Monday, December 27, 2010

An Algerian in Egypt chronicles [day 1]

The plane took off from Algiers at 13:00 heading to Cairo. We began the flight with “دعاء السفر” (The imploration of voyage)- Booking a flight of Egypt Air was a better idea, we felt, at least, we were Arab Muslims unlike “Air Algerie” where you get the feeling of being a mutant-.
While flying up to the skies, one of Algiers’ awesome landscapes attracted my attention. It’s Oued Smar’s Park, as the photos below show:

Ooops, I forgot! We’re still in 2010, so the sketch above would be like this in reality :-(


We do hear, since ages, about the transformation of this garbage dumping site into a park, but no one knows If we do live enough till seeing it (just like the Metro Project).
Leaving the country’s aerial boundaries, we came across different breathtaking sceneries. One feels like one is hung between the sky and the land, reality and dreams, swinging like a pendulum in the nothingness. Above the clouds it’s like time itself is resting for a while, hiding under the clouds, to catch you once you’re on earth’s surface with hours of difference that would let you baffled, asking how could the watch on your hand tell 4pm and it’s sunset, already!

Here are some photos, that I could barely shoot without a plane’s wing or a part of the windows messes ‘em up:


I can’t tell where this place is! But, I guess it would be in the Algerian East.


When the clouds are the ground of another cloudless world.


I like clouds, they always fascinated me, I don’t know why! Here, they seem like an endless cotton field


When we landed at Cairo Airport, it was 16:30, and already dark (that time would be a clear evening in Algeria).

Honestly, I was sorta prepared to a bad hosting from the part of Egyptians due to the events occurred last year, because of that goddamn Football game. But, it was just the complete opposite. The police-officers were too loose towards us when they knew we were Algerians and locals were very friendly. We found someone to pick us up from the Airport to our 4 stars Hotel;-) and the first question pops up into one’s mind while rolling down Cairo’s streets at night is: what time it is ?! It’s the same if it’s 8pm or 2am! It’s a never sleeping city.
Here are some shots (they aren’t clean due to the speed of the MiniBus ):


Cairo’s tower



We arrived to the Hotel (after a 1 Hour&Half drive in the traffic jam ) that’s situated in Al Zamalek (a nice place surrounded by the Nile river from both sides which gives it the shape of a micro Island), dumped my luggage into the locker. We had to go somewhere to sate our hunger, so we didn’t bother to go somewhere far while a small traditional fast-food (offering a range of Potato meals: chips, French fries, etc.) would be more than enough.


Afterwards taking a walk in the surroundings, we come across a nice library called “Diwan” (a series of libraries all over the city) offering nice books with an affordable price. I bought 5 books by the price of 2 in Algeria! I was going to buy as much as can, if the thought of “It’s your very first day here, you can’t empty your pockets, already!” didn’t hold me back.
The funniest part of it, when I ask the clerk about a book, he responds in English (does our Algerian dialect sound like English ?!! :p). so, I gave up speaking OUR Arabic and started talking in English to avoid any misunderstanding .
Here are some shots inside the bookstore(I knew in the end that it’s not allowed :p)






The original version of “The Secret”. I even found the Arabic version of it somewhere else. It was expensive and less educative (I watched it as a movie. The book is  a mere transcript)

Many things made me envious.
1- These photos were shot at 22:00( I did what could to not make people appear in the photos, but I assure you there were more than 20 persons inside) and looking like an Algerian library in its rush hour.
2- People don’t come just to buy books, there’s a cafeteria, and round tables where I found 2 intellectuals discussing one of the books, a handful of Americans and Arabs talking about some shared issues and some people scattered here and there reading silently.
3- You come across many foreigners (mainly Europeans) learning Arabic, as you can see below the two girls (they are Dutch, I could easily distinguish their language that seemed too close to German) in the Arabic section of the library, there was also a German boy who speaks Egyptian dialect fluently! The sad thing in Algeria is, when a foreigners come, they learn French instead of Arabic, which is shameful and disgraceful in the same time.

We made it back to our headquarter at 22:30 safe and sound (no one threatened us or bother us, hehe), and here is the car I bought from there. Anyone wanna re-buy??



  1. wow,I loved the first paper of this diary.creative and articuler as usully.but
    I don't agree you in one point , don't compare between the two societies , each one of them has their own reasons to love/hate reading ; we lived 132 years under the french colonization ,this last work on making another society without knowledge and religion ,he made the people run all the days to get something to sate their hungry.Hence ,the British Mandate profits the resource of the country and beside that he lets the people free , he didn't touch the traditions of the people their.

    I'm waiting the second paper of this travel story .

  2. Welcome to Cairo and I hope that you enjoy your stay :)

  3. @Zeinobia: Thanks :) I have, really, enjoyed my stay

  4. @t_zano: We don't compare always to say who's better or worse. But, differences are the first thing to notice when one goes somewhere new :)
    I'd post about the second day ASAP ;-) stay tuned,
    thanks for the visit...