Friday, September 24, 2004
Here are a few pics I took on my recent journey to old Cairo. Please go here to check the pics I posted today Sept. 24.
Al-Muski market: a market in old Cairo. This market is always packed on Fridays. It is near major Islamic monuments and so you can always find tourists wondering around in it.
Sabil: This is called a "Sabil", a house designed to provide water to passersby. It is about 200 years old. Noble men built these Sabils to provide water and host a religious school. Water was poured in this basin underneath the window. The window was opened to allow people to reach out and fill their empty jars with water.
Lemon: women selling lemon and small apples. The apples are in the size of a lemon. They are VERY juicy.
Al-Hakim mosque: A 1000 years old mosque built by the Fatimid ruler Al-Hakim. Fatmids were Ismaili Shias (a sect of Shias) and they ruled Egypt for a very long time even though most Egyptians were Sunni Muslims and Christians. 25 years ago, Ismaili Shias came from India and asked the late president Sadat if they can renovate this mosque. He allowed them to do so. They rebuilt the mosque and covered its floor with marble. They believe that the water that comes from the well in the center of the mosque is holy. I'm note sure how many holy wells are there in our world!
Shah Tomb: This tomb is of the Shah of Iran who died in 1980 in Cairo. After the Islamic revolution in Iran, the Shah and his family fled their homeland. No country wanted to keep him, not even the United States that was concerned about its hostages in Tehran. Only Egyptian president Anwar Sadat decided to take the ill Shah who suddenly lost all his friends when he lost all his power and wealth. The Carter administration did not even send any delegation to his funeral in Cairo. Only his 2 personal American friends Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger attended. Kissinger called what Carter did "a black page in US foreign policy history". Empress Farah Pahlavi, the Shah's wife, mentioned lately that she wished to move the Shah's body from Cairo to Tehran after her country becomes free from the devilish theocracy there.
Italian House: This is a masterpiece house in downtown Cairo. It is about 60-70 years old. The house symbolizes the wealth that Egypt was in when the monarchy was ruling. Cairo and Alexandria were full of Europeans who exported their style of buildings to Egypt.