…back in Cairo – the city of a thousand faces, the City Victorious. Cairo the Red, seat of Mars…. all the epithets she has conjured since Roman times. Strangely, as I have spent more than ten years of my adult life there, a place that I almost call ‘home’.
Just got back to the UAE after a few days with old friends Gregg and Terri in my old stamping ground of Ma’adi. What a relief to be back, even in these days of closed deserts and economic troubles. We want down to the Al Ghouri mosque and in particular the Wekalet Al Ghouri on Wednesday night to see the Sufi dancers – the Whirling Dervishes;
Their whirling puts them in a trance that, according to Sufi lore, brings them closer to Allah. Certainly one guy whirled for 45 minutes non-stop without a tremor or a variation from the vertical. Very impressive.
The next two are Gregg’s pics – not mine;
Next day I was out for a beer and a very welcome shisha (the shisha in the UAE tastes of chemicals and artificial flavours) with old friend Gregg at Abou El Sid in Ma’adi. The local ladies made bread fresh that day for delivery whilst we had a bottle or three of Sakkara Gold and caught up with tales of each others’ lives since I was last there in May.
Even though we couldn’t get out to the desert because of scheduling issues (we were invited on a trip by Sami, another old mate) it was great to be back. Cairo leaves a presence in oneself as great as any Pharaonic curse…… until the next time