one hundred eighty


October 2015

Dahab Island, Cairo

Cabbage stand in small village, Dahab Island
Cabbage stand in small village, Dahab Island

The drive to Giza follows the Ring Road, which crosses the Nile on a wide bridge. Two months back, I recall looking below to see an island dense with crops and was puzzled. Gezirit el-Dahab“, or Gold Island, is 4.5 km long and about 1km across at its widest point.  One Egyptian Pound (about $0.15) pays for a boat ride from the edge of the Corniche to the island.

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Cairo in the background, grazing cow on Dahab Island

In five minutes, one travels from dense Cairo to farmland, defying the logic of urban development. Clunky bicycles and donkeys tread worn dirt roads. My colleague, Betty, with her modest Arabic, was able to help us navigate taking photographs of some children. A prompt “La-ah” (No) was often delivered, but the community was welcoming, accepting of our desire to document their surroundings. Continue reading “Dahab Island, Cairo”


Cats of Cairo: Part I

Inevitably, there will be many posts to follow this lead. Stray cats in Cairo are abundant. Locals often put out water and food where a clowder of cats will gather. It is normal to sight at least two-dozen kittens and cats along my cycle to work. The following photos were taken over the past couple of weeks at points of interest in the city.

Nighttime Scenes

October 23, 2015

Tired from dancing toes and second-hand smoke inhalation, I am awake at 6:30 am after three hours of sleep. 

I have purposefully not taken photos of many of my daily pursuits in Cairo, trying to live the day-to-day with some iota of normalcy. I try to deliberately capture (and remember) mental images so that I might repaint them here. Perhaps this is a part of the one hundred and eighty theme – knowing when to capture with the lens and when to turn around and observe with the mind and body. Sometimes photos are just too literal so I share in words some of what I saw, felt and heard last night:

The small arts scene of the Townshouse complex showcases a mixture of cultures and many expat faces that meander through the streets and corridors. Bustling cafes line roads and alleyways alike, garnishing the scenery with randomly illuminated carmine pink, turquoise and sunshine yellow plastic lattice chairs and precariously tilted tables, boasting shisha pipes and glasses of tea. Continue reading “Nighttime Scenes”

Ibn Tulun, Gayer-Anderson, El Sultan Hussan, and El Rifa’i – Mosques and Museums

   Continue reading “Ibn Tulun, Gayer-Anderson, El Sultan Hussan, and El Rifa’i – Mosques and Museums”

Under the Same Sky

In real time, in my mind, I am sitting on a plastic white chair on the lawn of River Dene, my uncle’s farm in the Karoo. The lawn is green and moist with the last of the morning dew, the chair is slightly uneven as the legs wedge into the clay soil. The ducks and chickens keep busy by their small pond off to the right. The wide, white farm house lies still, to my back. I am facing the sheep kraal, the dry mountain bush alight with the new tipped green from the recent spring rains after a bleak winter. Gran’s cottage lies off to the left, tucked slightly out of sight behind the garage, the peeling white picket fences and the thrust of creamy fresh roses. Patty’s birds croon and the weavers are hustling above as they chat about their dangling nests. The day is beginning to warm but the tree shadows are cool and the willows whisper with the hint of wind.

Continue reading “Under the Same Sky”

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