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Cairo and the decline of a great city

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Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Feb 23, 2011 at 07:26

Thank you Dr. Pipes and it is indeed a very interesting book.

Anyone who is really interested in reading "biographies" about Cairo and the decline of that great city from the 1950"s and 1960's and a comparison with Cairo in 2000 I suggest James Aldridge's book "Cairo biography of a city" published in 1969 and it is about Cairo in the 1950's and 1960's and then compare it with Cairo in the year 2000 in Andre Raymond's book "Cairo"

It is very hard to believe that the authors are talking about the same city. The first book is full of pictures and you will not see a woman wearing the islamic hijab. Yes you will see women wearing tarha which is very much an Egyptian head cover that some women used to wear and it has no religious significance. In 1969 you will read about the cultural life of the city and its writers and movie makers and thinkers. .

It is just amazing when you read about the area of of Midan Tal3at Harb (which is only 5 minutes walk from Midan el-Tahrir which is the center of the present uprising) and Qasr el-Nil Street where Groppi (it used to be a wonderful Cafe and a meeting place for all the beautiful people of Cairo) and Lappas Cafe are located and on another corner the great Madboli book store and located on Kasr el-Nil was the movie theater where the great singer Um Kalthom used to sing. And it is about 5 minutes walk from the site of the cafe where Nageeb Mahfouz the great writer used to hang out. And the buildings were just great and many are Art Nouveau (The Yacoubian Building the subject of a book and a movie) and Art Deco. You would think that you might be in Paris and not Cairo,

Now in 2000 the city is very different. The move industry is almost gone and the writers are no where to be found and women are wearing the hijab and men with Islamic head covers and beards and zebiba ( and in the words of Saweris now Cario looks like Tehran) and the buildings are still there but they are not well kept anymore. and the whole area looks like an area in a third world nation that in whan used to be a geart city.

These took books prove that what we have here is the decline of what used to be a great city

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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