Scotsabroad's Weblog

March 20, 2009

Security at the Khan

Filed under: Books,Cairo,Merchandise,politics — scotsabroad @ 7:47 pm


We all ventured down to the Khan El-Khalili today. We didn’t know what to expect following the bombing outside the Mosque of al-Husayn last month. Was the car park we use still there? There did seem to be tighter security all round but the bazaar was busy with locals and tourists alike. Shona was down to renew her jewellery making supplies while Cairo bought an old French coin and Lucas was content bargaining for an old key. On the way back to the car on the busy  pavement  we spotted a street vendor selling these toy soldiers.  It made me remember a wonderful description from Nabil Shawkat’s book (a collection of his newspaper articles) called Breakfast with Infidels. He and his companions are heading out for dinner in Mohandisin, a congested suburb of Cairo.


Soon, we find ourselves trampling over American soldiers. They are doing ditch training on the sidewalk, crawling on their bellies and firing away. They wear very small fatigues, because they are very small soldiers, and plastic. I want to buy one for my niece, but one companion protests. Why propagate violence? I promise to hand over the soldier to my niece with an illustrated copy of the Geneva conventions. And since they are not strictly soldiers, only enemy combatants moonlighting in foreign streets, the conventions, I can tell my niece, are to be used sparingly, like dusty umbrellas on a rainy summer day.

We also did not want to propagate violence and walked on without buying one. Let us hope Cairo remains at peace and conventions (and indeed human rights) are not used sparingly.


1 Comment »

  1. What a wonderful hopeful end to the latest Scotsabroad.

    Comment by Ian Fraser — March 23, 2009 @ 6:16 pm | Reply

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