Beautiful Siwa 🙂 #Travel #VisitEgypt
Beautiful Siwa 🙂 #Travel #VisitEgypt
Lots of Non-Egyptians or non-Muslims think that the month of Ramadan is ONLY that time of the year where Muslims don’t drink & eat during the day. They perceive more as a religious thing related only to Muslims.
But the truth is that the month of Ramadan is viewed differently in the Arab world and specially in Egypt. Over the long years, the month of Ramadan built its traditions and customs. It became an important time of the year that is celebrated by both Muslims and Christians (of course it still has its religious importance but today it has more than that…)
We tried to collect for you the top things that capture the spirit of Ramadan and that will make you feel its beauty like an Egyptian #WalkLikeAnEgyptian
1- Fanous Ramadan
When you think of Ramadan, the first thing that will pop into your mind is “el-Fanous ” (The Lantern/Ramadan lantern). It is like Christmas tree for Christmas… There is Fanous for Ramadan! 🙂
These beautiful decorated glass lanterns comes into different sizes and colors. Lots of people think that the tradition of Fanous probably began in the 10th century. When al-Califh Al-Muizz entered Egypt, it coincided that it is the beginning of the month. People went out to welcome him, it was night and they took lanterns with them to light the way. It became something symbolic where people (specially young children) buy Fanous to welcome the new month and to play with it and sing special Ramadan songs.
2- Konafa and Ataif (Ramadan sweets)
Ramadan in Egypt is mainly related to FOOOOOD!! During this month in Egypt there is a competition between Egyptian women to show who is the best to make delicious dishes. There are special plates and sweets that are related to the month of Ramadan. The most famous ramadan sweets are Konafa and Ataif.
As long as we are talking about food in Ramadan… No one can forget Khoshaf خشاف . It is a mix of dried fruits (Fig, dates, Raisins, apricots..) soaked in water. It is like a fruit salad!
It is that guy that used to walk in Egypt streets with a small drum, tap on it an hour or two before sunrise in order to wake people up to eat the last meal of the day. That guy’s job was very important before as there were no clock or alarms so his job was very important to let people know that it is time to eat Souhour (Ramadan special meal before sunrise).
The Messaharaty’s job rarely exist today but you will still find photos for him used a lot in commercial related to Ramadan.
5- Family and friends gatherings
One of the amazing things about Ramadan is the family and friends gatherings. All year long, everyone finish his work in different time. Everyone takes lunch or dinner on different time… But during the month of Ramadan, everybody takes the main meal (Iftar) on same time (Sunset) so it is very easy to schedule gatherings for Ifatr or Souhour. It is the perfect time of the year where we can catch up what we missed with family and friend , and enjoy their company for a whole month.
6- Taraweeh Prayer
Ramadan is the best time of the year to catch up on spirituality. Ramadan in general is known as the month of good where the righteous deeds are multiplied in front of God. For everyone, it is like a race for GOOD where most of the people are trying to compete to do righteous deeds like feeding the poor, helping the elderly, giving more charity… and to pray Taraweeh.
Taraweeh are extra prayers performed by Muslims during the night of Ramadan. They are not compulsory. However, many Muslims pray these prayers in the night during Ramadan to meditate and to connect more with God during this holy month.
7- Madfae Ramadan (Ramadan Cannon)
Yeah…Cannon!! 🙂 Back in time, when there were few clocks and people hardly knew prayers times, they used a cannon to let people know the time of Iftar. The cannon was located in the citadel of Saladin. The tradition probably started by coincident. They were cleaning the cannon when a mistaken bullet went in the air and accidently met the exact time of Iftar. People liked the idea and thought it is a new way of informing the people of Iftar time.
They don’t fire cannons anymore but it remained one of the things that symbolize Ramadan in Egypt.
8- Ramadan Decorations
Beside the famous Fanous, people use special decorations for Ramadan to decorate the streets, coffee shops and their houses… They decorate it with small paper-cut colored pyramid shapes decorations.
9- Khan Khalili and Old Fatimid Cairo
The month of Ramadan is always related with everything nostalgic, with old traditons… with the beautiful old past! That’s why it is very famous during the night of Ramadan that people hang out in the cafes in the neighborhood of Faitmid Cairo where old bazars and cafes are situated.
10- Cultural events
After all, Ramadan is not all about spirituality. It is a busy month with busy schedule of concerts and cultural events going around the city. They are mainly events inspired from the folklore and the long history of Egypt.
Visiting important historical sites and be amazed by beautiful landscapes is definitely one the best things one can do. Of course we love to visit and explore new places but what we love and treasure as well is the beautiful people we meet along the way.
Each one we meet along the way has its own beauty, has its uniqueness. Taking the time to know each one, know their passion and their dreams, makes life interesting and beautiful and make the Journey incredible.
Let us share with you every now and then a story of one of these beautiful people we meet along the way.
On our last Walking tour in Old Cairo area (Coptic Cairo), we gathered in a simple café at the Entrance of Old Cairo area called “Old Cairo” as well! It is one of the 2 cafes in Old Cairo. The first look to the Café, it looks so simple and not luxurious at all but when you seat there, they make you feel at home.
The Café is owned by “Mostafa”. Mostafa always lived in Old Cairo (Masr El Adima). He lives in the same building where the café is. He used to own the other café/Restaurant of old Cairo with his brothers. Now, he owns his own Café “Old Cairo Café”. It is a small simple café but he is doing his best to provide good service, he is doing it with love. If you go anytime, you will find him working by himself, sometimes his wife or little daughter helps.
Maybe Mostafa always lived in the same place and worked in the same places as well but he has the world at Home. Literally he has the world! When you are in the café, you will see different people from all around the world, Europeans, Americans, Chinese, Indians…
“Old Cairo Café” is a very beautiful place to seat and enjoy a drink and a small snack while visiting Old Coptic Churches.
Sometimes when we are on our journey pursuing our dreams, we make the mistake of not resting so we won’t waste time.
Few years ago, I read a post by Paulo Coelho called “Dreams: the 12 steps ” and to my surprise I found resting among the 12 steps. It is so true when we take time to relax and rest, what a difference it makes in clearing and rearranging ideas in our mind.
DREAMS: the 12 steps
1. Tell yourself the truth
2. Start slowly, but start
3. Stop slowly, but stop (things you need to stop doing
4. Discover your small talents
5- Don’t base your decisions on financial gain
7. Follow your intuition
8. Don’t be afraid to change your mind
9. Learn how to rest
10. Let things show you a happier path
11. Read the signs
12. Finally, take risks!
Sunny day in Cairo 🙂
Twenty years from now… even 2 or 3 years from now we may regret things we didn’t do…
How many times we hesitate to do something? How many times we want to do something but we choose not to do it… how many times we regret that we didn’t. If we look back at our lives, we will see that the moments we were really happy and enjoyed life are the moments that we decided to look fear in the eyes and DARE to live… those were the moments we felt ALIVE.
In the last 3 years, things changed a lot in Egypt, lots of reforming and lots of manifestations happened, accordingly lots of tourists decided to cancel their trips to Egypt or postpone it till it is stable in Egypt. When thousands of people decided not to come now, others decided to take the initiative and come NOW. With the prices the cheapest and empty sites, it makes you feel like you own the place, it leaves room to the imagination to be a Pharaoh for a moment.
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” Mae West
We decided to take the initiative and travel all over Egypt. If you check our previous post you can see that last November & December we toured Cairo by bicycles. This time, we decided to do something different…
8 days, 3 cities… a #TripToTheSouth
Starting this Thursday Inshallah “if Allah wills” (that’s a common word we use a lot in Egypt) we will go from Cairo to El Gouna, then Luxor and we will end the tour in Aswan. It is a trip of more than 900 KM during 8 days. Follow us to discover the beauty of the south of Egypt, it is a unique chance to take an online free virtual tour.
By the way, is there a certain place or activity you would like to try in any of the 3 cities we will visit? Tell us, and we will take a picture specially for you so you can feel it as you were here …
Please follow the trip on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Walk.Like.An.Egyptian.Page , Instagram @Walk_Like_AnEgyptian and here on our blog.
Every platform will show a different part of the tour, make sure you FOLLOW it all!
In few hours Inshallah, we will be at the airport… Cairo International Airport… see you 😉
Have you ever wondered how it feels to travel by a “Sleeping Train” in Egypt?
Lots of people know that one of the way of go to Luxor or Aswan is to go by the “Sleeping Train”, but actually only few who have experienced how it feels to travel by train. Of course traveling by Airplane is more comfortable, fast… but traveling with the train is an amazing unique experience that one should try (at least once! :D). I traveled a lot with the “Sleeping Train” and I love it!
Picture speaks better than a 1000 words!
Because picture shows more than what one wants to say, so I collected from the internet (flickr) picture from travelers pictures so you can experience a visual tour of how it feels to WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN in the “Sleeping Train”.
If you need to know more details about the schedule and tickets prices, you can check the operating company website. http://www.wataniasleepingtrains.com/Watania/Price_list_%26_Schedule.html
In Great Cairo, there are 2 train stations “Ramsis” and “Giza”. Usually you take the “Sleeping Train” from “Giza Station”.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to stay in your cabin all the time…! 🙂 The train consists of 13 wagons. In the middle, there is one club car for drinks with music in the background.
WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN… Follow our blog and stay in touch with us so you can always read and see what is interesting about Egypt
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Once You Drink From the Nile, You are Destined to Return…. very true :))
At our goodbye party in Egypt, fifteen years ago, we gave out tiny bottles filled with water from the Nile River. Written on the front of the bottle were the words of an Egyptian proverb:
Once you drink from the Nile, you are destined to return
Cairo is a city that gets into your blood, under your skin, becomes a part of your DNA and every other phrase you can imagine to describe the connection that is Cairo. For all it’s dirt and chaos, our family loves this city. I think it’s because we are like the city. We’re loud, we’re chaotic, and we’re complicated; we can’t be put in a box.
We arrived in Cairo in 1989, just a few months shy of my thirtieth birthday.We were fledglings, learning to walk, talk and live as a family. We were described as “that cute young couple with all those kids!” After…
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