Our outing this week was to downtown Cairo. We took the metro and then walked the streets. It was Friday, and midday prayers take over the silence, prayers shouting from loud speakers, men kneeling on their rugs facing Mecca. This makes the streets quiet with very little traffic, which means getting around with a stroller is no problem. Ali said that during the work week, the side walks are packed and he usually walks in the street which is also busy with traffic. Another reason we stay in our neighborhood during the week.
Cairo was pretty hip in the 1940’s and 1950’s. A lot of Europeans sitting in cafes. We stopped in at a couple famous ones, Cafe Riche and Groppi.
The old European architecture is around every corner, some buildings kept up, others buried in soot from pollution.
We also passed by the old American University that has since moved to the outskirts of Cairo, with the buildings in town for sale.
Walked through Tahir Square and Talat Harb, and even stopped in at the Synagogue on Adly St. and had a nice little tour. They don’t get many visitors as Arabs aren’t allowed in, (according to the guard that took our ‘information’ before letting us in). [A couple weeks ago someone threw a suitcase full of petrol at this synagogue. No one was hurt and there were no explosions. It was dismissed as a ‘crazy man’ trying to attack the synagogue.] The guards don’t allow photos, but I took one anyway.
We visited Ali’s office and got to see where he works and his view from the 21st floor, he can see all the way to the pyramids on a clear day.
Took a stroll through the quiet Stock Exchange area, which I could imagine buzzing with people during working hours.
For my photos I used manual settings, and decided on the same setting for all the pictures, which had a different effect depending on the lighting. Some bright, vivid colors, some shadows, and some dark corners. For the rest of the photos take a look at the slide show on flickr Cairo Downtown set.