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Egypt: Darb al-Ahmar street scenes

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Darb al-Ahmar street scenes | Egypt | Africa

[Visited: August 2007]

West of the new Azhar Park in the old part of Cairo, you can find Darb al-Ahmar (Red Road) neighbourhood. Back in time, when the walled city of Al Qahira simply could not handle more houses or inhabitants, building had to continue outside the city wall. Darb al-Ahmar was one of the neighbourhoods that sprang up, and was the thriving area of the city in the 14th and 15th centuries. It was mostly a residential area, inevitably with a large number of smaller and larger mosques.

Picture of Darb al-Ahmar street scenes (Egypt): Horse-pulled cart with man

The area retained its residential character, but went into decline overtime. Now, its population is amongst the poorest of the city, and some of the houses are in an incredibly bad state. All the same, it is a very lively area, and walking through it is sheer pleasure for the eye and the ear. Egyptians dressed in traditional and modern clothes walk by, those on a horse or donkey-pulled cart shout to announce their arrival and sometimes you can see a horse coming at you while it is trying to avoid collision with one coming from behind.

Picture of Darb al-Ahmar street scenes (Egypt): Egyptians having a chat on a street corner

Everywhere, people are out on the streets and in the side alleys, to smoke a waterpipe or shisha, to carry wares to their shop, to sit on a chair at a corner of the street and chat with friends, to be on the way to a mosque for prayer, to count the money earned that day on a stone at the streetside, to sell tea with a big silvery mobile tea bottle on their back. Sounds come from everywhere: the click-clack of hoofs on the asphalt, a sewing machine in a workshop, the radio of a barber, the scraping of sandpaper on furniture, the humming of voices. It is easy to imagine that things have not changed much in the last centuries here.

Picture of Darb al-Ahmar street scenes (Egypt): Pushing a heavy cart on a road
Picture of Darb al-Ahmar street scenes (Egypt): Street life near al-Maridani mosque
Picture of Darb al-Ahmar street scenes (Egypt): Egyptian working shoes in the Darb al-Ahmar neighbourhood
Picture of Darb al-Ahmar street scenes (Egypt): Egyptian smoking a shisha in front of his shop
Picture of Darb al-Ahmar street scenes (Egypt): Teaman in the street
Picture of Darb al-Ahmar street scenes (Egypt): Smoking the waterpipe in an alley with animals and a car
Picture of Darb al-Ahmar street scenes (Egypt): Egyptian women with headscarfs
Picture of Darb al-Ahmar street scenes (Egypt): Egyptian men working in a scooter repair shop
Picture of Darb al-Ahmar street scenes (Egypt): Man on cart pulled by a donkey
Picture of Darb al-Ahmar street scenes (Egypt): People in the streets in the Darb al-Ahmar neighbourhood
Picture of Darb al-Ahmar street scenes (Egypt): Cart on a small square

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