Letter from Egypt: the traditions of Cairo continue


Shady, a downtown resident, has brought me here to show me one of his favourite cafes. Here, artists, architects, students and journalists drink side by side.

He's happy to say it hasn't changed much in the last year. Even in a country that is now

For him, Cairo today is almost the same as Cairo a year ago: the traffic is still crazy, the streets are still crowded, and his friends still order beers in packed bars.

And yet, walking around the city earlier, I saw stalls selling shoes, T-shirts and books standing beside those selling personal tasers.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are few tourists venturing to Tahrir Square, and even the nearby  Here, one is as likely to see memorials to the uprising as travel agents offering trips to the pyramids and Luxor.

Street art, too, seems to be everywhere. From the city's salubriousdistrict, known to many as the embassy belt, to historic Islamic Cairo, intricate, beautiful, well-crafted political graffiti adorns walls, bridges and roadsides, and speaks of a society in flux.

"Revolution," screams a spray painted figure emblazoned with the anarcho-punk A symbol, in a graffito ofearby, a solitary veiled woman stares from the side of a wall in another near Talaat Harb.

But for residents of Cairo like Shady, the city isn't all about revolution and change. And indeed, hours later, another bottle hits the floor, and El Horryia once again fills up with cheers and claps.

Life here might be vastly different in many ways, but here, tonight, tradition carries on.

Related Tags: revolution and change.artists, architects, students and journalists drink .traffic is still crazy, . T-shirts and books

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