Photo(s) of the Week

Found and incredible collection online of color photos of Egypt from the 1920s. You can look at the rest here

Here is a photo of Tucker (my roommate), me and our landlord Wagim. Wagim is a Coptic Christian and you can just barely make out the small tattoo of a Coptic cross on his wrist. The tattoo on their right wrist is a common tradition among Copts. Here is a close-up of the tattoo. We were discussing the picking of a new Coptic pope which took place on Sunday. The highlight of the event is when a young boy is picked and brought to the front of the cathedral, blind-folded, and then chooses the name of the new pope out of a glass egg.

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Alright, off to the pyramids to make next week’s video! Have a good weekend!

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Sinai Peninsula, Bedouins and Eid al-Adha

Hello class! Glad you enjoyed the video of Cairo ‘rain’. It makes me homesick in a surprising way to know it was pouring rain in Portland when you watched it. I will have to adjust to the rain, but I definitely miss varied weather patterns. In Cairo, for most of the year, it is just a question of how much smog cover there will be on a given day.

As I mentioned in the rain post, last week was Eid al-Adha, a Muslim festival and national holiday in Egypt. Me and a few friends went to the Sinai Peninsula, a part of Egypt you may have noticed in my post about the St. Anthony’s monastery by the Red Sea. As usual, here is a little video to introduce both the Sinai and Eid al-Adha.

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Photo of the Week + Cairo Rain

This is the total accumulation of rain I have experienced since leaving Portland in June. Spotted on the new campus of American University in Cairo.

Last week was Eid, a Muslim and national holiday in Egypt. The university was closed, so a few friends and I went to the Sinai Peninsula. We were on the Gulf of Aqaba, which flows into the Red Sea. The gulf is small that we were close enough to watch the moon and sun rise over Saudi Arabia!

Tahrir Graffiti

Hello again class! I apologize for the delay in a new post. This past week was midterms so I had to give all my focus to studying Arabic. I will make it up to all of you in the next couple weeks.

Perhaps you’ve noticed in my videos that there is quite a bit of graffiti here. Like all cities (and most towns) painting on public walls has always existed in Cairo. However, since the revolution in early 2011, graffiti has sprung up everywhere as a symbol of protest and resisting the authorities. Nowhere is this more true than in Tahrir Square, the heart of Cairo and the most recent revolution. It has become famous enough to have a name and a Wikipedia article: Mohamed Mahmoud Graffiti.

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Photo of the Week and Moving Day

Big news, students! This week I moved from Haram to a different neighborhood in Giza called Mohandessin. I live right across the Nile from downtown Cairo, which is something I wanted to experience before leaving Egypt. Living in Haram was incredible though and exactly the sort of culture shock I was hoping to go through when leaving the US. But don’t worry! I know that I haven’t done a post on the pyramids yet and other ancient Egyptian monuments, and those will be happening soon!

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One of the biggest differences between where I used to live and where I live now is the view. Instead of the pyramids and the desert, the balcony looks at a green, tree filled park called Midan Aswan (Aswan Square).

Street Wedding

يا واخد القرد على ماله يروح المال ويقعد القرد على حاله. = (ya waaxod il-‘ird 3ala maalu yiruuH il-maal wa yi’3od il-‘ird 3ala Haalu) 

If you marry a monkey (i.e. someone ugly) for his money, the money will go away and the monkey will stay the same (as ugly as ever). (Don’t marry for money.)

Good morning, class! Your questions were great and have once again given me a lot to think about. I didn’t have time to put myself into this new video, but I promise that my next video will feature me a bit so you know who is behind the camera. The new video is about the wedding of my next door neighbor that took over the entire street and night.

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Photo of the Week

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A traditional ‘shabby’ wedding, complete with band, dancing horses, belly dancers and shooting guns. Shabby is a word used to describe the working class Egyptians like my stable neighbors. More on the wedding on Sunday!