Akhenaten is for many Egyptians something of a hero, a rebel with a distinct religious vision. In his lifetime, however, he was reviled by many as a megalomaniac and troublemaker. We take a day trip to the king’s purpose-built capital city, Tell El-Amarna.
Egyptian history is often divided into eras: The Pharaonic, the Greek, the Coptic, the Islamic. What such divisions fail to convey are the strong currents of continuity linking the ancient to the modern.
The first in a series featuring the historic monuments along Sharia Mu`izz li-Din Allah – the Qasaba, or great artery of Fatimid Cairo. For almost nine hundred years this ceremonial way was a favourite building site for those who held power. Each monument has a story to tell. Today, when the sun goes down and the lights come on, it is magic hour at the monuments.
There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding Cairo’s khedivial city centre. Will the historic buildings be restored? Will they all be sold to private investors? We look at what’s in store for the city’s architectural treasure trove.
Much of the nation’s railroad heritage lies in various stages of neglect, rotting in sheds or sidings, or in poorly maintained museum displays. What is needed is an injection of funds, and a little imagination, and Egypt’s railroad heritage could turn into quite an investment.
Constructing the Great Pyramid at Giza was a massive task, requiring a labour force of perhaps 100,000 workers. Now archaeologists are unearthing the lost city in which they lived, complete with streets, barracks and bakeries.
In the quiet backstreets of Old Cairo, a traditional art is being lovingly revived. Craftsmen are once more creating pottery and ceramic designs drawn from their nation’s rich heritage.
Egypt is overflowing with museums, and each overflows with its own set of trivia. To fill you in, below are some of the most intriguing, yet little-known facts about Egypt’s museums.
Among the many fascinating districts of Cairo is that of Bab Al Sha’ria. Once home to the city’s elite, it soon became home to a bustling community of craftsmen, traders and entertainers. Not only was it a hub for a diversity of trades, it was also a melting pot for people of many ethnicities.
Mohamed Ali Pasha’s career as ruler of Egypt started out with a decisive and bloody act. Inviting his rivals to enjoy coffee and entertainment at the Citadel, he then had every last one of them slaughtered.
Egyptian artist Huda Lutfi is considered a pioneer of the movement of bridging past and present through contemporary art, and part of a growing circle of artists appropriating historic texts, symbols and icons into contemporary expressions.
Many of the instruments used by Egyptian musicians today have their roots in Pharaonic times, from drums and cymbals through to lutes, harps and trumpets.