Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Photo Essay: The famous El Fishawy Cafe in Khan el Khalili

Khan el Khalili is a souk in the middle of Cairo and there are zillions of photographs out there on this. The souk dates back to 1382AD but now is absolutely a total tourist trap with kitsch Egyptian souvenirs all over the place. Bleah. This area is also a bit dangerous as it has been the target of terrorist attacks. But no terrorists here on a Sunday. 

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

A pile of dusty lamps.

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

Selling a cloth bag with hieroglyphic alphabets printed on top. Check out what “ch” is representing. total wtf. What’s with the placenta business?

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

They have taken Queen Nefertiti and converted her into a painted hooker. Disgusting. This is how the original statue looks like.

 
Anyway, moving into the souk proper.

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

It was Sunday so most of the shops were closed, but the Cafe El Fishawy was open.

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

The sign shown reversed on a mirror.

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

A stuffed rather corpulent Nile crocodile mounted on the wall.

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

A carved panel on the door.

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

A series of mirrors which show the cafe…reflections myriad of times.

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

People sitting outside and enjoying their hubby bubbly shisha water pipes.

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

This is the hibiscus flower drink called as Karkade. Its just brilliant, love it and can drink this by the gallon.

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

A sunglasses peddler and behind him a chap was sitting checking his emails and chatting on a tiny laptop. Just brilliant, the juxtaposition of old and new was brilliant.

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

A fly specked extremely dirty chandelier.

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

Another lovely lamp.

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

It was the world cup season, Ronaldo and Zidine were there…

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

The other side of the cafe and yours truly can be seen on the window.

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

Then went to have a bite to eat at the Naquib Mahfouz cafe.

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

Brinjals

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

Humus

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

Bread

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

Two stuffed pigeons.

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

Brinjals with garlic and lamb. Not very impressed with Egyptian cuisine, I am afraid. But then, the other stuff in Cairo more than makes it up for the lack of decent food.

Khan el Khalili,Cairo,El Fishawy,Souk

Here’s the man himself and where he used to write his books. It is a tourist hellhole, I have to admit, not fun at all.

3 comments:

Kim said...

I miss Fishawy. Spent many hours lounging in this place after frantic shopping with groups of relatives and friends.

BD, have you considered watermarking your photos? They are really good and open to plagiarism. (I know of other blogger friends who have had problems on this front)

& btw AFAIK, the Naguib Mahfouz Cafe by the Oberois was opened much after the man had passed away. He used to sit at Fishawy, watching life pass by and inspire him

dipali said...

Khan el Khalili reminded me of Aminabad and New Market! I did love the beautiful metal work window grills:) Now I'm trying to place Mahfouz's characters into the Cairo I've seen.

BD said...

thanks for the update, Kim, I missed that.. :)

and good idea on the watermark...

dipali, yes, it does remind me of our "chowks"