Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Extraordinary Cairo Trip

Two years ago I was finishing my graduation project in the Academy of art in Cairo, the Graphics & Advertising department, my Idea was a campaign called "Different Eras & One Cairo" meaning that Cairo has lived through a lot of historic periods, holding in its folds monuments and treasures other then the Pyramids and Sphinx, such as the Coptic, Islamic, Roman, Greek, Mamluk, Arab, and modern eras and much more.

So one day I decided to take a walk along with my camera in Cairo, I was intending for three hours of photography, but it turned out a much longer adventure, for nine hours I kept walking and photographing until I just couldn't stand on my feet any more, sad that I had to go home but happy with my photos, my journey for that day was over.

The path I took was a long one, I'll explain it here if you would like to try it yourself.

I started out taking the subway to "Mar Girgis" station, where my first scene was "The Virgin's Church" then I passed by "The Roman Tower of Babylon" then the famous "Mar Girgis Church" known as St. George Church, I then entered the "Coptic museum" where I had a free pass.

I then walked down Mar Girgis st. down to the famous "Seven Churches Alley" which is a splendid site, it is a narrow alley with seven churches and a Jewish temple, all with extraordinary architecture, after a few arguments with the guards there and showing them my collage ID which gives me access to many historic places they allowed me to photograph there as they say only foreigners are allowed to photograph there.

After that I moved on a little bit more down Mar Girgis st. to "Amr Ibn El-As Mosque" which is the first mosque to be built in Cairo 14 hundred years ago.

Then I took a long walk towards "Magra Al-Eyoon Wall" Which was built hundreds of years ago for many reasons one is to protect cairo and the other was to supply the Citadel with water from the Nile River.

After walking the whole length of the amazing wall I reached The "Citadel" which was built by Salah El Din in order to protect Cairo from Invaders and it still stands as one of the most treasure holding buildings in Cairo.

Then I moved on to the famous mosques of "El sultan Hassan and El Refaie Mosques" with the very tall minarets (a splendid site to see), Then it was time for me to go visit The Azhar Gardens where you can see the entire view of Cairo from.

Then I went down to The famous "Azhar Mosque" and "AL Hussain Mosque" then I walked through "Khan El Khalily Alley" which is full of great architecture arts, then I took a look at the "Complex of Qalaun" which was still being renovated at the time, I really did sneak in because it was not allowed to enter it yet.

Later I saw the extraordinary street called "El Darb El Asfar" or the Yellow Alley, which is full of Houses of famous Arab merchants that lived there hundreds of years ago, full of art and ornaments, what really dazzled me was the art of Arabesque which is a wooden plate on the windows that is cut through in very small and delicate holes for the light.

Then I moved on to another famous wall that was built to protect Cairo with the enormous gates of "El Nasr and El Futooh" after that with almost 200 images on my memory card I was ready to call it a day.

If you are willing to take that trip someday contact me, and I would be willing to give you all the info you might happen to need and a map also :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Egyptians looking forward to the Obama Era

The Egyptian Street is looking forward to a good era of political relations with the American side, because on the personal side the two nations were always friends, but the problem when present is always on political issues, so, what will happen next I don't know, if you've got an idea on the issue please feel free to leave a comment here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cairo International Film Festival Opening Yesterday

Finally Cairo is ready to start the most prestigious Film Festival in the Middle East and Africa, Honoured by Spain as the honour guest, we are really happy to have them here.
“Once again Cairo is ready to celebrate the fine art of Cinema during its annual Cairo International Film Festival."
these were the words Dr. Farouk Hosny (minster of culture) said as he started the fun

Monday, November 17, 2008

Top 10 Places To Visit In Egypt

Egypt is the most mysterious place on earth, The taste of Ancient Egyptian Mysticism still lingers in the air, This ancient atmosphere really does give you the feeling that secrets are yet to be revealed. Maybe you could be lucky to reveal some secrets yourself, here's where to find them:

1- Pyramids of Giza & Sphinx
These pyramids of kings Khufu, Kafhre, and Menkaura, are the greatest tombs on earth in means of size and structure, these perfectly shaped structures leave anybody seeing them with the mysterious questions of how they were built.
As for the Sphinx, the saying "The riddle of the Sphinx" is full of meaning because archaeologies until this day still argue about its purpose and orgin

2- Abu Simbil
Ramsis II had these two temples built in order to give himself and his wife Nevertari mortality, It is said that these two temples are of the most beautiful in Egypt and the world, What is also extraordinary is that these temples were relocated in order to avoid the floods in the late years of the 20th century.

3- Cairo, The capital of culture
Cairo isn't the place you would want to miss, if you really want to dive in Egyptian culture Cairo is the place to go, full of luxurious bazaars and great restaurants makes it your chance to grab a bite from Egypt.

4- Al Azhar Gardens
As one of the most beautiful parks in the world. Al Azhar Gardens remains a landmark in Cairo, where you can catch a panoramic view of the old city, and it's spectacular minarets.

5- Temples of Karnak

This is where the ancient Egyptians worshipped their gods, This temple holds a monument of almost every single god in the Theban religion.

6- The Nile River

Who would be willing to miss the famous Nile Cruise? Yes that's right, Nobody.
It is the reason why all the other wonders are present, the legendary river has been the vein of life in Egypt for thousands of years, and it is said that the Nile river will be the last water source to dry out on earth, what else could be magic?

7- Valley of the Kings

The most sacred place of the Pharaohs, this is where the most esteemed kings were buried , present there are many mummies and lots of un-revealed treasures, in fact the most famous mummy was found there "Tutankhamun".

8- The Egyptian Museum

After visiting where the treasures were found, you sure would want to see what was found, if that's the case then the Egyptian Museum is the place to go.

9- Siwa Oasis
If Alexander the great liked this place, Why wouldn't you? Egypt is not all about monuments and Pharaohs, this place is one where you could loosen up a bit and take a swim in the cool waters in the middle of the desert.

10- Hurgada & Sharm El-Sheikh
Two world ranked resorts also well known for the great coral reefs and scuba diving sports, Here you can swim in the spectacular waters of the red sea, or dance your hips of at the famous bars and discos.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ancient Egypt Pyramids"New Pyramid Found"

"Image copyrights Yahoo.com 2008"

I heard a rumour on the 10th of November that a new Pyramid was discovered In "Sakkara" area, on the next day the rumour was confirmed by the Egyptian press & media, the BBC, and yahoo news.

Now Egypt has 118 revealed Pyramids and lots more hidden ones, The Egyptian Antiques Chief thought it to belong to the mother of a Pharaoh who ruled more than 4,000 years ago who is said to be Queen Sesheshet, the mother of King Teti, founder of the 6th Dynasty of Egypt's Old Kingdom.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

English Speakers in Egypt

I was blogging on a really nice blog about Egypt called whazzupegypt and its author posted a thread about English speakers in Egypt, and she posted that it would be really hard to do your daily tasks in Cairo only speaking in English, to a cab driver, to a customer, anything you normally do.

Well as a foreign visitor to Cairo I think that would be easy to try out!! but being an Egyptian and trying that!!?......... Well that's something else, anyway I liked the idea and decided to give it a shot.

The results were great almost everybody I spoke to responded really well, the taxi driver, the cashier and even a police man they all could communicate to an acceptable standard.

By the way I'm an Egyptian, but I speak English as good as a New Yorker, Maybe try it out yourself waiting for your story

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Al Azhar Gardens

As one of the most beautiful parks in the world. Al Azhar Gardens remains a landmark in Cairo, where you can catch a panoramic view of the old city, and it's spectacular minarets.

From Al Azhar Gardens you can easily spot the "Mohamed Ali" famous citadel or look the other side at the Cairo Tower or you could lay back and enjoy the greenery and the beautiful lake in the park.

Behind you is the great Mokattam plateau with its spectacular colours in the sunset, and if you like photography, and landscaping then Al Azhar Gardens is the place to go, I myself photographed the image in the blog banner there .

see you there soon.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Overview about Egypt

From the great Pyramids of Giza to the spectacular Valley of the Kings, Egypt is full of history.
If you are planning a trip to Egypt, you should know the following about the

Egypt has plenty of land, but much of it is sparsely inhabited. This leads to a situation where nearly all of the people live along the Nile River, particularly in Cairo, Alexandria, and the Nile Delta. Cairo in particular is one of the world’s most densely populated cities with a whopping 3,800 people per square mile and roughly 18 million in the extended city.

Egypt covers an area of roughly 1,000,000 square kilometres. The capital is Cairo with a population of 18 million people. The climate is universally dry and hot. In the Summer but in the Winter the weather is always good.

The people of Egypt are known as “Egyptians.” The total population is over 77 million and growing at a rate of 1.78 percent per year. 94 percent claim to be Muslim. Arabic is the official language although English and French are also widely spoken.

red sea, a glamorous site

For Europeans, visiting the red sea is like visiting the Caribbean for North Americans, for a scuba diver anywhere in the world diving in the red sea is the most exotic dream. The red sea has two popular areas that can be dived from Sharm El-Sheikh at the northern part of the Red Sea is the
more established centre having been a popular vacation resort area as both Egyptians and
Europeans, but there is also the famous Hurghada that was once an old fishing village now known with Sharm El-sheikh is two of the most beautiful resorts in the world

Monday, November 3, 2008

Al Ahly FC club the king of africa

The king of African soccer has WON the 1st leg of the final match in the African Champions league against the Cotton club of Cameroon with a spectacular 2:0 lead after a stunning one sided game, but the 5 times African champion "Al ahly" will have a hard time in Cameroon in the 2nd leg.
Way to go Ahly

Sunday, November 2, 2008

When you drink from the Nile

It is said that once you drink water from the Nile river you have a passion to drink once again, It's a passion that lasts for ever. If you don't think it's true, then try it!
I personally think it is true, but it's not actually the water that makes you want to come back it's the calm feeling you get when you visit Egypt, and the warm welcome you receive from the people here, and the great places and sites that are found in many cities like Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Alexandria, and Hurghada.
I think it is the enjoyment and pleasure that make visitors want to come back, It's a passion for Egypt.