also wanted his photo taken, so here he is. We almost died on the way home from the wonderful smell.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


A year or so ago some friends gave me a fleece blanket for Christmas that happened to be white with black spots. Oddly enough, I have a dog just that colour and when she crept onto the bed on morning for a nap, I almost didn't see her.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Etfadalu! Welcome!

This is one of the wrought iron statues at Fagnoon. Most, if not all, are created by the owner Mohamed Allam. The bridge goes over the canal so that child and adult clients can wander back and forth to do pottery, painting, or maybe play in the mud pit. What a wonderful place!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Political Pottery

I've been gone for over three weeks now, having taken my annual holiday to visit my kids in New York City. It's pretty much the only traveling that I do and I'm always sort of stuck trying to find a reasonable present for them. New York apartments are notoriously tiny, so I have to come up with something useful, enjoyable and small. This year I found some Palestinian pottery at the Bedouin Market in Maadi. The owner imports Palestinian pottery from Hebron in the West Bank and I decided to combine my political inclinations with gift buying so they got some lovely tile hotplates and a bowl.

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