By Islam El Shazly
There’s a lot to be said about progress, mankind has been to the moon, the internet, fast food, etc.. But what have we lost along the way?
In this modern age of speed, all nighters, and cities that never sleep, I believe we lost a very important thing; serenity. In the rush that followed the Industrial Revolution we wanted everything at once, as if time was running out and we had to do everything faster and faster; instead of enjoying a relaxing cup of tea or coffee we go to the drive through, instead having a seat and enjoying dinner we opt for fast food. And still there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do everything that we need to do!
In most major cities in the world it has become hard to find the human connection that our societies thrived on in a time gone by. Maybe some of these pictures can remind us to stop, breath, and remember that we have all the time in the world, we just need to slow down a gear or two.
This set is a bit on the eclectic side, we have a mural on a wall in Amarna, Minya, home to the doomed Akhetaten, and we have a colonial era railway station in leafy posh Ismailiya. Then we have the place where celebrities like Agatha Christie partied and mingled after an afternoon at the Polo grounds, Shepheard’s Hotel. It was the leading hotel in Cairo and one of the most celebrated hotels in the world between the middle of the 19th century and 1952, when it burnt to the ground and destroyed in the Cairo Fire, the precursor to the 1952 Coup d’état. It was famed for its grandeur and opulence.
The following two pictures serve as reminders of the fact that Egypt’s true heritage lays in its agricultural nature and tied closely to the Nile, with a water buffalo market in Giza, and onion vendors in Old Cairo, two places that, until fairly recently, been farm lands.
There were three obelisks cut for Cleopatra, none of which remain in their original locations. A pair that at one point stood side by side were moved to London and New York, while the third ended up in Paris. The one far below was given to the US government as a present by the Khedive Ismail in 1877, and moved to New York in 1880. It was erected in Central Park in 1881. The three obelisks were dubbed Cleopatra’s Needles.Tags: Alexandria, Amarna, Cairo, Central Park, Cleopatra's Needle, Featured, Giza, Ismailiya, New York, Shepheard's Hotel, Water Buffalo