Sunday, October 29, 2006

Fayoum's delicacies

I came back yesterday from a short trip to Fayoum's Zad el-Mosafer lodge as it was Eid el-Fitr vacation. The place is located on Qarun lake, and fairly close to Wadi al-Rayyaan. The place is so beautiful. It has a spacious courtyard where guests would gather in the evening or at night to chat and smoke and exchange stories. It also has a small and cozy swimming pool and a charmingly humble dining room.

The owner of the place is an old man who was one of the founders of an old cultural publication called Al-Qahira, and he used to write in it as well. He also contributed in many of the regional cultural publications. He told me an old story when he took part, along with lots of other youths, in a demonstration in Tahrir Square in 1972 which lasted 4 days. On the 3rd night, they found lots of sandwiches being delivered to all the people in the sit-in. Naturally, they wandered who sent these sandwiches, until they knew it's the family of a famous businessman. The son of this businessman is the chairman of the company I work in now. :-)

Moments I liked during this trip:
- The old stories I heard from Mr. Abdou about Cairo in the 60s and 70s. It's an era that I always hear about being prosperous, beautiful, and respectable.. an era that I'd have loved to live through
- Lying down on grass at night, gazing at a beautifully clear dark sky and its bright stars, while listening to the soothing voices of Fairouz and Norah Jones
- Having my dinner in the warm bedouin-style dinning room
- Spending a lot of time during the day reading in the green courtyard and enjoying the crisp and sunny weather
- Watching and playing with a very cute and fluffy white dog running all over the place and rubbing his body and rolling it over the grass
- Waking up to a very delicious and filling breakfast

It is definitely a place that I would love to visit again...

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