Updated: Aug 25, 2022
Knowing that we were in town we are invited to a show called “UNVEILED” by and with Robina Malik. It is a strong, provocative, probably autobiographical work, which has been very successful in England and the USA.
In our free hours we move to meet many people who want to meet or greet us. We have lunch with the best "Foul and Taameya" bean soup and felafel at ZOOBA with Liz, Ash's aunt, who came from New York for work: she has been working in Cairo for many years, she has a mixed family, she is a profound connoisseur of the two cultures in comparison.
Cairo is a strange place: next to a Porsche you can see a fruit cart pulled by a donkey. Sometimes my head is spinning. The noise, the heat, the traffic of that city are tiring; in faces you find yourself dodging cars and horrible tok tok everywhere, just to take a stroll on foot, the sidewalks are often not the best and sand appears everywhere, because the city born on a desert.
But infinite treasures can suddenly rattle off.
With our students we go to see the Dervishes praying and dancing in the "El Ghoreya" building, dating back to 1400, a market place and a mix of people. This prayer is a great tribute to God in Dance and Music, all immersed in a very chaotic and busy area of the Market and Mosques. They spin, sing and pray for hours, outside everything runs like crazy.
My head is spinning.
We then go to the recently opened "Museam for Egyption Civilization", where we find ourselves in the middle of the ancient Egyptian civilization. Between mummies and sarcophagi I arrive in a circular colored room, with Middle Eastern music and the dance starts ... I'm afraid they'll arrest me, they don't dance here in museums, but in the end the surveillance leaves me alone, looking at me a little stern a little amused.
In Downtown we eat Koshari together with the girls: we are in the most famous place in the world for this ancient, delicious and vegan recipe! It is a delight with pasta, rice, legumes, vegetables, chilli, garlic, vinegar, cumin at will!
As soon as we have a short break from work we flee from Cairo and go to the sea near the Gulf of Suez. They are two days of relaxation, beautiful water, giant crabs walking on the bottom (I'm a bit scared!), Photos and rest.
We return to the city for other workshops with enthusiastic people participating. At the end of one of these a participant sings with me “Sono un italiano” by Toto Cutugno, which many know here! We work and have fun, here people relate in a fresh, direct, playful way.
We come to the last days. It is time to go back to the large Khan El Khalili market, to delve into the Islamic part with its beautiful architecture.
We spend hours wandering in alleys like labyrinths, until we arrive in the café that was frequented by the great writer Naghib Mahfuz. We drink mango juice, while all around they sing and play
Here we are ready to return, with suitcases increased in number, smiles rediscovered thanks to new colors, meetings, dances, hands and hearts full of other horizons!