Download Cairo: City of Sand (Topographics) by Maria Golia PDF

By Maria Golia

Cairo is a 1,400-year-old city whose streets are inscribed with sagas, a spot the place the pressures of lifestyles try out people's equanimity to the very restrict. nearly surrounded by way of barren region, 16 million Cairenes hang to the Nile and every different, proximities that colour and form lives. choked with incident and anecdote Cairo: urban of Sand describes the city's given conditions and people's attitudes of reaction. except a brisk historic evaluate, this booklet specializes in the current second of 1 of the world's so much illustrious and irreducible cities.

Cairo steps contained in the interactions among Cairenes, reading the jobs of family members, culture and forms in lifestyle. The booklet explores Cairo's dating with its "others", from the French and British occupations to trendy impacts like tourism and consumerism. Cairo additionally discusses attribute varieties of communique, and linguistic mêmes, together with slang, grandiloquence, curses and jokes.

Cairo exists through advantage of those interactions, synergies of necessity, creativity and the presence or absence of strength. Cairo: urban of Sand finds a peerless balancing act, and transmits the city's overriding message: the breadth of the human means for loss, astonishment and delight.

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Extra info for Cairo: City of Sand (Topographics)

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The average annual meat consumption of twenty-one kilos, however, amounts to a skimpy five grams per day, mostly consumed at feasts and on the occasional Friday. Despite government subsidies, meat is dear, and families augment their supply by keeping animals at home. A 1999 study revealed that in low-income quarters, 30 per cent of the households raise duck, geese, chicken or goats on their roofs, balconies, stairways and landings. 57 A disc of this versatile bread serves simultaneously as plate, dipping utensil and nourishment, and its consistency fosters strong teeth and healthy gums.

71 Bats gorge on Nile mosquitoes, which are languorous and menacing, an airborne version of Portuguese men o’ war. Cairo’s geckoes, transparent lizards with suction-cup toes, eat bugs too, including the pesky flies that are thought by some to contain mischievous djinn. Insects are especially irksome in summer when several indomitable species of ant proliferate and some members of the cockroach family grow ponderously large. The rapacious weasel is another denizen of Cairo, a long slinky varmint that hides under cars and is unafraid to grapple with animals twice its size.

Flocks of sheep infiltrate neighbourhoods prior to religious feasts and the sidewalks are strewn with green alfalfa left by their owners to fatten them up. Sadly, the herds of camel that once beguiled traffic while loping across the Giza Bridge have been detoured to a market outside the city. The sacred ibis, symbol of essence-Egypt and of Thoth, the god of wisdom, has been extinct here for a century. 68 The pigeon flocks that animate minarets and domes have been a feature of the city since its beginnings, when homing pigeons were 42 used as airmail messengers to far battlegrounds.

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