Siwa, City of Sand

Maher shuffled his way into the coffee-shop sneezing, coughing and complaining, his flip-flops hardly lifting from the dusty floor as he moved, I’m sick he announced to the waiter who didn’t look away from the TV, he sneezed again to prove his point. In Egypt the cure for the common cold is Helba a herbal…

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Middle East Print Sale

Photographs really should be printed and hung on walls; I say this as someone who loves photography not as a photographer. As I work towards launching a new website dedicated to print sales I am offering a generous discount to raise the necessary funds, buying a print will go a long way to supporting my…

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An Old Man In Cairo

Having wandered the fetid alleyways of the Fatimid’s all morning I found myself sitting in a tiny coffee shop no bigger than an average size bathroom, the old man was sitting on the opposite row of benches, the sun couldn’t quite reach over the mud brick walls of the Cairo labyrinth, it was December and…

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Portraits and Cairo Coffee

A typically beautiful Cairo morning, cool in the dusty shadows with cats basking in the warm November sun. I crossed the not yet busy square of Midan Hussein dodging a bread delivery boy balancing a rack of fresh baladi bread on his head; I slipped into my usual first port of call for coffee, one…

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Cairo Time and Tram Lines

Time for Mahfouz is a constant theme, in the opening chapter of Midaq Alley we hear Kirsha argue in favour of the instillation of a radio leaving the poet without a venue to recite his stories, “everything has changed” insisted Kirsha. The tram lines seen here along Sharia Port Said are, like the coffee shop…

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Cairo Cops

Eating my breakfast several floors up I watched the two policemen going about their business of guarding the tourists flocking to be fleeced in the Khan El Khalili bazaar, personally I have always felt a policeman should cut an imposing figure, but this pair were holding hands and gazing into each others eyes as though…

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Cairo Hara Tea Boy

My friend Gomer had some business to attend to and asked if I wanted to tag along, we set off along a side street from Darb al Ahmar and meandered through the alleys, we climbed a low wall and threaded our way carefully through a smoldering rubbish tip, I wasn’t sure what Gomer’s business was…

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Damascus the Beginning of the End (pt2)

I tried to put life in Syria behind me as I journeyed through Jordan; it had been a while since I had last been outside the country and it felt good not to be looking over my shoulder all the time, I did feel a sense of relief after checking into a cheap downtown Amman…

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The Art of Raqs Sharqi

The last few years of my life in Damascus and now here in Istanbul have been stained with the pain and tears of the Syrian conflict, not a moment goes by without the sadness touching me, conversations with friends here and those still in Syria, stories of suffering and torment, ever depressing social media news…

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