On the surface of things, the changes are subtle. Tahrir is what it always has been, packed with small street vendors crowded mainly around the Mogamma, the occasional lantern hung here and there. Yet if you take a wander around the city, allow yourself to get lost in the maze-like alleyways, a world of wonder awaits you.
There are neighbourhoods ornately decorated with lanterns in every window, streamers hanging from one building to the next and countless lanterns of all shapes, sizes and colours for sale. Families busy themselves preparing for the long month of fasting. Women in their Niqabs haggling at the markets, already carrying more than they should be able to, buying what they need for the holy month. Ramadan adds colour to Cairo, a city usually clad in the dirty brown-grey of sand and pollution.
During this month, and the week leading up to it, the city livens as the decorations, some ornate and wondrous whilst others simple and cheap, begin to dominate the general landscape of the urban neighbourhoods.
During the month we will be devoting several pages to Ramadan and all that it entails: the understanding of what this month means to Muslims the world over, our favourite holiday recipes, shedding light on the prevalent practice of fasting in most major beliefs, and much more.