Tuesday, November 25, 2008
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 :)