Three Stops on the Cairo Metro

Mar Girgis Saad Zaghloul Giza Pending the completion of Johannesburg’s Gautrain, the Cairo Metro is the only rapid transit system in Africa. And for all the rot and deterioration that characterizes much of Cairo’s city center, it’s surprisingly clean and efficient, with stations that possess a maintenance level and design savvy that would be the […]

Posted in: Africa and Middle East, Transportation by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Three Stops on the Cairo Metro , , ,

Finding Peace in Bujumbura

The central part of Bujumbura was laid out during colonial days, and features a classic City Beautiful rond-point, around which vehicle traffic is channeled. The Chaussée Prince Louis Rwagazore and the Chausée Peuple Murundi come together here. Bujumbura is the capital of Burundi, Rwanda’s non-identical twin in the Great Lake Region of Central Africa. Like […]

Posted in: Africa and Middle East, Politics, Society and Culture by Mary Soderstrom Comments Off on Finding Peace in Bujumbura

“I’m a Nigga Forever”

“I’m a nigga forever,” said Yasser, introducing himself. He looked more like a buff Arab in a homeboy costume: big jeans, Nike trainers, and a revolver in his back pocket. Yasser was incongruous with the provincial city of Rada, Yemen. Most people around him were scrawny men in the traditional chequered keffiyah, proudly wearing dangling […]

Bulging Cheeks in Sana’a

Old Sana’a: bricks and gingerbread Yemen’s capital is known for its dense streets of brick buildings with white icing. There’s nothing like it anywhere else. But there’s another curious and unique thing about Sana’a: all the men in town have bulging cheeks!

Streetcorners in Alexandria

Posted in: Africa and Middle East by Patrick Donovan 2 Comments , ,

Morning Coffee: Cafés in Old Cairo

El Fishawy is the best known café in Cairo and a favourite of Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz Mention Cairo, and the first things that come to mind are the pyramids. Why do I consider this unfortunate? Because the pyramids are a remnant of a dead civilization, and Cairo today is a living city of […]

Skyscrapers in the Desert

Shibam is certainly one of the most architecturally outstanding places in the world. This dense walled maze of five hundred mud-brick skyscrapers seems to grow right out of the Yemeni desert. Many of its buildings date back to the 1500s—the city is as impressive from a distance as it is inside the city walls.

Metatourism in Alexandria

I stumbled upon these unloved old tourism paintings on a neglected building in the back streets of Alexandria, Egypt. Somehow they fed my enthusiasm about Egypt, yet newer promotional material would have had the opposite effect. How long does it take for marketing to become heritage?

Posted in: Africa and Middle East, Art and Design, Heritage and Preservation by Patrick Donovan Comments Off on Metatourism in Alexandria , , , ,