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Lee Rudd | all galleries >> Travels and Adventures >> Egypt 2005/2006 > Rivers of Blood
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10-JAN-2006 Lee Rudd

Rivers of Blood

Cairo, Egypt

Tuesday 10th January 2006
Day 388

So the sleeper train to Cairo was pretty uneventful despite me getting little sleep and having my insides oscillated to heck and back! For the first time in what seems ages, I can sleep in a bed that isn't rocking in one direction or another, although my head still thinks that the earth is rocking...

We took in a tour to Coptic and Islamic Cairo today. The Coptic church is one of the oldest Christian communities, dating from the 3rd century in Egypt. In fact, some of the rituals can be traced back to Pharonic times, as can the Coptic religious language one of the keys to deciphering the Hieroglyphics, using the Rosetta stone. The Coptic community in Cairo is ancient, and the streets surrounding the main churches are rabbit warrens. Rather surprisingly, there was a Synagogue nearby as well, although few active Jewish families remain in Egypt.

Three mosques were visited, Amr ibm al-As on the site of the first mosque founded in Egypt, Mohammed Ali built by the first leader of modern Egypt in the early 19th century and is modelled on Turkish lines., and an-Nasir Mohammed, whose main claim to fame is the last remaining Mamluk building in Cairo's citadel. From the exterior terrace of the Mosque of Mohammed Ali, there is a view over all of Cairo. Today's visibility was so good, because of the lack of traffic due to the holiday, amongst other things, that the Great pyramids and others were visible, several miles away.

I admit that today's PaD may not be to everyone's taste. However, today was the feast day of Eid al-Adha. This marks the start of the Hadj, the time of pilgrimage to Mecca. A holiday for all Muslims, it is marked by mass prayer, and the ritual slaughter, on the streets, of sheep and cows. The meat is offered as a gift to the poor, while the fleece or hide is used, either commercially or within the family.

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Guest 17-Jan-2006 19:30
Great candid and capturing of life here.
Ric Yates17-Jan-2006 19:12
Just part of everyday life! Not sure what we'd make of it if someone walked down our local street though!
Rochelle Weiss17-Jan-2006 18:11
What an interesting character.
Guest 16-Jan-2006 17:34
Interesting ritual and photo.
Good thing I'm allergic to lamb. :)
Guest 15-Jan-2006 02:23
Great photo. But I will tell you that after having been in Afghanistan for a year I don't ever want to eat sheep or goat again. LOL
Gail Davison13-Jan-2006 19:46
sounds all in a good cause but I certainly wouldn't want to watch. Great photo though.
Coleen Perilloux Landry12-Jan-2006 19:35
I think it is a great photo and whether we like it or not, this is a custom and a history of the people of the region. So, I was right--you are in Egypt?