Category Archives: Egypt’s Cairo

Old Cairo’s Islamic architecture

On our second tour of Old Cairo, we started at the southern wall through an arched entrance—a wall that once surrounded all of Old Cairo. Along Sharia Al Muizz Li Din Allah where no traffic was allowed during the day we passed one beautifully designed building after another. Intricate wooden latticework, sculptured doors, and Arabic calligraphy decorated the walls of building after stone building.

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The pyramids of Giza

I imagined the pyramids surrounded by desert, but Cairo had inched closer to the ancient structures. In fact, after we drove to the site, I discovered the city on the pyramids’ doorstep on one side, and desert on the other.

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Mosques of Cairo

There wasn’t many directions I could face in Cairo without seeing the dome of a mosque arching against the sky or a minaret stretching above the city. We visited several, where we removed our shoes and covered our heads before entering the elaborate Islamic architectural wonders. It was the small details that captured my interest, like the geometric designed grill on the Al Rifai Mosque.

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Al-Azhar Park

I was keen to visit this park. Shi’I Imami Ismaili rule (Fatimid) had established a madrassa in 988 that later became a university, the world’s second oldest university, that drew students from the Islamic empire and Europe. During Fatimid rule, numerous building projects were completed. 

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Cairo and a museum like no other

To entice me to Malta once again, my daughter suggested a trip to Syria as Air Malta had started a flight. This was before its destruction. Bookings quickly filled and we missed the opportunity so we took a short hop to Cairo instead. Although I’d spent several years in Africa, I’d never ventured to the north so this was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss.

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