Published: January 8th 2012January 5th 2012
My final day. I’m sort of sad about it. I really loved Egypt. The elections were amazing to witness and I was able to experience so much all over the country. But my day has come. The last thing on my ‘to do’ travel list was to explore more of Islamic Cairo. Regis Philbin and I (see Alex post if you don’t get it) set off again.
Our first stop is the Mohammed Ali Mosque (no, not the boxer). The mosque itself is in the Citadel which was built in 1176 to protect the city from Crusaders. So basically, think of the Citadel as a big fort. Back to the mosque – it has alabaster on the outside which is unique and contains Mohammed Ali’s tomb on the inside. And it’s field with beautiful lights, as most mosques are. Regis (okay, his real name is Abou) sat me down in the mosque and gave me about an hour long tutorial about the Islamic religion.
After a great lesson we headed to the mosque I wanted to see the most – the Barack Obama mosque. That’s not its official name but apparently Obama toured it when he was in Egypt
last so many locals and guides now refer to it as the Barack Obama mosque. Its real name is Mosque Madrassa of Sultan Hassan. Like virtually every religious site here – absolutely beautiful.
My final mosque of the day is Al-Azhar built around AD970. It’s a mosque, but connected to a university where people come from all over the world to study Sunni theology. And it’s the world’s second-oldest educational institution.
By 1:30 my time in Islamic Cairo was done and it was time for me to meet up with Sasha to do my last minute shopping in Khan al-Khalili. I had my mind set on a light fixture (Cairo has lots of unique lighting handcrafted right here). I bought one, some silver earrings, Ramadan fabric, and 3 alabaster candle holders I had had my eye on over the past few weeks.
Next up was trying to fit in all in my suitcase. Worst. Part. Of. The. Day. Even though I bought another suitcase in Egypt to help me lug it all home, it still wasn’t enough. I crammed things in as best I could and left a few items behind.
The finale would be a
dinner with Sasha, Josh, and Amy at the very best restaurant in Cairo – Abdel Wahab. It’s actually Lebanese food, not Egyptian but oh so good.
There are more photos below