Scotsabroad's Weblog

December 6, 2008

Mosque Top

Filed under: Cairo,visits — scotsabroad @ 7:03 pm


Ian and Linda arrived safely early Friday morning.  We ventured to the Kan el-Khalili bazaar today. While Shona and her mum shopped all the boys went for a walk to the gates of Bab al-Nasr and Bab al-Futah and a quick visit to the Mosque of al-Hakim. On the way back down Sharia Al-Muizz there are several copper workshops selling anything from plates to large ornate tops (intended) for  newly constructed minarets. I want one. Seems you can pick up a large crescent for around 15 LE a kilo. The one I liked around 20 kilos.  

Walking back to the Khan noticed that a public fountain (sabil) was open. The Sabil-Kuttab of Abd al-Rahman Katkhuda was built by an eighteenth century amir. For centuries (until the 1930s) the walled city was supplied by water brought daily from outside, filling cisterns and public fountains.  Found out that a sabil-kuttab was a public water dispensary combined with a school. Usually endowed by a wealthy family, water was dispensed through a grill at ground level  to thirsty Cairenes while children (boys) upstairs attended the primary school and recited Quaranic verses. The Rough Guide to Cairo describes an old proverb suggesting the teaching methods were simple: ‘A boy’s ear is on his back – he listens when he is beaten.’ My boys were not impressed. As for the girls they were not given a thought. Met back at the Khan.


1 Comment »

  1. Glad to hear mum and dad arrived safely, and that the girls have already managed to fit in some shopping:) Enjoy December hols inc cruise, etc and hi to boys.
    Shari x

    Comment by Shari — December 7, 2008 @ 11:58 am | Reply

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