All posts in History


Ramadan Kareem. By Mohamed Youssef.

by Islam El Shazly

Surah Al Baqarah (the Cow) 02: 183 O you who believe! Observing the fast is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become pious.

Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar; the traditional definition of the month is abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual activity during the day (from dawn), and breaking the fast each sunset. Muslims are encouraged to read/recite the entire Quran as much as possible and contemplate on its meaning, to give freely to those in need, and strengthen their ties to Allah through more voluntary prayer than regular. The goal of the fast is to teach humility, patience and sacrifice, and to ask forgiveness, practice self-restraint, and pray for guidance in the future. Read more…


Camel Caravan

The caravan passes. A Camel Caravan from Somalia, photographed on the beach in Kenya. © alles-schlumpf

by Islam El Shazly

For as far back as the human memory can travel in time, there has always been explorers and exploration. Had there been no curiosity about what lay behind the walls of the village or the entrance to a cave, civilisations would have never emerged and we would not be where we are.

Curiosity might have killed the cat, but it did wonders for the children of Adam.

The world knows of Christopher Columbus, Magellan, Cook, and da Gama, but there are lots more, just look at the Wikipedia page for Explorers and you will realize just how many there has been throughout the ages. Read more…


by M. Butcher

When looking for things to do with or without kids it’s always nice to take a walk. We like to take the kids out in Korba because they have wide sidewalks and there are lots of stores and coffee shops to pass by. The streets are wide and easy enough to cross with kids and it is stroller friendly.

A mansion in Al-Korba.

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The true melting pot of nations.

by Islam El Shazly

Over the last few months a feud was ignited between two Arab and Muslim countries, Egypt and Algeria; with each calling the other everything in the book of hatred that had previously been saved for the worst of enemies. The flames fanned by shady tabloids on both sides to a point that is very close to calling for outright war. All over a silly little sport called football (soccer), and later on for a handball match.

Finally people like Jamal Abdul Nasser and Ataturk have something to be proud of, their dreams of disunity and nationalism has finally come to fruition. Their poison finally achieving what the decades of French and British colonialism could not accomplish.

Both are Muslim countries, and somehow each wanted Allah on their side for each match, which is as stupid as anything I ever heard. Utter disrespect for Allah subhanahu wa ta3ala.

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by Islam El Shazly

Since we are in the early days of the month of Rabie’ Al Awwal, the third month of the Islamic Hijri Calendar, I thought it might be appropriate to write about the celebration of the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و سلم) birthday or Al Mowled Al Nabawi.

In every travel book that I read there’s a mention of Al Mowled, not just the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و سلم) but also for every so called “Saint” in Egypt. We have no sainthood in Islam, but that is a topic for another time insha’Allah.

Whirling Dirwish.

A very intoxicated-looking whirling dirwish.

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by Islam El Shazly

It has been a while since the last post; I’m still getting used to blogging, that, and been working on several articles and the guides pages at the same time.

Cairo; the city of a thousand minarets, that is what Cairo has been referred to in the past, and from time to time, it gets called by that name again, even though Cairo has way more than a 1000 minarets now.

In the older parts of Cairo there a lot of mosques that were build during the time of the Mamluks, they were not one dynasty, rather a sultan after the next. Mamluk literally means ‘owned’, i.e., slave.  The Mamluks were an amalgam of Turks, Uzbeks, Caucuses, Circassians, and Chechnians, among others. The trend of purchasing them as young boys and train them in the arts of war started during the Abassid’s dynasty, and reached a peak at the time of Salah El-Deen, the Mamluks that ruled the Muslim world after the death of the last Ayubid Sultan are the ones who eventually built most of the Islamic monuments that one would see in old Cairo.

Colonnades inside ibn Tulun mosque.

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