Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Wishes!

May all your Christmas wishes, be they big...
or small...
come true!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Solstice!

May the return of light to the world be reflected in your own life...
Solstice "Bonfire"
Solstice Sunrise at Karnak Temple

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Amid street clashes, civilians coordinate to rescue rare documents

Piles of books from the Egyptian Scientific Institute were collected on Sheikh Rihan Street after the building was set on fire on 17 December.
The salvage efforts undertaken for the remains of the collection at the Institut d'Égypte are thanks to civilian volunteers who are obviously concerned about their country's heritage. There appears to be no help forthcoming from the military. Indeed, they seem to be placing barriers in the way of these efforts! Read the whole article at
Cover of "Description de l'Egypte - Planches" found on Sheikh Rihan Street after the Egyptian Scientific Institute building caught fire on 17 December.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pablo (and Lucky)

Pablo is a good, solid cat who takes loving care of his mom, Lucky.
Pablo under the palm tree
Lucky and Pablo

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cairo Businesses

I am titling this post "Cairo Businesses", meaning storefronts, to distinguish it from one I will do later called "Cairo Street Vendors".

United Colours of Bention?? Love the tire/wheel in the tree!

Umm! Coffee beans!!
Some great old-style machines here
My favorite: the fez/tarboush shop
COMING UP: Well, I haven't decided yet... So, be surprised!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Al-Azhar Mosque in Islamic Cairo

Today I will try to keep my remarks to a minimum, since the whole point is to share the photos. Today's batch were taken on March 3, 2010. For more information, check out the Wikipedia article on Al-Azhar.
Minarets in three different styles
Wall niche, known as a mihrab, that indicates the Qiblah (Mecca)
Mihrab detail showing the lovely stone "eggs"
Our enthusiastic young guide was very eager to show us this marvelous book from the mosque library. I wish I had a copy!
COMING UP: Cairo Businesses

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Akhmim: Meritamun and the Church of St. Mercurius

The morning after our visit to the two monasteries we hired a taxi and drove (accompanied by our ever-present police escort--R. even had to have a policeman accompany him when he left the hotel to buy cigarettes!) across the Nile to Akhmim, the location of both the statue of Meritamun and the Church of St. Mercurius.

For some more info about the Meritamun statue you can visit: the SCA's page and/or the page on Egyptian Monuments' blog. There's not much information on the Church of St. Mercurius on the Internet, but you might want to read about the saint himself. A book which has some lovely photographs (including one of the ciborium which I did not see!) is The Churches of Egypt: From the Journey of the Holy Family to the Present Day by Gawdat Gabra and Gertrud J.M. van Loon (AUC Press, 2007).
Rogério provides a sense of the scale of the statue!

TOMORROW: Al Azhar Mosque in Cairo

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Deir el-Ahmar and Deir el-Abyad (Red and White Monasteries)

I've been thinking about all the experiences and adventures I've had in my seven seasons in Egypt and how I haven't written about even a third of them. So I'm going to try and share a photo or two a day as a taste of the wonders of this country.

Today, it's the Red and White Monasteries near Sohag. My friend Rogério and I had the chance to visit these two sites at the end of February 2010. For more information try these two Wikipedia articles: the Red Monastery and the White Monastery.
Deir el-Ahmar -- The Red Monastery
Deir el-Abyad -- The White Monastery
TOMORROW: The statue of Meritamun at Ahkmim

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Ozzie at the Window

He's at my office window, desperate to get in to use the library, of course!