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Cairo, Egypt

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Walking Through Zamelek

On Wednesday, October 7, I finished a section of Chapter 2 for my book, and to “celebrate” I took the subway to the Opera House stop in Zamelek, and walked all the way from the southern tip of Zamelek to 26th of July bridge and had dinner at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, a place I’ve eaten when we visit Cairo with UHCL students. I stopped at the Sawy Culture Wheel under the bridge and picked up a concert schedule. In the big auditorium under the overpass bridge (great use of urban space!) they had set up huge TV screens and around 350 young people were watching Egypt national soccer team play Costa Rica (they ended up losing 2-0). I watched for about 20 minutes before walking on to the Flamenco Hotel where we stay when we bring UHCL students. Across the street, I saw Muhammad, Hussein, Ibrahim and Ali, the family that runs the souvenir shop next to the Metro Market and internet café. I also saw a Flamenco doorman and the guy who runs the tiny souvenir shop across from the internet café. Ibrahim invited me over to the shop, and they served me tea out on the sidewalk. I learned that they drive down to Feyoum every night after closing at midnight to where they live, and then make the trip by 10am the next morning. They also took me into their shop and showed me some pictures they have taken with some of our UHCL students over the years—especially a picture of Roger Cueto smoking Shesha with them. I said good night and walked back to the subway and got home about 10:30pm.

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