I think I've mentioned this. From couple of years back, there are more people living in urban areas than in rural areas. So it's going to be interesting to see how they grow and develop. Middle Eastern cities have such a long history. Damascus is considered to be the oldest city going back 7k years. Read the book on Jerusalem by montefiori. Fascinating layers of history. Same with Cairo. It's a fairly young city comparatively. But it has several layers to it. It has the ancient Egyptian one. It has the Greco Roman layer. It has the fatimid Shia layer. It has the Sunni layer. It has the Jewish layer now sadly almost totally vanished. And then the Christian layer. Christianity spread out from Israel and took deep roots in Ethiopia and Egypt. They are some of the oldest churches in the world. And one that I haven't seen to my regret. But then again there's so much to see there. It's on my bucket list :)
Old Cairo: the Capital of Faith
(via Instapaper )
The genesis of Coptic Cairo is a story of life and light. The stars of the story appear in the Bible and in the Quran. Thanks to its exceptional location, you may explore the sophistication of every treasure at your leisure with pleasure beyond measure. There is an exuberant mix of mystic and domestic architecture in a hearty harmless harmonious fashion.
Once upon a tower, around the seat of power, in the fortress of Babylon, the Babylon of Egypt, a house worthy of worship was founded in the name of Virgin Mary. The Hanging Church of Virgin Mary, the most beautiful in Egypt, is still suspended in time and space on the remains of the southern gate of the Roman fortress. As people congregate at the gate that is ornate to promulgate the message, they read above the entrance: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. We ascend to the church through a flight of steps that led western pilgrims to call it the Church of the Steps. Before we climb, to the left we see a modern mesmerising mosaic relating the old story of the miracle of moving the Muqattam mountain.