Cairo, the enchantress
Horns and jasmine, pharaohs and electro music enter the dream world of Cairo!
There is the scent of jasmine in the gardens of Heliopolis and rose sellers along the coast road, where lovers walk hand in hand in the evening. The night is warm, redolent with the aroma of shishas. On all the terraces, the sound of clinking glasses mixes with the call to prayer of the muezzins, and the incessant cacophony caused by honking cars.
Cairo never seems to sleep, never seems to stop living. The Cairene night ends with the dawn, when the clubbers do not even seem tired. Though the dancers and singers are fewer, the underground has its unlikely places and chic clubs. The day begins with coffee and the eternal replay of those old black-and-white movies where Farid al-Atrash is singing. Is it to help prevent us from forgetting the past?
Cairo is not a nostalgic city. It seems to bear no grudges nor suffer any pain. It moves forward, sprawling into the desert. At each visit, we are surprised. A new neighbourhood has risen up, also a new fashion, although women are increasingly veiled from head to toe. The traffic is always dense, almost oppressive, yet it is fun to ride with all the windows open in a ‘black and white', the nickname for the ramshackle taxis, for dinner in Maadi or Zamalek.
Everything is forgiven in Cairo, as there is something that soothes, that calms all. It is the Giza pyramids, which brave and defy time, and it is the nourishing Nile River, rising from the heart of Africa.