Cairo, Egypt, Photography, Photos

Photo Escapades in Islamic Cairo

Ali had the day off on Thursday last week (he had to work on Saturday instead) so we headed out on an adventure we’d been trying to do for weeks. We took a taxi to just near the Citadel and got out for a walk through Islamic Cairo.

Islamic Cairo This is from the Mosque of Sultan Hasan flickr set.

We started at the Mosque of Sultan Hasan, and walked on small back streets to the tourist area of Khan Khalili Market. I say the tourist area because there is another part of the market where the locals shop which we explored when we first moved here and it was packed with people which made moving from one place to the next difficult. The area we went to on Thursday had wide, cobblestone paths and also some more Islamic monuments and mosques.

Khan Khalili Market This is from the Khan Khalili flickr set.

I finally had a chance to take some pictures and ALL the photos I took were on manual settings. I’ve been learning how to set the aperture and shutter speed depending on the light and this trip I learned a lot because I had the time and the subjects. Ali pushed Sebastian in the stroller ahead of me as I stopped to take in the life around me. Sebastian was busy taking it all in too. I had some moments where photos were darker or lighter because I was trying to capture the moment quickly.

I took a lot of photos of street life and people and am really proud of myself because I am always really shy about taking photos of people. When I started, I took photos fast, and as I went along, I gained enough confidence to ask some people (the cotton weavers in their tiny shop) for photos, others just looked in my direction at the exact moment captured in the photo.


From the flickr set A Street’s Life.

I love this photo because I didn’t even realize the girl was looking at me when I took it. I just wanted to capture the man with his hanging meat, cooking something up with (possibly) his daughter seated nearby, like a small stall for a restaurant.  There are so many from this set I would share from the two boys waiting to order juice, to the women caring the largest cabbages I’ve ever seen on their heads. There are men in coffee shops, men and women buying bread. There are old cars and shop fronts. Trucks piled high with sacks of flour. Tea carts. Shoe shine men with Vespas. People of all ages doing what they do to live and to survive. These are the things that I never see in our more privileged neighborhood. These are the things that make it Egypt. These are the things that I love to see. They are what I like about living in Cairo.

Life happening. Without rules or with different rules. A certain sense of attainable chaos. Color. Simplicity.


2 thoughts on “Photo Escapades in Islamic Cairo”

  1. Amazing photos Kara! What a fascinating part of the world you live in. As soon as I win lotto, I will be over to visit ;-). Lovely that you were able to go out for this walk as a family so you could take your great pics. I bet Seb had some great dreams that night of all the sights and sounds he experienced ;-).


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