Scenes from Cairo

As-salaamu `alaykum

If anyone is interested in getting a look and ‘feel’ for Cairo before jetting off – these are some random pictures taken (mostly by my room mates) in the heat of summer ’07 – click the images if you wish to englarge them.

Enjoy! :)

[Flying over what my sister said were the Alps... but I'm a little skeptical!] – Tabarakallah, I love mountains – a sign indeed for those who reflect.

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Dar al-Arqam - beautiful masjid!

[Dar al-Arqam in Cairo]

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[Busy, bustling Cairo! The incidents that happen on the road can be so funny (& dangerous). We once saw a car go past and the boot was open... we looked more and there was a sheep trying to get out! lol, must've been for dinner :) Another time, this motorcyclist was overtaking people on the already-busy road, when this taxi-driver got really angry and tried to run him down! It was so scary, I stood watching in shock as the driver went around the motorcyclist and try to grab his shirt lol. Alhamdulillah I think although people get angry, nothing much happens in the end other than an exchange of some words. Btw, Mu7aaribah & Bint Islam, I still think the taxis look like the Police Academy cars! :) ]

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[This picture and the next few pictures are of Islamic Cairo - including the qal3a (fort) of Salaahuddin]

[Now you can see how populated Cairo is!]

[Beautiful... overlooking the city is just incredible masha'Allah]

 

[This is a picture of a notice in Masjid Sultan Hasan where the 4 madh-habs (schools of fiqh) were taught. Each had a seperate entrance and teaching ground. The next picture below shows for example, the entrance for those studying Fiqh al-Malikiyyah]

[Courtyard of the masjid - don't ask what those hanging things are! I think they're lamps]

[These ancient gates are so beautiful masha'Allaah]

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Below are a few pictures of the pyramids – yeah, they are pretty huge. One time these tourists entered one of the tombs, but the only way to enter was to walk in backwards. I saw them try to enter (was trying my hardest not to laugh) and I thought subhanallah, imagine walking into a grave backwards, lol how more ‘backward’ can things get huh?]

[Egyptian guards and patrol are so hilarious subhanallaah. One time we asked these 2 traffic wardens for the exact place a certain bus was due to arrive (there were no signs) and they start to discuss it amongst themselves! I was thinking 'please, just tell us where it usually comes, we're late for something & I know the bus is coming any second now..' So they pointed out a place just a few yards down & told us to wait there as it always stops there. We went along with some other locals, and stood there for a few minutes. Alhamdulillah the bus finally came... but surprise surprise, it sped past us fast and stopped like a good 100m-200m down the busy highway! Lol I couldn't believe it. We all looked at the guards who just laughed and shrugged. Yeah, we had to sprint for the bus - along with all the locals, men women and children (who I can't believe didn't know the bus stop either! This is a bus that comes like every 1/2 hour). Everyone was so mad and shouting, but I was in stiches because it was so hilarious, subhanallaah it must have looked so funny.

[Coming up to Islamic Cairo. This road is sooo scary - that is, when you're in a taxi :( One day we managed to get a really good fare with this taxi driver alhamdulillah, so we went down here when he suddenly just accelerated. Ok, one thing is I don't drive (other than the one time I drove a go-kart, after which my brother told me to give up after 1 lap lol), so putting me in a car and then pushing on the accelerator is a big No No. This driver then decided to overtake every single car, bus and donkey that were on this motorway in the picture. He was swerving in and out and dodging massive crater holes in the road at God knows what miles-per-hour. I started saying my shahadah because to top it off, there were no seat belts and my friend had just whispered that my door looked broken! lol, I'll never forget that ride, Allahul Musta'aan - I really thought maybe the driver was getting us back for the deal we struck with him haha.

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Beautiful city of Rahab:

 

It's about 25-30mins drive from Madinat al-Nasr. Such a contrast, it's really quiet, clean and somehow the air is very different (there's also existence of plush green grass & trees lol) - an excellent place for families mashaa'Allaah. Only downside is, it's pretty closed off & far from Madinat al-Nasr where all the institutes & classes are happening (but there is a bus that goes back forth - if you can find the bus stops!). As much I love Rahab & could walk from end to the other strolling and enjoying the air, Madinat al-Nasr is the place to be!

[Doesn't it look refreshing?]

Ok, I’m done – I don’t know what happened to the other pictures we took (a note to my room mates: Do you understand the amount of pictures I’ve had to sift through?! What were you guys doing! lol).

Bint Islam, if you’re around maybe you can explain what some of these pictures are (especially Islamic Cairo as you had taken them)?

22 thoughts on “Scenes from Cairo

  1. as-salaamu ‘alaykum ya 3asal!

    Bint Islam and I are in the library now looking at this post and we’re crying because the memories are flooding back! ;-( Okay we admit it, you were right and we were wrong (we miss Umm ad-Dunya!)

    Pictures 12-16 is of the Sultan Hasan Masjid and inside there you have this big court yard where each corner is for the four different madhab’s and next to them are these “flats” where back in the day students frm each madhab used to live in… (I believe shafi’ee’s time…I wasn’t listening tht much to the guide..lol, can’t blame me), today ofcourse it’s closed [I took pic of the maliki dorm]…but you’ve got the video I’ve recorded frm tht masjid..right?

    Btw, the BEST masjid in the neighbourhood is my masjid, Dar al Arqam, says Bint Islam. Meanwhile Mu7aaribah is opposing her views claiming that Masjid As-Safa and Bilal blew her away…the battle goes on!

    Until then…

    Ma’salaamah

    Your ex roomies…and maybe your mustaqbal…

  2. Wa `alaykumusalaam wa rahmatullah!

    Masha’Allaah, well well if it isn’t the troublesome pair!
    Still arguing are we? :)

    Lol, Bint Islam jazakillahu khayran for the detailed explanation, were you falling asleep or something! And no, the video doesn’t seem to be playing :( – maybe I should download Quicktime. My sister’s camera ended up malfunctioning because she left it in Rahab, we just about managed to retrieve these photos from the memory card

    Mu7aaribah, you took some of the best pictures mashaa’Allaah… where are you hiding them? Oh & you still haven’t told me about your blog sis, there really should be laws against this sort of neglect haha

    Mustaqbal roomies? – Allahul Musta’aan!!
    Just kidding lol, I’d love to join up with you again (but this time, hmm things will be a little different – for one thing, no more pointing at me when you guys make blunders in the market alright?!)

  3. That brought back memories!

    Dar al-Arqam, I think we spent as much time as possible here for Taraweeh and Qiyam here in Ramadan 2003. Praying outside under the stars withe the cool breeze for Taraweeh and sometimes inside for Qiyam depending on how many ppl turned up.

    Then running back to our flat for suhoor because the imam always finished witr about 20 mins before the adhan of fajr, and there were no taxis around at that time.

    We (myself and my brother in-law) preferred the recitation and atmosphere to Masjid Salam, and I think my wife was quite keen on my bringing cheesecake home from the bakery across the street to the entrance afterwards!

    Such a contrast to London, where the mosque carpet is double the thickness of Cairo’s but the recitation does not reach half the quality.

  4. Praying outside under the stars withe the cool breeze for Taraweeh and sometimes inside for Qiyam depending on how many ppl turned up.

    Subhanallah the atmosphere when praying outside is amazing! I actually used to look for a nice spot outside in the courtyard for Taraweeh… it really is something else. My brothers & dad for some reason always left me behind when it came to Qiyaam so the bawaab’s daughter who was my age used to knock for me and we’d go qiyaam together complete with lots of food for suhoor (whilst my bros ran back home for food before dawn!)

    Such a contrast to London, where the mosque carpet is double the thickness of Cairo’s but the recitation does not reach half the quality.

    Couldn’t have said it better myself! Baarakallahu feek.

  5. assalaamu alaikum,

    madinat nasr does seem to have the best islamic learning resources… my husband’s family is from alex but we are planning to move to cairo and madinat nasr is our top consideration because of dar luqman being there (school for kids). if we plan to buy a flat to live in cairo in about 2 years, with a growing family, is rehab worth the drive instead of living in medinat nasr? I’ve heard such nice thing about rehab, and fresh air and green stuff dooo matter to me… but not as much as having good learning opportunities for us and our kids. Where would you live with kids?

  6. Wa `alaykumusalaam wa rahmatullah

    It’s a tough choice to make I admit that! But I know many sisters who have taken their children & currently live in Madinat Nasr… they seem happy alhamdulillah but I wouldn’t know how difficult it is there for them.

    Personally, I would think living in Rahab is a better option if you have children. This is because it’s safer (as in cars/roads etc), it’s much more ‘free’ in the sense that children can enjoy themselves outdoors with the parks and open space and they won’t feel too cooped up indoors all day – it’ll also give you a piece of mind. I believe there’ll still be opportunities for your children to study especially if you go private – many families live in Rahab but have private Qur’an and Arabic teachers who come on weekly/daily basis.

    I don’t know too much about the school in Dar al-Luqman, but if doesn’t require your children to come in on a daily basis then it’s probably better for you to take Rahab. However if it is a typical Sat-Wed schedule, then yeah the constant trip down to Madinat Nasr will become too much for you and the kids!

    Hope it works out for you, wa billahi-tawfeeq!

  7. ‘Alaykum as-Salam wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh;

    I have many good memories in Dar al-Arqam as well as the Madinah al-Munawarrah bookstore right across the street.

    Does Shaykh Rif’at still lead prayer there?

  8. I’m not too sure who the Imam is, unfortunately I didn’t live near Dar al-Arqam so didn’t get to spend much time there.

    Bint Islam, since it was your second home, maybe you could share some info? :)

    ^ This sister used to love the Madinah al-Munawarrah bookshop (Bint Islam, it’s the same one right?), I personally never got a chance to check it out but wish I did!

  9. Oh Shaykh Rida moved to Masjid Bilal long time ago (yeah, it’s been a while akhi!)… he’s the main Imam there now, and in Ramadhan he also takes the lead.

    You should visit that masjid, it’s one of my favourite in the area – flourishing and has visiting Qurra from other countries too masha’Allah.

  10. fajr:’they won’t feel too cooped up indoors all day -it’ll also give you a piece of mind.’

    S: Piece of mind or peace of mind?
    Sorry couldn’t resist, I’m waiting for you to join me here inshaAllah and correct all my mistakes (in arabic).

  11. lol! I didn’t even realise that you know :) Wow, I must do that a lot then…

    It’s this flu I’ve had for the past week, I’ve had to read my emails like 2-3 times before sending them (as I make mistakes when I’m tired) and my hayfever is not helping!

    Sis, you’re not Moonlight on here are you? I’m trying to figure out who else lives with ‘Alia

  12. As’salamu ‘alaykum habibati…

    Man totally feel like the snail on replying to this;

    but yeh I loved Madinah al-Munawarrah bookshop cos it was across the street from my apartment which was swell for moi when I needed stationary/books…

    Wa’salam chica…

  13. American oatmeal… is that what we call, Porridge?

    Try the Daria brands – I have their quick oats package to make my healthy porridges. It’s available in Spinneys (City Stars).

  14. lol! yes porridge. i found some in rehab but its way too expensive here. can i eat the daria brands youre talking about with JUST WATER?

  15. also im just dying to know what is it for young kids to do here? how do they adapt? this city is ajeeb. they have some very nice places and once walk out the door its dirt and rubble. the only place with grass and thats viable for kids to play in front of their home is rehab.

    also are there any nice parks here?is there anywhere here where kids can go out front and play aside from rehab. if so is there anywhere like this that is reasonable price ya3nee 200 USD even if its unfurnished? im dying to know because i want my daughter to have things to do here aside from burning trash like the local kids do.

  16. can i eat the daria brands youre talking about with JUST WATER?

    Ok, for you and anyone else interested (brothers, pay attention!), this is how you make porridge:

    - Boil water (2/3rds) and milk
    - Add a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon sugar
    - Add your porridge
    - Stir the mixture whilst boiling until it cooks well

    Serve with cold milk and honey.

    Regarding apartments with gardens/parks, Madinat Nasr is not really the place for that, but maybe you can try the newly built towns like ‘Madinati’ and 6th of October city (out of Cairo). Other than that, your best shot is to take your daughter to places like Hadiqat al-Azhar which are a refreshing change from the city life.

  17. Assalamu Aleykom sister! I wonder about the apartment in Rahab. They look good, standard. Me and My man are going 2 madinat al nasr for some study. I wonder if I can rent an apartment. those you have photos of cause they look fresh.

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