Forgive the primitiveness and textiness of this site for now; I am still figuring out WordPress. Also need to learn how to upload photos properly through my uncooperative Vodaphone portable connection.
So, stay tuned for proper blogging.
Meanwhile, may I just rhapsodize for a bit about the Azhar Park, built by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture? We got to Cairo just before the Eid and went to visit the park on the first holiday evening. I had seen a BBC Earth special on it before, but never experienced the place for myself.
Amazing! One of those projects that transforms the possibilities of life in a city. Clean, beautifully designed public green space, in an area (Masr el-Adima or Islamic Cairo) that one previously visited in the August heat only when it was really necessary. The Eid celebration included a family-friendly traditional music troupe, dressed-up families, couples, groups of boys, groups of girls. (I was especially impressed by one woman standing in front of me in the crowd gathered around the musicians: she was dressed all in pink, holding up in the palm of one hand her five-month-old baby, also dressed all in pink, bobbing her up and down in time to the music while her husband looked on with trepidation.) It was quite crowded but not overwhelming or threatening the way crowds can be, e.g., at holiday times in Hussein Square; really magical. The park frames the monuments of Islamic Cairo just right, and something about the layout seems to encourage people to treat each other nicely.