Jahr: 2012

Tahrir Square

Before Friday afternoon we several times crossed Tahrir Square remembering the time when Karim El-Gawhary reported about the “Arab Spring” on Austrian TV. We again saw people gathering for next demonstrations as these were just the days when Mursi made himself the next “Pharao”. Concerned about the large gap brought into the Egyptian Society by the Muslim brothers we stayed in the guest rooms of the Comboni Fathers in Cordi Jesu. There we could watch the places we visited a few hours ago in TV by webcams.

Islamic Cairo

Two days before flying back to Austria, on a Thursday, we took the chance to visit the Islamic Cairo with the Al Azahr mosque and Khan Al Khaili. We went there by taxi and walked back. Both took us a long time through the total traffic jam mixed with all the portable sales booths along the whole way.

St. Simon and the Zabbaleen

Like at our first visit with Juliana in Cairo she again took us to the Mokattam area so also Maria and Gerhard could get this very special impression. El Mokattam is a mountain at the edge of Cairo with a special religious story. It is linked to St. Simon the Tanner whom a monastery behind the Manschiyyet Nasser neighbourhood, where the Zabbaleen (Garbage people) live, is dedicated. The Manschiyyet Nasser village is mostly inhabited by coptic christians (Zabbaleen) who collect and sort the garbage of Cairo. Both the Sister of Mercy (Mother Theresa) and Sr. Emmanuelle (a Sister of Notre Dame de Sion) did here great work for the education and healthcare of the people. For example, she founded Gabal El Mokattam School, which is now run by the Daughters of Mary, and a clinic. This school and the clinic are important sources of education, health and values for these families. After driving through the narrow roads of Manschiyyet Nasser you get to the Monstery of St. Simon the Tanner with huge churches cut into the rock. …

Cairo Citadelle

After another day in Berba we again had to drive back to Cairo. Entering this large town we visited the Citadelle. Maria, Gerhard and Barbara walked through these most precious mosques of Cairo. I stayed with Juliana enjoying time in sharing our ideas and thougths about Egypts future. Then we continued to Moqatam, the housing area of the Zabbalin, the “garbage people” and a large monastery.

Petrol lack

Since the revolution there is an remarkable lack of gas in Egypt. In Cairo it is easier to find gas but in Upper Egypt it really is a difficult and a long term project to get the gas you need. Between Cairo and Minia on a distance of 30km we maybe found 3 gas stations with gasoline but no with fuel of 90 or 92 octane. There are at least three different explanations for this situation. Egypt does not have oil or a refinery. So till now always the products like gasoline or fuel had to be imported. Some say the since the revolution in Lybia Egypt doesn’t get gas anymore from Lybia. Lack of money? Lack of gas in Lybia? Who knows. Some say Egypt is to much supporting Gaza meaning Hamas. This support is not very appreciated by the liberal Egyptian people. And the last maybe best explanation means that there is no petrol lack at all, but a problem of distribution in Egypt. Its a question of money and black market! So …

Temple in Dendara

On the way back from Luxor to Berba we first passed Dendara and visited the Temple of Hathor. Dendera is a small town in Egypt situated on the west bank of the Nile, about 5 km south of Qena, on the opposite side of the river. The Dendera Temple complex, which contains the Temple of Hathor, is one of the best preserved temples, if not the best, in all Egypt. Entering this temple from one hall to the next until you get to the Inner Sanctuary you can very well imagine how the Temple of Jerusalem looked like. A fascinating idea! The whole complex covers some 40,000 square meters and is surrounded by a hefty mud brick wall. The present building dates back to the times of the Ptolemaic dynasty and was completed by the Roman emperor Tiberius, but it rests on the foundations of earlier buildings dating back at least as far as Khufu (known as the pyramid builder Cheops, the second king of the 4th dynasty [c. 2613–c. 2494 BC]). There are also Roman …

Feluka on the Nile

At an earlier visit to Luxor we enjoyed a nice ride with a feluka to Banana Island. So we suggested this idea to Gerhard and Maria, who were visiting Luxor for the first time. This time we “enjoyed” almost not moving on the Nil as there was almost no wind. But the tea served by a young boy was good and we had a relaxing time. Why is it the young boy of about 12 years who has to do the whole work on the boat, while two Egyptian men are sitting or even sleeping in the boat? Who will get the money we paid for this trip??? There seems to be much injustice and exploitation of their own people in this society!