Information Asmaa Khattab’s strolling excursions absorb a few of Egypt’s lesser-known highlights
DUBAI: Egypt has lengthy been one of many Center East’s hottest locations for vacationers. Regardless of current political instability, its historic websites and cultural treasures proceed to dazzle guests from internationally.
Nevertheless, an impartial, Cairo-based vacationer information has been shaking issues up a bit by trying past the nation’s typical, much-publicized choices. “Tourism in Egypt hasn’t modified a lot in virtually 100 years,” Asmaa Khattab instructed Arab Information. “The early journey businesses got here to Egypt and researched what potential it had for tourism. They did their cruises and palace excursions. However from that point till now, few individuals really modified how cultural tourism (goes) in Egypt.”
Ten years in the past, when social-media utilization soared within the nation, due largely to the Egyptian revolution that ousted the previous president Hosni Mubarak, Khattab began posting photos of a few of the nation’s heritage websites on a Fb web page she known as, “Stroll Like An Egyptian.” In 2015, she launched what are billed as Egypt’s first off-the-beaten-track cultural strolling excursions.
Her purchasers are handled to in-depth, quality-driven experiences, uncovering gems together with movie star museums and homes of worship within the capital in addition to neighboring cities, together with Alexandria and Suez.
“Folks come to Egypt, however they don’t get a full Egyptian expertise. It’s very touristy,” mentioned Khattab. “After all, it’s vital to go to the pyramids, however there’s all the time one thing particular about Egypt that makes it Egypt. I wished individuals to see Egypt like an Egyptian, and this was how I considered the identify Stroll Like An Egyptian.”
Right here, Khattab highlights a few of her favourite websites from her excursions.
A World Heritage Website, Historic Cairo is house to quite a few vital monuments that date again to the seventh century CE, in addition to conventional crafts similar to glass-blowing. “It’s valuable to my coronary heart, as a result of I used to be all the time fascinated with Islamic artwork,” mentioned Khattab. The tour takes in Cairo’s oldest mosque, Ibn Tulun, which options parts of Abbasid structure and was constructed within the ninth century by the then-ruler of Egypt, Ahmed Ibn Tulun. The world additionally incorporates the Metropolis of the Useless, house to royal tombs.
Positioned in Higher Egypt, Minya is a shocking, oasis-like web site that homes historical necropolises and temples. “Minya is underrated,” mentioned Khattab. “Nature in Minya, just like the Nile and greenery, is mind-blowing.” It is usually a spot of latest expertise. One among its best-known artists is Minya-born self-taught painter Hassan El-Shark, who creates folkloric artwork. His modest home has been become a public museum.
One other underrated gem within the eyes of Khattab is that this southern Cairo district situated on Rhoda Island within the Nile River, which features a little-known water temple often called a nilometer — an historical invention used to measure water ranges of the life-giving river. There’s additionally a museum devoted to the enduring Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum on the island. Opened in 2001, the intimate museum shows her private costumes, jewellery, data, letters, and awards. One other must-see is the ornate Manial Palace, which was inaugurated within the early twentieth century. Constructed by the uncle of Egypt’s final monarch, King Farouk, it’s influenced by Andalusian, Ottoman and European kinds.
Advanced of Sultan Qalawun
This advanced was constructed over the course of only one 12 months in the course of the artistically productive Mamluk interval within the thirteenth century and was commissioned by Sultan Al-Mansur Qalawun. The advanced is spectacular by way of each scale and design. It homes a mausoleum, a faculty, a mosque, a public hospital, and one of many nation’s largest minarets. This central landmark aesthetically resembles different outstanding monuments in Europe and the Center East, similar to Granada’s Alhambra Palace, Palermo Cathedral in Sicily, and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
Which means ‘Courtyard of the Pasha,’ this massive, domed advanced is the ultimate resting place of the influential ruler of Egypt Muhammad Ali Pasha’s members of the family. The positioning was constructed within the early 1800s by the Pasha, though the person himself isn’t buried there. As an alternative, his sons, their spouses and youngsters, together with servants and counsellors, lie in relaxation on the mausoleum.