Islamic District in Cairo–A Must-See

By Matthew Bamberg / Jun 9, 2013
People in Cairo’s Islamic District

While Cairo’s Islamic District is filled with beautiful mosques and restaurants, it’s the people that make this place. For a Westerner it’s like being on another planet. All impressions you may have had about the place turn into chimeras.

The Islamic District is about a twenty minute cab ride from Tahrir Square, is a must-see destination when you go to Cairo. Everything about the place–the architecture, the shopping (the market in the district is huge), the mosques and the people seemingly take you to another time and another place.

Look closely at the people’s faces in the shot above the two men at the far right are pondering deep thoughts, a barefoot guy with his legs crossed sits next to them on the left, head down in slumber . On the right you see many traditional garments from head scarves to kaftans.

To be sure, in order to get a photo like this, you have to take a wider picture of a scene, so as not to get all of the people staring at the camera (and the photographer), annoyed at breaking a traditional Islamic code of conduct–the Hadith–a set of laws that sometimes prohibit images of any living thing.  A good 35 mm sensor will catch people sharply, even if you have to crop the image to see them.

Finally, the expressions on the human faces seem to be pensive, possibly thinking about their revolution and what it means to life in their city and pondering the passing people as reflections of Allah.

About the author

Matthew Bamberg

Matthew Bamberg has provided photographs and written articles for various Southern California newspapers and magazines, including The Desert Sun and The Press-Enterprise. More recently, Matt has been teaching at UC Riverside while also authoring several books like the Quick and Easy Secrets book series (Cengage), Killer Photos with Your iPhone (with Kris Krug and Greg Ketchum, Cengage), the 50 Greatest Photo Opportunities in San Francisco (Cengage) and Digital Art Photography For Dummies (Wiley).