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Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Walk Through Islamic Cairo, the North End. Part 2.

Our walking tour began at the Qalawun Complex which consists of a school, hospital and mausoleum all dating from about 1285, A.D.  A ticket for all of Al-Mu'izz street is available there that covers admission to ten different locations.

The Qalawun Wikipedia entry notes that the mausoleum "is considered by many to be the second most beautiful mausoleum, succeeded only by the Taj Mahal."  I'd judge it a very distant second, but not to be missed.  The interior holds some very interesting artwork.  The ceiling offers some particularly nice patterns.

This panel on the wall could be easily missed, but it is said to have been the inspiration for the many mother-of-pearl inlays in a great many wooden boxes sold in souvenir shops throughout Egypt and other countries of the Middle East.

The variety of distinctive minarets is one of the attractions of this walk.  For instance, this pencil-thin one that will make you think you are in Turkey.

Moving almost all of the way to the end of al-Mu'izz, you will find the Mosque of Al-Hakim.  Once again, we see a distinctive style of Minaret.  In this case, the Mosque belongs to the Shiite variety of Islam.  You can find a variety of opinions about the level of tolerance for Shiites within Sunni Egypt.  This article discusses a number of points of view while sharing the opinion that Shiites comprise 1 to 2 percent of the population.

And, finally, we reach the bab, or gate, at the North end of Al-Mu'izz.

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