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Although MamaMona didn’t tag me she did say she was interested in seeing this done for 8 places in Egypt. So here it is:
Where Would Your 8 Homes Be?
List them. You don’t have to list your reasons, but if you do at least for a few of them, it would be more fun. And remember that the only rule is: the homes must be within the borders of the United States of America or else, within the borders of the country you live in, so as to utterly emulate the McCains. When you’re done, tag 8 people, so that they may join in the self-indulgence, forgetting about the crappy property market and the equivalent of The End of Pompeii on Wall-Street. You could spend your time hammering your doors and windows shut in preparation for the apocalypse instead, but it would be much less fun.
Alexandria at night
Alexandria. Alexandria is the love of my life, it is said that Alexians can live anywhere in the world but will always want to move back and live there. It is a city with a rich historic tapestry from the Greeks to the Romans to Alexander the great to the Arabs and the Brits and the French. It is a coastal city and like most coastal cities it is a metropolitan filled with so many different nationalities. It is lazy compared to Cairo but it overlooks the Mediterranean and its architecture is so filled with buildings from the turn of the century with Parisian design. It was originally designed like a grid but with todays population and it’s ever expansion it has lost some of its original form but it is still Alexandria. When you travel the Cairo Alex desert rode, once at the toll station comming into Alex you can smell the sea, feel the salty breeze and hear Fairuz singing. The weather is nice most of the year except for August which is very hot and January which is quite cold and rainy, but who cares the sun eventually shines. It is ultimately more enjoyable in the winter when the summer tourists are gone. I would love to live in one of those ancient buildings down town, the ones that are a hundred years old. My dream home would have a huge balcony where I would have a swing and a breakfast nook and a comfortable chair where I could enjoy the sunrises and sunsets with a book and a cup of Turkish coffee.
Cairo at night
Cairo. Cairo or the city that never sleeps as it is often called is over populated, polluted, noisy and very crowded. It is crazy over there, you can easily get stuck in a traffic jam for literally hours, if you live in a crowded area you can not open your windows and if you want silence buy some ear plugs. That doesn’t mean it is not amazing. Imagine a really old lady, she was very elegent when she was younger and pretty, she has aged gracefully but you can see her wrinkles, her joints are old and painful but she still has a sparkle in her eyes. That is Cairo, I would love to live in one of three places; an appartment overlooking the Nile in Zamalek, a house in Maadi or a house in Garden City. I love Zamalek it has my favorite bookstore (Diwan, not to mention a couple of really nice used booksellers), culture place (Sakyet el Sawi), my favorite pasta place (Didos, it’s really small like two tables but the prices are really funny cheap and its a fun hangout) and my favorite pizza place (Maison Thomas).
Aswan. We spent our honeymoon in Aswan so I have a soft spot for it. It is a super lazy city. We were the youngest tourists when we were there, most of the tourists were senior citizens. But it is a haven for nature, islands in the nile, sand dunes, temples, Pharaohs , Nubian heritage, the High Dam and amazing scenery. I would love to retire here and live on a small island surrounded by the Nile and enjoy long walks and buy a small rowing boat to move across the Nile banks.
Port Fouad. Port Fouad is across Port Said on the other side of the Suez canal, it looks like an old English town actually with lovely small houses, trees and lots of green areas. I visited there once when I was younger and thought it was one of the prettiest towns ever. We stayed at relatives and they had a lovely garden and mango trees, so I think that explains why I fell in love with it
Siwa. The first time I visited Siwa was back in 1997, it was my mother’s idea (haven’t I told you she’s a visionary) it was in February and it was the Smaller Eid and she talked the whole family into going, rented a bus and made reservations at Siwa’s only hotel ( at the time it was the only one available ). So there we were, cousins, second cousins and my grandmother’s cousin who had been to Siwa in the fifties and is a photographer and had these superb pictures from the fifties and wanted to see it again, on our way to Siwa and the trip took 12 hours because a tyre went flat and we stopped in Marsa Matrouh. By the time we got there it was night so it looked boring. In the morning we were surprised to find this oasis in the middle of the desert, palm trees everywhere and everywhere they dug a hole water would come gushing out. You could find hot water springs with boiling hot water next to cool water springs. It was incredible. I would love to live there and open a little health spa for relaxation and just live the simple life.
Fayoum. In an attempt to recreate the Siwa vacation, my mom decided that we should see Fayoum, and again rented the bus, made reservation and convinced everyone to come. We got lost getting there and had a mix up with the hotel but it was all worth it. It is so beautiful out there.
Red Sea Coast
Red Sea Coast. If you have ever driven on the Red Sea Coast you will know what I mean, there are places where the road is sandwiched between rock cliffs and the sea, it is just gorgeous. Just a one story house that opens directly on the sand and the sea with the backdrop of the mountains would be heaven on earth for me. Number 8. I can’t decide on number eight but I like Sidi Abd El Rahman, it’s on the Med again and it’s a resort more than a city or town. Hurgada would be great too, you are in a city but it’s a small one and the kids would have lots of fun and I think it is quite safe too. Luxor is like Aswan but more lively so it is an option. I’ve never been to Ismailia but from what I’ve seen on TV and read it is like Port Said and Port Fouad so I might like to live there too.
we koli sho2 we a7lam.
This is exactly how I feel. Yes I know Egypt is a mess but if we are not going to fix it then who is? If we have given up then who will help this phoenix rise up from its ashes?
The song is amazing, and this specific YouTube version is of Alex, which makes it even meaningful to me.
I turn on some music (Omar Faruk Tekbilek – One Truth Album), take out the coldest Diet Pepsi in the fridge and close my eyes and am amazingly moved to a different place in the world. My own world, where I don’t change diapers, where I still have a high rolling career and where the breeze is fresh and the sun shines softly and you can hear the waves in the background.