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Monday, March 16, 2015

Visiting Mokattam Heights

Any visitor to the Citadel in Cairo or other monuments near the City of the Dead notices the hills looming over the city where the majority of the television and radio transmission towers are found.

These are the Mokattam Hills.  Wikipedia has a nice aerial view from a balloon taken in 1904.

We hadn't gone there to see the view on any previous trip but the opportunity presented itself a few days back.  There are a couple of routes to the top and upon arrival, the visitor passes by some very nice homes in a quiet neighborhood before emerging at a viewing area.  Naturally, someone will sell you a place to sit and have some tea while you drink in the scenery.
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We had come on a hazy day so the view was mostly limited to the nearby city of the dead but was still impressive.

Mokattam was (in)famous for being the home of the party headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood during the brief rule of president Morsi.  From The U.K. Guardian:
But high up in Moqattam – a vast hump of rock that rises from the slums in the east of the city, and houses the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood – the air was clogged with something more menacing.

In the streets near the Brotherhood's compound, there were molotovs and rocks, birdshot and teargas. Elsewhere, black smoke billowed skywards as protesters burned posters of Mohamed Morsi – onetime Brotherhood stalwart and president of Egypt. What had begun as a protest against Morsi and his alleged deference to Brotherhood interests was now a full-scale street battle between Brotherhood loyalists and opposition demonstrators.
We found this sign of support for the current Sisi government as we left the top of the hill
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