BY Riaz Ahmed

Everyone goes abroad for different reasons. Many go abroad for a holiday, some to visit family and some for a business trip.

My trip was that of exploration. Egypt was a holiday with friends, but as a keen photographer, I couldn’t resist making my journey to the ancient land one of exploration.

As someone who prefers talking through pictures rather than words, exclusively for Asian Sunday readers here are a few memories of my trip to one of the biggest cities in the Middle East.

Read on below the gallery for further commentary on these pictures by the photographer.

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Camel Market

You have probably seen this on TV or heard about the camel market in Egypt. I visited the one which is situated near

A camel owner marking his livestock
A camel owner marking his livestock

Birqash. Here, you will see merchants buying and selling camels for farming or consumption, and be able to observe the traders negotiating and making deals.

 

It’s a very dusty environment and not for the faint hearted. The camels are treated badly in order to keep them tamed.

Each day, camels come from as far away as Sudan and Somalia, as well as elsewhere in Egypt, and are either sold for cash or traded for livestock.

I hope you can get a sense of the market from the way the traders look relaxed but at the same time some can be very ruthless.

Garbage City

Manshiyat Naser, known as Carbage City, is a ward of Cairo.

 

A garbage collector takes a short break
A garbage collector takes a short break

As you will see from my images, the people who live here are amazingly beautiful, very dignified people that go about their normal lives in one of the most unhygenic and harsh surroundings I have ever seen.

The residents were so humble, but lived in a city where its economy revolves around the collection and recycling of the city’s garbage.

You can imagine the smell and uncomfortable surroundings.

One thing I noticed is that despite surroundings they looked healthy and seemed to live a normal life like any other City. What was particularly fascinating was how many households breed and show off their pigeons.

Tahrir Square revolution graffiti

egypt-studio-68-20
Tahrir Square

I was fascinated with the graffiti work in Tahrir Square. Some amazingly powerful messages depicted in art form about the matyrs and massacres of the 2011.

City Of The Dead

The City of the Dead, is an Islamic necropolis and cemetery below the Mokattam Hills in south eastern Cairo, Egypt.egypt-studio-68-31 It is a 4 miles (6.4 km) long (north-south) dense grid of tomb and mausoleum structures, where some people live and work amongst the dead.

A very haunting and a strange place to travel, as you see many stray dogs and cats and a tense feeling in the atmosphere.

 

Animal Market

If you are an animal lover, this is not the place to visit.

Proud seller shows off his puppies for sale
Proud seller shows off his puppies for sale

This is a very unusual animal market called Souq al-Goma’a (Friday Market) in Cairo. Here you will see animals of every breed from frogs. monkeys, snakes, dogs to birds etc.

I only manged to take a few images as the police stopped me from taking images. The Egyptians would rather you don’t take images of this aspect of Cairo.

The place was busy, bustling with activity and was pretty much a very hostile trading place of animals.

 

Above all for me Egypt was a very interesting place. If you enjoy history, culture and are open to exploring different culture and attitudes, then you will enjoy the rough and the beauty this beautiful place has to offer.