Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Kodak Agfa presents : A 2016-Ramadan night in Khan El-Khalili Market

First of all, due to my own personal reasons I have been away from the blog the past few days but I am back thank God to rant as usual ;)
It is never too late to share with you a couple of photos I took in the famous Khan El-Khalili market during the Holy month in 2016.
It has become an annual habit for me as well many Egyptians like me to spend to have a Ramadan Iftar "breakfast" there and hang around in the famous market's alleys.

Lanterns at Khan El-Khalili 
In 2015, I went to Khan El-Khalili market also in Ramadan and I spent a good night there.
I entered Khan El-Khalili as usual from Al-Azhar square.
In 2016, Al-Azhar Mosque was still being restored then just like in 2015.
The restoration works have not finished yet as far as I have read lately in September 2017.

Al-Azhar Mosque and Mohamed Abu Dahab Mosque
Al-Azhar Mosque was still under restoration works 
I want to visit the Mohamed Abu Dahab Mosque. The 18th-century ancient Mosque looks amazing from inside already according to the photos I found online and I feel it is so underrated.
Abu El-Dahab and Al-Azhar Mosques
Al -Azhar Mosque and Abu Dabab Mosque
I also want to know what building is standing beside Abu Dahab Mosque and a school.
Besides Abu Dahab Mosque
What is that old building? 

It looks ancient to me as well. You can find the word "Allah" inscribed on the top of the entrance.
Reaching Khan El-Khalili on Friday one hour before the Iftar, you would see many people in their way out while shops were closed during the sunset.
A Khan Khalili sunset
Going home before the sunset

Most shops are closed in Egypt during Ramadan before the Iftar by one hour and are open to customers half an hour or one hour after the Iftar.
As usual, I discover every year something new in Khan El-Khalili when it comes to the shops there. I discovered in 2016 the following shops.
The precious and semi precious stones jewelry shops.
A fancy jewelry shop in Khan El-Khalili
Beautiful semi-precious and precious bracelets 

They are not cheap at all. I want to buy them all of those rings and necklaces.
Rings of Khan El-Khalili
Precious and Semi-Precious rings 

The beautiful Arabesque products from tables and boxes.
An Arabesque shop in Khan El-Khalili
Arabesque tables and boxes 

And that very small hidden hotel in the heart of Khan El-Khalili "Nour El-Sabah".
The hotel at the corner in Khan El-Khalil
Nour El-Sabbah hotel 

Amazingly, I found its telephone number in the Yellow Pages.
I also found that very old HMV gramophone with an illustration of King Fouad I of Egypt and Sudan on it.
A gramophone from King's time
Old gramophone 

I did not even dare to ask about its price.
There were familiar scenes in Khan in 2016 just like in 2015 especially when it comes to the other shops and products.
For instance, shops are still selling small clay colored figurines.
Colored clay miniatures
Colored clay figurines 

I think in 2016 the latest fashion in small clay colored miniature statues was the Um Kalthoum ensemble.
Um Kalthoum ensemble miniatures
Om Kalthoum and her band were a common theme that year in the Khan 

Um Kalthoum ensemble figurines in Khan El-Khalili
Thuma again and her band one again 
My favorite colored figurine was that old man reading a magazine with El-Sisi on its cover ;)
Clay figurines in Khan El-Khalili
The magazine reader figurine 

There are as well the usual beautiful clay non-colored figurines.
An Egyptian peasant figurine in Khan El-Khalili
An Egyptian peasant clay figurine 

The beautiful accessories there are still there.
Accessories of Khan El-Khalili
A seller and a buyer talk about Khan El-Khalili accessories 

Necklaces of Khan El-Khalili
Necklaces and bracelets of Khan El-Khalili 

The handmade copper decorative plates.
Copper decorative plates in Khan El-Khalili
Handmade copper decorative plates 

The textile products
Textile bags and galabiyas in Khan El-Khalili
The textile products from galabiyas, bags and scarfs 
My favorite lanterns shops inside the Bab Ghouri gate.
The shopkeepers turned off the lanterns most of the time then because of electricity prices and Selfie photographers.
El-Ghuri gate and its shops
My favorite Bab Ghouri 

According to the shopkeepers, people came and took selfies and the lanterns in the background without buying anything.
I saw that first hand those selfie photographers taking photos all the time in that beautiful place.
A duck face in Khan El-Khalili
Duck face in front of the lanterns, that gentleman on the right
was also looking into his mobile phone 

Kindly enough the shopkeepers turned the light on and the lanterns looked amazing.

Inside Khan El-Khalili's Bab El-Ghuri gate
The difference is obvious and clear 
Inside Khan El-Khalili's Bab El-Ghuri gate
Lights are on 
Inside Khan El-Khalili's Bab El-Ghuri gate
Lanterns and their beautiful light 
The lamps of Khan El-Khalili's Bab El-Ghuri
Like some alien eggs :) 
The colorful lanterns of Khan El-Khalili
My favoirte Ramadan Photo for 2016 and 2017 as well. 

I would say that Khan El-Khalili had more visitors in 2016 than in 2015 in Ramadan at least from what I saw.
A customer smiling in Khan El-Khalili shop
A young customer 

Needless to say, the shopkeepers are missing foreign tourists more than ever.
A shop inside Khan El-Khalili's Badistand gate
A shop inside Khan El-Khalili's Badistand gate

Luckily, I have seen Chinese tourists in the Khan in 2016.
Inside the Badistan gate of Khan El-Khalili
Inside the Badistan gate of Khan El-Khalili

Still, the shopkeepers are missing the old times and the Egyptian buyers are not enough.
Ramadan shoppers
Ramadan shoppers
Khan El-Khalili at night
Khan El-Khalili at night
Khan El-Khalili at night
Khan El-Khalili at night

Interestingly, I saw more belly-dancing suits and accessories than in 2015 inside the Khan itself.
Inside a Khan El-Khalili Shop
Bellydancing suits in a Khan El-Khalili shop 

Women's fashion in Khan El-Khalili
Bellydancing suits and galabiyas in a Khan El-Khalili shop 
Galabiyas and bellydancing suits
Galabiyas and belly dancing suits
Sequin canes in Khan El-Khalili
Sequin canes in Khan El-Khalili

Bally dancing suits of Khan El-Khalili
Bally dancing suits of Khan El-Khalili

And of course the original Baladi Tabla is sold there in Khan El-Khalili
Baladi Tabla sold in Khan El-Khalili
Baladi Tabla sold in Khan El-Khalili

I did not find my favorite bookshop open during my visit to the Khan in 2016.
I am worried that it was shut down and sold to another shop owner who changed its activity.
I hope that it was only closed on that Friday.
A closed shop in Khan El-Khalili
A closed shop in Khan El-Khalili
After Iftar, I and my cousins went to the famous Fishaway cafe.
The cafe was buzzing and full as usual.
The Fishawy cafe
El-Fishawy cafe 

I got a nice Henna tattoo drawn by a very nice Sudanese young lady.
A post shared by Zeinobia (@zeinobia) on

I had that Henna tattoo for a couple of weeks.
We walked out the Khan through the Badistan gate aka Badistan Way street.
The Badistan way street
The Badistan way street 
 Yes, it turned out that there is a street named after the famous Khan El-Khalili gate leading Al-Hussein Mosque and square.
The famous minaret of the mosque that was reconstructed in the 19th century.
Al-Hussein Mosque's Minaret
Al-Hussein Mosque's Minaret 
Honestly, it is the first time I noticed the gothic style of the famous Al-Hussein Mosque.
Al-Hussein Mosque's Gothic look
Al-Hussein Mosque's Gothic look: Check the windows 
 Also, interestingly you would find old Western style residential buildings built in the famous popular square steps away from Khan El-Khalili and Al-Hussein mosque.

European style buildings in Al-Hussein
Neo-Classic European style buildings in Al-Hussein

Al-Hussein Mosque was buzzing with life in that Ramadan sleepless night with many worshipers inside it seeking the blessings of God and his Saint Al-Hussein bin Ali while a huge crowd outside enjoyed themselves in local cafes and restaurants.
An Overview of Al-Hussein Square
Al-Hussein shops and cafes 

Before heading back to home, my family decided to order a yummy Egyptian Fiteer aka "pancakes" near the mosque.
They were the best pancakes, crunchy from outside and soft from inside. They are highly recommended.
During that visit, I tried something for the first time and I really liked it. I did a very short live periscope broadcast from Khan El-Khalili in English before the Iftar.
I tried Periscope again from a couple of months ago and I believe that I will do it again inshallah hopefully soon. You can subscribe to my Periscope channel here.


  1. damned - how i miss egypt,alex,cairo, assuan, siwa and this market.
    thank you so much for the pics.
    best regards from germany.

  2. DEAR ZEINOBIA/ AS IF YOU BROUGHT TO LIFE AGAIN, NOBEL PRIZE WINNER AUTHOR LATE/GREAT Mr.NAGUIB MAHFOUZ?!And HIS CLASSIC book KHAN EL-KHALILI through your Eyes-catching curiosity & AGFA's beautiful colors!!..Also seems you broke in "ALI BABA'S" hidden TREASURE Cave...comparing to all what you showed us,THAT CAVE will seem as a small corner in a "Disneyland" called KHAN EL-KHALILI?!...Mouth WATERING snaps,a person needs more than one life to enjoy..EGYPT'S GLORIOUS..SOUKS/AVENUES/ALLEYS/STREETS/MUSEUMS/ANTIQUE SHOPS....let alone GIZA'S PYRAMIDS..& all the ANCIENT MOSQUE/CHURCHES....AND this is JUST CAIRO i am talking about ..Without forgetting ALEXANDRIA/AL SUEZ/ISMAEELIYA/ASWAN.+ + + +MORE,...In some countries in this world YOU SEEN ONE TOWN OR CITY ,AS IF YOU SEEN THEM ALL..BUT THIS DOESN'T FIT EGYPT'S ..TOWNS/REEFS/CITIES...each has its unique character...SAME"ONE PEOPLE" BUT COSMOPOLITAN & VARIOUS TASTES...Which makes month of RAMADAN...looks some sort of "THE 1001 Nights"REVIVAL??!..Thank you ZEINOBIA for all the beautiful AGFA shots,and who am i to give my humble verdict to your efforts/PHOTOGRAPHIC TASTE...but still allow me to shout..EXCELLENT!!..Is-hak(Ssahag)BARSOUMIAN/London/G.B.

    1. Thanks my dear sir :))) I am so happy that you like them :)))


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