Sunday, June 28, 2015

Kodak Agfa Presents : #Ramadan Nights in Zeinab Khatoun House Cafe

Egyptians love to spend their Ramadan nights outdoors whether in cafes or restaurants or by the Nile.
Some may even spend all night outside their houses till Dawn prayers where they eat their Suhur. It became a social tradition between youth especially. I think it started in the 1990s with the spread of the so-called “Ramadan tents” offering Suhur as well as Shisha and sometimes musical segments with famous singers.
Now it is all about open air space, Shisha, good food and a nice place to hang out with your friends.
We are in summer and you can imagine how this is making many young people go out.
Zeinab Khatoun House

Now one of the places in Cairo people hangs out in Ramadan nights as Your Kodak Agfa discovered last week was the unique Zeinab Khatoun House café in the heart of Islamic Cairo, in Al-Azhar quarter.
Originally built in the 14th century, Zeinab Khatoun house is from the oldest remaining houses from that era that still keeping its identity and history amazingly.
It is named after its famous owner in the 18th century Lady Zeinab Khatoun who helped the Egyptian resistance against the French occupation led by Napoleon Bonaparte in Cairo.
The Zeinab Khatoun House
The Zeinab Khatoun House
I think her name was attached to the house since then.
The Zeinab Khatoun House Café is beside the House itself in Al-Azhar , it is actually located between the Zeinab Khatoun House and another historical house; the House of Lady Waseela.
Lady Waseela House 
The café and restaurant are located in a space between the two houses and in another old house between the two historical houses.
The café in Ramadan is extremely crowded with people from all classes especially from youth who want to spend some time in some unique place while smoking Shiha and eating Egyptian pancakes or Fateer.

People at Zeinab Khatoun Cafe.

It is too damn crowded that you have to wait for your turn for quite some time if you do not have a reservation.
A DJ at Zeinab Khatoun Cafe in Islamic Cairo
A DJ at Zeinab Khatoun Cafe in Islamic Cairo
There is also DJ playing music all night long and it is all about the so-called Mahrjanat Music or Egypt’s Underground Shaabi music which became mainstream recently.
To be honest my experience was not great but it was really overcrowded in weekdays, which is strange, to be honest. 
Still, friends told me that it was a great place to spend time in during the rest of the year.
Now I got two questions. 
What is that building owned by Kuwaiti Sheikha Hussab Al-Sabbah? It is just one block away from Zeinab Khatoun’s house.
A building owned by Kuwaiti Sheikha Hussah El-Sabbah
A building owned by Kuwaiti Sheikha Hussah El-Sabbah
I know that the Kuwaiti royalty heads Kuwait’s famous Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiya “The institution of Islamic antiquities” in Kuwait so I assume this house is valuable historically.
Now in the street leading to Zeinab Khatoun house, I found this old building which looks like a minaret.
A Minaret near Zeinab Khatoun Cafe in Islamic Cairo
A Minaret near Zeinab Khatoun
 Cafe in Islamic Cairo
Below I found all that garbage.
Trash near Zeinab Khatoun House
in Islamic Cairo
I totally understand we are speaking about a poor working class in Islamic Cairo but I know that this is a touristic area so why does not Cairo governorate do something about garbage ?? At least to protect that building which can catch fire at any moment.
Here is the full album
A night at Zeinab Khatoun Cafe

1 comment:

  1. a ramadan this year so hard ,egypt, syria, iraq, yemen ;(


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