Old Cairo

Ancient Egypt’s capital was Memphis, not Cairo. However when the Muslims conquered Egypt in 641 AD built their capital on what is now the southern border of Cairo. As the successive dynasties conquered existing ones each built their cities further northeast until the Citadel was built in what is now the old Cairo. Between 1250 and1517 Islamic Cairo saw the building of many mosques and Islamic buildings. We walked that part of the city this morning.

Shops owned by Christians are closed because it is Sunday, other streets with Muslim shop owners are open.

This is a cart owned by a woman who buys her limes from a larger seller and sells for less than the local market. She is a widow with 3 children and this is her only income aside from government assistance for her kids. Our guide spoke with her and got her permission for us to take her photo for which he paid 50 Egyptian pounds, equivalent to

Four minarets and use of a mosque fence to show wares – cheapest rent.

Unique exterior stairs are part of Mosque of Ibn Tulun one of the largest and oldest mosques built between 876 and 879 AD and built of mud brick. The odd greenish structure on the left is a pigeon roost owned by a family for the raising of pigeons, considered a delicacy in Egyptian cooking.

The Gayer Anderson Museum was put together by John Gayer Anderson, a British officer who served in Cairo and collected artifacts from the Orient. He received permission to renovate the 17th century joined houses to store and utilize the furnishings in the five-story building provided that upon his death he bequeathed them to the government. I have many photos but will only include this one here.

One of the fun events was the chance to try the water pipe used all over the Muslim world. We had a watermelon-flavored pipe. Though I had been in many cafes in Turkey specializing in the hookah, this was the first time I had tried it.

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