Posted by: Waheeda Harris | January 22, 2015

Contemporary Egypt

Like many travellers to Egypt, I was focused on its ancient past. The pharaohs, the temples, the statues of an era before Jesus Christ and during the Greek and Roman empires. One of the first things I spotted in a local gift shop was a souvenir of King Tutankhamun:

Egypt - Tut souvenir


Was I really surprised to see the numerous trinkets and replicas of Egypt’s past so easily found anywhere and everywhere? Considering that travellers have been making tracks to this country since the 18th century, there’s always been a vendor wanting to sell a souvenir.

Although I was occasionally lured to look at some of the tourist lures, on my first walk around my hotel neighbourhood, I discovered a bookstore, which displayed this cover in its window:

Egypt - book cover

I loved the boldness of the colours, and the imagery of a young woman on the cover. Although the translation to English wasn’t easy – its title is a local slang for what women call each other – sort of like dear or darling – it didn’t matter.

This was modern Egypt – and although it was harder to find, it was just as compelling.

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