Cairo, Egypt | Seosamh Mac Giolla Phádraig

Despite the advice from my government and even Egyptian colleagues, I stubbornly persisted with my plan to visit Cairo in mid-December 2014 and while my safety was never compromised it was hard to ignore the paranoia in the dictatorship of Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi.
Tourism was down 80 percent since the beginning of the Arab Spring which destabilized the whole region so those working in tourism were desperate for support. The only silver lining for a tourist in such an environment of desperation and fear is that key sites are easy to access. The Egyptian Museum has more unadmired mummies than a Pharaoh could shake his crook at while even the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid lies empty near the close of the day. Hearing my lone voice echo in this amazing space will doubtless be the highlight of my touristic life. Seosamh Mac Giolla Phádraig

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001001 – Government forces primed and ready for action outside the Egyptian Museum which lies next to Tahrir Square where Egyptians gathered in 2011 to topple the dictatorship of President Hosni Mubarak and where Egyptians gathered in 2013 to bring down the curtain on the short-lived democratically elected government of Mohamed Morsi.

002002 – The Egyptian Museum on Wasim Hassan which is currently undergoing a major restoration befitting of its magnificent collection of priceless artifacts.

003003 – The minaret of the Al-Fath Mosque on Midan Ramsis which is one of Cairo’s greatest landmarks.

004004 – In Cairo’s most famous souq area, Khan El Khalili, lies the stunning Qalun Mosque.

005005 – Children enjoying an evening game of pool by the sidewalk in the neighborhood surrounding the walls of Salah El Din Citadel.

006006 – A breathtaking view as dusk descends on the impoverished neighborhood between Salah El Din Citadel and Sultan Hassan Mosque.

007007 – Sand and sky frame the Pyramid of Menkaure and Pyramid of Khafre at the Giza Necropolis.

008008 – The Great Sphinx stands sentinel to the Great Pyramid at the Giza Necropolis.

009009 – The architecturally interesting burial chambers in the Greek Orthodox Cemetery in Coptic Cairo.

010010 – The view from Cairo Tower of the lush greenery by the Nile reminds one of the Nile’s essential role in the agricultural life of Egypt past and present.

© 2015 Seosamh Mac Giolla Phádraig