El Moez Street, the Heart of Old Cairo

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By Manal Abdel Rehim

Old Cairo, founded in 969 AD by the Fatimid dynasty, has a thousand years of richhistory, so wandering the meandering alleyways and discovering magnificent mosques, fine old houses, and odd palaces is a treat for locals and visitors alike.

History

Abu Tamim Ma’ad al-Mu’izz Li-Dinillah (932 – 975), also known as Al Moezz, was the fourth Fatimid Caliph and 14th Ismaili imam who reigned from 953 to 975. It was during his caliphate that the center of power of the Fatimid dynasty was moved from Northern Africa to the newly conquered Egypt. Fatimids founded the city of Al-Qāhiratu, “The Victorious” (Cairo) in 969 as the new capital of the Fātimid caliphate in Egypt.

Must-See Spots:

– El Hakem Mosque (founded 1000 years ago)

– Bayt Al-Suhaymi (1648 AD)

– The Complex of Sultan Al-Mansur Qalawun (1285 AD)

– Hammam Inal (1456 AD)

– The mosque, Khanqah & Mausoleum of Al Sultan Al Zahir Barquq (1386 AD)

– The School and Mausoleum of Al Nasir Muhammad ibn Qalawun (1298 AD)

You can also find El Aqmar Mosque (1125 AD), or visit Wekala, Hamam, Khan, Le Riad boutique hotel, palaces, mosques, the Khankah and more.

Bonus treat: Al Rabaa Cultural Center, to see where the locals get married.

Essential Stops:

Where to have a coffee: Café El Lord

Where to Eat: You can venture to Al Hussien area, which is filled with restaurants and cafés or try Taj Al Sultan on the other side of Khan El Khalili, a new venture in an old bank which offers very good Indian and Egyptian dishes. You can also dine with Cairo’s movers and shakers at Citadel View, where a huge terrace gives great views of the city; the food is traditional and tasty.

How to dress: Conservative attire is required for women.

Best time to visit: Take a stroll through the neighborhood at night, to enjoy the spectacle of monuments being lit up.

Activities:

Every Sunday: Folklore bands play around the area, from 7pm onwards.

Workshops: Monthly schedules are available, you can contact:

Bayt Al-Suhaymi: Al Gamaleya, Al Darb Al Asfar Alley, Tel: 02 2591 3391

Wekalet Al Ghori: Sheikh Mohamed Abdo St., Al Azhar

Qubbet Al Ghori: 111 Al Azhar St., Tel: 02 2506 0227

Kids: Best for children 4-12 years.

Location: 123 Al Moez Ledin Allah El Fatemy St. El Gamaleya, El Azhar, Cairo.

How to get there: You can take the Metro and walk from Azhar mosque, or a taxi to El Azhar area.

 

 

 

 

 

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