Friday, June 29, 2012

Islamic Cairo: Al-Hakim Mosque


DSC_0370
I have to say, while the trip to Coptic Cairo was amazing, Islamic Cairo is one of my favorite places in Cairo.  While I am not a big history buff, I do  have a deep appreciation for beautiful architecture and the culture and tradition it represents. I love the whole ambience inside Islamic Cairo, it's almost romantic. Here are some things you need to know when visiting Islamic Cairo:





1. Islamic Cairo is not more or less Islamic than the rest of the city, but it's the area of the city which holds the most, the greatest and the most famous Islamic monuments. Many of 
these raised by the Fatimid caliphs who founded the city Cairo (preceded by Fustat or Old Cairo). Unlike Islamic quarters in other cities, people, often quite poor, continue to live by historic monuments and mosques. A huge, bustling center of worship, trade, shopping and commuting - it's a must-see for any visitors and deserves at least a couple of days exploring. (from here. Lazy, I know.) 


2. Be sure to visit the Al-Hakim Mosque, one of the largest Fatimid mosques in Cairo, Bayt Al-Sihaymi, one of the best-preserved Ottoman merchant houses and Khan el Kahlili market, where you can buy souvenirs to take home with you.

3. It might be a good idea to hire a tour guide to discuss with you the historical significance of each site. The truth is, tourism in Egypt isn't doing very well. The tour guide provided by the school for me told me that before the revolution, they used to do tours everyday. Now they're lucky if they can work once a week. It's true. that day, we barely saw any other tourists than me. So if you have some extra LE to spend, then go hire a tourist guide. 

4. Bring money for buying souvenirs. This is where a tour guide might also be useful, they can help out in bargaining with vendors. And let me tell you that bargaining is a skill set all its own.

5. BRING WATER. Bring extra clothes. Put deodorant on. It was one hot day.

6. Bring you camera.

Speaking of, here are the pictures:

DSC_0372







DSC_0375
This is the entrance to Islamic Cairo.




DSC_0379
Inside the Al-Hakim Mosque.




DSC_0382
The mosque has once been a prison and school. It really is beautiful. I wonder how often they have to clean that marble floor.




DSC_0384

The design and architecture is like a newer version of the Mosque of Ibn Tulun, which I got to visit several weeks ago.




DSC_0389
This is Lamia my tour guide.




DSC_0390
So I match with the place. Oh, and my zipper's open. Tsk, tsk.




DSC_0391

So hot, you can see the veins popping out on my airport of a forehead.




DSC_0394






DSC_0395






DSC_0396

As always, the sky in Cairo is flawlessly blue, with nary a cloud in sight.




DSC_0397
Boy, I could've taken a dip in this.




DSC_0398







DSC_0399






DSC_0406














DSC_0408







DSC_0409

Where they kneel to pray.




DSC_0410







DSC_0411
Then off we went to our next stop.




DSC_0412







DSC_0413

I wish I had more time to walk around. I love these kinds of streets.




DSC_0417






DSC_0419

Here we are at our next stop. But that's for another post.



10 comments:

  1. You take such breath-taking pictures!!! Parang gusto ko na rin mag-Egypt! :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. hello aisa from asia! Thank you! You should! You'll never run out of exciting places to visit in Egypt! Road trip tayo nila anne!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. SO SO PROUD TO SAY THIS MASJID WAS BUILT BY MY FATHER OF MY SOUL....SYEDNA MOHAMMED BURHANUDDIN AQA.

    ReplyDelete

Labels

airline review (1) animals (3) Barcelona (2) beach (7) buildings (2) Cairo (14) children (5) color (1) drawing/painting (4) Egypt (12) erin (4) exercise (1) flower (1) food (4) iped (13) JVP (7) Museums (4) New York (23) Philippines (4) Photography (1) photos (1) Red Sea (1) South Africa (4) Spain (1) sun (1) sunset (1) travel (44) video (1) videoke (1) wael (4)

Why you should Travel (click photo)