Saturday, November 8, 2008

Coptic Cairo Part 1

On Saturday the 25th of October, I went down to the Coptic section of Cairo for the first time. The Copts are the Christian population of Cairo (which make up about 10% of the total). This area is also known as Old Cairo (as if the 8th century mosques in Islamic Cairo weren't old enough!).

This was also the site of the Babylon Fortress of the ancient Roman empire (not to be confused with the city of ancient Babylon), which at one point served as a gateway between Upper and Lower Egypt.

This was taken inside a Greek Orthodox chapel inside the Coptic cemetery.

Inside the Convent of St. George, this man was engaging in the "chain-wrapping ritual," an act which symbolizes the persecution suffered by St. George at the hands of the Romans.

Taken inside the Coptic cemetery.

This is the most horrifying tourist-related thing I have seen in Egypt so far. The guide in front was holding a sign above his head with "Rainbow Tours" written on it facing backwards, so that the group of 40-50 tourists could follow him like sheep.
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