Once again we traveled north on the Desert Road, to the beautiful port city of Alexandria. The city is named for Alexander the Great who occupied Egypt in 332 B.C and remained for a brief period of time. His successors (The last of the Ptolemaic royalty was Queen Cleopatra who committed suicide in 32 … Keep reading »
We traveled north of Cairo on the Alexandria Desert Road to a Coptic Retreat center. Anafora is a compound surrounded by fruit, olive, date and other trees. It is a sea of green that has burst out of the desert. It was created as an ecumenical place where people from many backgrounds and many nations … Keep reading »
Our afternoon class was at the Citadel, a fortress built in the 12th century by Salah al-Din on a hill overlooking Cairo . We spent most of our time in the Mohammed Ali mosque built in the 19th century on the Citadel grounds. It’s grand dome and spacious interior was our classroom. Heba lectured about … Keep reading »
We took the Metro to Old Cairo, the site of the oldest Christian communities in the area of the city known in early Christian history as the Babylon in Egypt. Our first stop was at the Hanging (or suspended) Church that was constructed over Roman ruins. We went on to visit the churches of St. … Keep reading »
Our first field trip took us to Giza to see the pyramids and the Sphinx and later to the ancient sites of Memphis and Saqqara. In a period of about 500 hundred years (roughly 3000BC to 2500 BC) the first dynasty to unite upper and lower Egypt was created at the site that came to … Keep reading »
The week began with Arabic classes, and a series of cultural orientations by Heba, Tom and Mennonite Central Committee volunteers. We learned to use the Metro system and in the afternoons we took walking tours of Cairo neighborhoods. Our days also included group meetings, lectures on Egyptian history and a comparison of Egyptian and North … Keep reading »
The students arrived safely in Cairo and we headed straight to Eman house in Helwan. They had a chance to play some frisbee, volleyball and practice Arabic before their first Egyptian meal which they enjoyed. Tomorrow the adventure continues.