By Maydaa’ El-Nadar and Amany Kamal
Although many shopping and entertainment malls, as well as new coastal cities, have been established lately, the area of Al-Hussein in Downtown Cairo still retains its special magic. The number of Egyptians, as well as visitors to the country, visiting the square, which was constructed during the Fatimid era, increases during the month of Ramadan. Until now, Al-Hussein remains the destination of many tourists and Sufis.
It starts with visiting the famous mosque in Al-Hussein, then Al-Hussein’s tomb. After the afternoon prayer (Asr prayer), visitors start to take a round in Al-Hussein and its famous areas such as Al-Azhar Street, Al-Moez Street, and Zeinab Khatoun.
Some of those fasting have their meal in the famous restaurants of the area; others bring their meal and eat on streets and pavements. Poor people eat at Mercy tables (Mawa’ed Al-Rahman) which are everywhere on Egypt’s streets.
The number of people buying the famous drinks of tamr, liquorice, and sobia, increases, as Egyptians prefer to break their fast with them.
As is traditional in Islam, it is considered customary to leave out food for passers-by in the street who are fasting, but remain out of the home during the breaking of the fast. Some young volunteers also leave out drinks for free, seeking Allah’s mercy rather than money. Throughout the ages, Fatimid Egypt’s spirit will remain clear and distinct among Al-Hussein’s streets and its attractive spots.
All photos taken by Amany Kamal