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11 Simple Pleasures Only Enjoyed In Egypt

Inspired by his tea and biscuits, our photographer Ahmed Najeeb went out in search of 11 simple pleasures you can only enjoy in 2om El Donya.

On a beautifully cool and windy yet sunny morning, I waltzed into the CairoScene office (you know, when we had an office), grabbed my tea mug and my Shorty biscuits, and sat out on the balcony to enjoy the view with my teascuits - yes, I calls them teascuits. With a gorgeous view of the Nile and dipping my teascuits in my tea, I sat pondering the simple pleasures you can only find in Egypt that really make your heart happy. But, note, you can't find these anywhere else but Egypt.

Dipping a Shorty biscuit in your tea

Most other cultures like to have milk and cookies - not us! Just give us some biscuits to dip into our tea - or, shai b laban - and call it breakfast.

The smell of 3eish baladi wafting out from the bakery

The smell of freshly baked bread coming out of a forn balady or fino is a luxury that only few can afford.

Riding in a toktok whose driver is dancing to aghani sha3bi 

Egypt's latest infestation - the toktok - is only made better when your driver is getting down to really loud sha3bi music while unsafely manoeuvring the city streets. Whose bright idea was this, anyway?

Walking up the stairs smelling molokheya and then the moment you walk into your apartment and find that the smell is coming from your home

If bliss had a smell, this would be it. Our childhoods rested on this very moment. The suspense; the anticipation; the curiosity! Then, the molokheya.

Mango juice from beta3 el 3aseer on the street from the giant glass mug that's never been properly washed

I laugh at you people who go to restaurants and order mango juice - all you get is frozen sugary crap. Street juice vendors are the real deal - just have meds ready in case your stomach is a pansy.

Street cart food

Batata mashweya in the winter; dora mashweya on every street corner; 7ommos sham on Corniche el Nile. Basically, akl fel share3 - the only thing that comes close to mama's food.

Going anywhere on a Friday morning

There are only three times of day that everybody loves Cairo: at night, around the crack of dawn, and on Friday mornings before prayers.

Being invited to tea by the bawab

Tea is almost sacred around here - you don't invite just anyone to t3ashrab shai! Or, maybe you do. But being invited by the bawab is an honour all on its own.

Standing at the koshk with the shabab

E7na ma2atee3 - there's no other way to go about this. We just are. At every koshk there's a gathering of shabab standing around, most likely eating Molto.

Coke from a glass bottle

If you've ever lived outside of Egypt you'll completely understand the novelty and nostalgia of having Coke in a glass bottle - it somehow also tastes better. 

Breakfast 3ala kaboot 3arabeya

Most normal people have breakfast in the comfort of their homes, or at a restaurant if they're really wild. Nope, not us. Breakfast is best served on the trunk of a car, but make sure you buy an extra sandwich in case the owner of the car happens to come back.


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