16 December 2012

Life in Cairo: The Arts

On one particularly enjoyable day, two fo my flatmates and I went into downtown Cairo to visit the Gezira Center for Modern Art. Talk about a lovely respite from the hustle and bustle that is Cairo! Once you pass through a metal detector (I'm pretty sure it wasn't even working), you're basically smacked in the face with how quiet it is on the grounds. Also nearby is the Cairo Opera, and it's the perfect park setting for studying, enjoying ths sunshine, various sculptures, and a quiet meeting with friends over tea.

This is a statue of the "Star of the East," Egypt's most famous classical Arabic singer, Oum Kalthoum. Her career spanned from the 1930s until her death in 1975. 

The museum interior
Impressionist-style painting. I liked this one

I also really liked this one. I can't remember the title

Notice anything interesting about this one???

On another evening, my roommates and I got together in the Zamalek neighborhood of Cairo and did a bit of exploring. We found a fantastic antique shop called the Loft, which was full of interesting bits and bobs.

I fell in love with this! I think it's a bed?
Hi! I'm the resident guard cat!
This cat was a really doozy, let me tell you. She was the guardian of the shop, and I swear she might have been a familiar or an anamagus or something. Look at the attitude! When I tried to pet her, she swatted at me!

On one night, the flatmates and I decided to check out the free Sufi dance show. It takes place in an old inn called Wekala Sultan Al Gouri. It started out simply, just musicians, and a single artist playing zils.  

Then, the music grew, and the dancing got more and more involved and passionate.

Then, there were splashes of color, and the music and dancing were so amazing, you can't help but wonder just how they do it!

Could he have achieved Nirvana?

The colors continue to spin, whirl, and change color, and the music follows. Then, even more magic happens!


I'm still kicking myself that I only brought my small camera.

And here we are at the finale! All the musicians playing, all of the dancers spinning as fast as they can in time to the music, all while twirling bits of their costumes in front of, behind, and over themselves and each other!

If you're ever in Cairo, I definitely recommend that you check out this show. And why wouldn't you? It's totally free! Just do one better than I did, and bring a real camera if you can!

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