Tag Archives: nile

Random Cairo

This is the last collective OOTD post from Egypt, with snippets and/or complete outfits from the days after Eid but before my vacation, and the last two days in curfew-ridden Cairo. Many of the pictures are low in quality as they are taken in the night or at sunset, so please bear with it.

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(What I’m wearing: Headscarf: Stradivarius, neck scarf: Stradivarius, chiffon shirt: Vero Moda, long jungle print tunic: H&M, leopard-patterned pants: Vero Moda, harness belt: Urban Outfitters)

This first outfit was an emergency OOTD, only really worn in the taxi to my friend’s house and back. She had her henna party that day, and so my actual, non-hijab appropriate outfit is hiding in my bag.

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(What I wore: Scarf: Forever21, college style oversized shirt: River Island, chiffon longline kimono-cardigan: Stradivarius, tribal print colorful pants: Vero Moda)

My third and final visit to Rab3a to check the situation took place – like the other two – right before massive violence. The first time I visited the day before the fagr prayer shootings, the second time I actually had to leave the place as the police had started shooting teargas and bullets in Nasr street starting the second big incident, and this time it preceded the clearing of the area (and even greater casualties, with total numbers still unclear). The paint guy (or tan Tamer Hosny lookalike, according to my friend) above insisted that we take a picture, and we got photo bombed, as you can tell.

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(What I wore: Headscarf: Stradivarius, neck scarf: Gina Tricot, sequin blazer jacket: Mango, baggy tank top: H&M, floral chiffon maxi skirt: New Look, most adorable kitten in the world: pet store, haha)

Getting back to Cairo following my El Gouna trip, I was just not prepared to stay in. Curfews and Imaan don’t mix, and additionally I had been craving sushi throughout Ramadan. My room mate (the owner of the above adorable Persian kitten) had tried to call places around Zamalek with no luck. Luckily, Sheikh Google came to the rescue, and with its assistance I was able to identify Makany as a place with owners who care as much about the curfew as I do. My roomie and her fiance was easily convinced to join me rebelling against the idiotic rule, and thus I finally got myself a long-awaited sushi meal (after crossing empty streets and some civilian checkpoints).

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I woke up relatively early the last day in Cairo to go have lunch with one of my favorite people from college and our new, awesome friend. Left Bank on the Nile is perfect for breakfast and lunch both food and atmosphere wise, and so we had a great time (until they closed for the curfew, boo hoo). Farewell, my beloved Cairo. May we meet again soon.

neon-blue

(What I wore: pashmina scarf: Ebay, palm tree patterned cardigan: River Island, neon top: Bershka, flowy maxi skirt: Zara, lace tiered maxi skirt: Urban Outfitters, bag: Guess, accessories: Zara, ASOS, H&M, River Island, Icing)

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Catching Up Big Time

I’m back in the US with a pretty stable internet connection, which means you will be seeing a lot of posts from my last weeks in Egypt (I know, I’ve been really bad with updates as I’ve been without internet on my computer for a while – check out my Instagram for more timely material). I’ll start with five outfits representing what I wore for the last days of Ramadan, with details posted below each picture. As I’ve noted in previous posts, Ramadan in Cairo is full of social activities and fun, and these last days were no different. As I spent the last part of my stay in Zamalek there were a lot of outings by the Nile, whether an after-iftar farewell party on a feluka on the river with some of the awesome start-up people there, or more calmer, good-quality dining on its banks. I also managed to get some really sha3by activities down, going to the famous El Brins in the populous district of Imbaba for an unforgettable meal (really, I never knew something as simple as rice could taste that good) as well as conducting some late night kebda (liver) and sogo2 (spicy oriental sausage) sandwich hunting close to Tahrir square. How I miss you already, ya Masr.

potatobagdress

Crinkled head scarf: H&M, neck scarf: Egypt, baggy geometric print maxi dress: Stradivarius, fringed bag: ASOS, ethnic embroidered belt: Urban Outfitters, shades: Urban Outfitters, shoes: Club Aldo (Egypt).

neondots

Multicolor printed scarf: Zara, crinkled neck scarf: H&M, chiffon shirt: Vero Moda, neon shirt: Bershka, polka dot palazzo pants: Forever21, accessories: River Island

somethingsomething

Headscarf: Vida Hijabs, denim shirt: Ebay, sleeveless mixed animal-floral print shirt: Vero Moda, gladiator belt: ASOS, maxi skirt: Stradivarius, clutch: vintage, accessories: Ebay, Icing

matchymatchy

Peach scarf: Ebay, neck scarf: H&M, sleeveless pastel python print blouse: Mango, pastel python print pants: Mango, necklace: H&M

nileflowers

Scarf: Norway, floral dramatic sleeve blouse: Boohoo, denim wrap belt: taken from denim Vero Moda harem pants, maxi skirt: Zara

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Flowers and How to Love Cairo

This is sort of neat: one day I wore a flower print jumpsuit, the next day I found and posed with a bush looking pretty much the same as the other day’s print in one of Cairo’s tiny and random public gardens (small reasons for happiness, as you soon will learn). As you all probably know, Cairo is far from the greenest city in the world. Crowded, dusty, and noisy, with packed streets running crisscross between faded behemoths of apartment buildings, it is quite an overwhelming place for many a visitor, and an occasional pain for residents and returning enthusiasts. Still, Cairo remains my favorite city in the world. It is mine. It has soul. I wouldn’t trade it for the beauty of Barcelona, the hipness of Istanbul, nor the relatively organized-ness of gridded US cities like Chicago or New York.

Of course, surviving and coming to love the city is a matter of attitude. To be happy here, you need to adjust your expectations, learn to chill, and adopt a positive outlook. Yes, the city can be an eyesore in broad daylight; learn to appreciate the full potential of its splendor by night – the closer to sunrise the better, as you will have the city almost all to yourself. Cruise across the full extent of an empty 6th of October bridge as the night turns to dawn with some Oum Kalthoum playing in the background to fall in love with the city anew (I did this last Ramadan – traveling from a sohoor gathering in El Dokki after fagr to my place in El Rehab felt almost magical).

Stuck in the infamous Cairo traffic? Observe the various and highly creative forms of non-verbal communication you will not encounter the likes of anywhere else but here. Let your thoughts fly. Read a book. Call a long lost friend. There are many solutions to such a problem. And if you are suffocating from the pollution and noise, you need not look far for an escape. Get on a faluka (boat) from El Maadi (the non-motorized, quiet one) with snack and good friends, enjoy the priceless view and impeccably chill music in Sequoia at the edge of Zamalek overlooking/being surrounded by the Nile, or even better in my opinion (and waaay cheaper), pay five geneih (less than a dollar) to enter Al Azhar park at night (a true oasis in the middle of the city), grab a to-go cup of tea from the outdoor coffee shop, sit on the grassy hill overlooking parts of the city, and talk or reflect while listening to the taraweeh prayers of a hundred mosques (in Ramadan, that is).

 

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Learn to enjoy the simple things you may encounter in the city. Did the taxi driver actually give you the exact change back, including halfs or quarters? What a pleasant surprise! Particularly green gardens in between buildings and cars (like the one above) are to be appreciated. Stores that close at 11 or midnight? Yes, please. Oh, and perhaps the most missed aspect, according to friends who go back and forth or who end up leaving; anything and everything can be delivered to you. At almost any point of the day or night. Groceries, medication, or Mac Donalds at your doorstep? Why, of course. There are a plethora of other small issues to jump with joy over, of course, but I’ll let you discover those on your own (let me know if you already did – what is there to love about Cairo?).

rosesarered

Scarf: Vida Hijabs (check out their Facebook page here), ethnic patterned kimono cardigan: Zara, leopard print top: Indiska (Norway), maxi skirt: Stradivarius, accessories: ASOS, Ebay.

tropicalflower

Scarf: Ebay, neck scarf: H&M, oversized shirt: Bershka, tropical flower print jumpsuit: Mango, ethnic black and white belt: River Island, accessories: Icing, River Island.

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