The Streets of Cairo by Yasmine Bougueche, Algeria – photo essay –

Whenever a friend asks me, what should I do to know the real Cairo ? My answer is simple: Get lost in the street, you will learn about the food, the traditions, the culture, the lifestyle but most importantly, the Spirit. Photo 1: No matter what happens, there is always a light in the middle of darkness. This is what these Nubian ( the inhabitants of the south of Egypt ) lamps represent for me whenever I pass by them in Khan el Khalili. The very famous souvenirs market in Cairo. Photo 2: “Batata” or sweet potato, one of the most common healthy delicious typically Egyptian snack cooked in coal portable traditional oven. No matter where you go, you will surely find a Batata trolley to sweeten your day. Photo 3: Bassboussa and Konafa, you don’t want to leave Egypt without trying them. No matter how some bakeries prepare them in the safest, most “hygienic” way, the street sweets are the best. Photo 4: We find for the body  in Cairo, but also food for the mind: Books. The Azbakiya souk is a big street market where we can find almost all books in many languages. What is even better, is the huge knowledge of most of the vendors, whom I rarely see not holding a book. Photo 5: In this very busy street, where families gather happily to chat during evening/night time over shisha (hookah) and coffee, this man sells happiness to the kids with these colorful and delightful balloons. Whenever I see him, I pray deep down: I hope this man who sells happiness to others, is happy himself. Photo 6: The Juice ” Asseer” trolley, something more than needed in every over crowded, disorganized and noisy street market in Cairo. Drinking juice from this traditional trolley gives a fresh pause from the surrounding and a cold taste of orange and sugar can juice. Photo 7: Egyptians are the only Arabs, who call bread : Eiish, which means :LIVE. And yes, many do live on bread , or on selling bread. Photo 8: Under this crowded bridge in the heart of Cairo, someone found home. Home is in the heart, and this is why , Cairo is and will always be my second home and the home to many , voiceless, underprivileged marginalized , yet very kind hearted, generous and welcoming population.  

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