"Good things come to those who wait. But better things come to those who work for it..."
This is our family umrah trip with a few days stop-over in Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt.
The heart of Egypt for more than 1000 years, Cairo demonstrates the dichotomy of all things Egyptian. It's in Cairo where the medieval world and the contemporary western world come together in a confusion of earthen houses and towering modern office buildings, of flashy cars and donkey-drawn carts. Nobody really knows how many people live in Cairo, but estimates put it at about 16 million, and the city's many squatter camps and slums alone accommodate around 5 million people. Housing shortages are terrible and the traffic is appalling, but the government has begun a campaign to ease these pressures, opening an underground metro system and constructing satellite suburbs.
|(A journey on camels to the Pyramids)|
Islamic Cairo (which is no more Islamic than the rest of the city) is the old medieval quarter, and stepping into its neighborhoods is like moving back six or seven centuries. This is the most densely populated area of Egypt, and probably the whole Middle East. Districts like Darb al-Ahmar are full of tiny alleyways, mud-brick houses, food hawkers, and goats, camels and donkeys. The streets are lined with mosques and temples, and the air is filled with the pungent smells of turmeric and cumin, animals and squalor.
|(Sara and the three Pyramids)|
|(Ja visiting the tomb)|
Some of Islamic Cairo's highlights include the Mosque of Ibn Tulun, dating from the 9th century and the city's oldest intact and fully functioning Islamic monument; the 15th-century Mosque of Qaitbey, considered the jewel of Mamluk architecture; Al-Azhar Mosque, the keystone of Islam in Egypt; and the Citadel, an awesome medieval fortress that was the seat of Egyptian power for 700 years. The Citadel has three major mosques and several museums.
by Alun Buffry
Whether we laugh, or whether we cry,
the river of life goes rushing by,
down the hills and mountain sides,
into valleys, long and wide,
The happiest of people don't necessarily
have the best of everything;
they just make the most of everything
that comes along their way.