I’ve finally been able to upload some photos (it took several hours) that I took while Sebastian and I were walking around our neighborhood about a month and a half ago one sunny afternoon. I also included some photos I took of our apartment for those of you curious about where we are living and are unable to come by for a visit! Since the photos were taken, we’ve started hanging art on the walls, but you can get an idea about where we spend our time.
Here’s the link for the Neighborhood set. I will update this set over time. It’s my intention that Sebastian and I take at least one photo walk a week. Maadi is separated into two sections, Old Maadi and New Maadi. We live in Old Maadi and our neighborhood is called Degla. I would like to take pictures of all the different neighborhoods of Maadi as well as share a bit of the history behind it as I learn it myself. Maadi dates back to when the British were in Egypt and has always been a place where many expats and well to do Egyptians live.
Beginning in the 1890s a group of closely intermarried Sephardi entrepreneurs quietly bought up fields along the railway that linked Cairo to Helwan. By 1904 they had amassed enough land to incorporate the venture. Landscapers were brought in, and building codes were laid down. Maadi, as the village was called, had grown by the 1930s into a smug and exclusive suburb people by Egyptian patricians as well as khawaga bankers and brokers. Alpine chalets abutted pillared and porticoed neo-classical mansions. Bougainillea hedges separeted Raj-style bungalows from steep-roofed manor houses that could have graced Surrey or Scarsdale. Garden competitions, Boy Scouts and Brownie troups, a sporting club with a golf course and a yacht club on the Nile, churches, mosques and a thriving synagogue completed this suburban dream. (p.181 ‘Cairo: The City Victorious’ by Max Rodenback)
You will notice a lot of trees. This is especially true for the area that we live in and more so of Old Maadi than New Maadi. It’s great for shade, especially in the summer when it is a NECESSITY. The trees and plants are watered daily by caretakers as it rarely rains here. I think it has rained three times since we moved here in August, for about five minutes each time! There is a constant layer of dust on all the leaves. The plumeria trees haven’t had many flowers so far. And we have a flaming tree in front of our building but it hasn’t been covered in red yet. I’m hoping for some blooms as Spring arrives. The green is why I wanted to live out here in Maadi. Well one of the reasons.