This tour is dedicated to the Egyptian writer who had won the Noble Prize in 1988, Naguib Mahfouz (born in 1911 & died in 2006). Mahfouz was in Cairo’s famous old Gamaleyya district. He attended the Egyptian University (now Cairo University), where in 1934 he received a degree in philosophy. He first worked as a bureaucratic clerk for several years before he dove into the craft of novel writing.
We will start our tour just in front of the main entrance of Al-Azhar mosque, the oldest surviving Islamic university in the world since 969 AD. It faces the Abul-Dahab complex, which contains the modern museum of Naguib Mahfouz.
First, we will visit his museum and see his Nobel Prize for literature. Then we will move on to view Sultan Al-Ghuri’s archaeological complex (1501–4 AD). We’ll continue to the Fakahani (the fruit seller) mosque and the Sabil-Kuttab (Fountain-School) of Muhammad Ali Pasha’s son, Tusun (1820 AD).
The Sultan Muayyad Mosque (1420 AD) and Cairo’s renowned Bab Zweila Gate (969 AD) are then visited. On the way, just around the corner before the gate, there’s the famous Sugar Street of Naguib Mahfouz’s trilogy.
Finally, we’ll take a vehicle to the northern area of Fatimid Cairo (just a 10-minute ride) “El Gamaleyya District”, the birth-place of Naguib Mahfouz, where we can see his first home and a big medieval collection of Mamluke monuments nearby, such as but not limited to Qalawoun complex, Barquq college-mosque, and al-Nasir Muhammad, son of Qalawoon’s madrasa.
Here we’ll be right at Bein al-Qasrein (the Palace-Walk), also a vital component of the Cairo Trilogy of Mahfouz.
We’ll continue to see Qasr al-Shoq (Palace of Desire) from his trilogy as well, and eventually, we’ll end our tour at Al-Azhar Street, where you can take Uber to get you back to our home, or just wander a bit by yourselves in the adjacent market of Khan El-Khalili, or even decide to have your lunch somewhere.
Mahfouz’s earliest published works were short stories. His early novels, such as Radobees, were set in ancient Egypt, but he had turned to describe modern Egyptian social culture by the time he began his major work, the series known as The Cairo Trilogy. Its three novels—Bayn al-qarayn (Palace Walk), Qar al-shawq (Palace of Desire), and Al-Sukkariyyah (Sugar Street)—depict the lives of three generations of different families in Cairo from World War I until after the 1952 military coup that overthrew King Farouk. The trilogy provides a penetrating overview of 20th-century Egyptian thought and culture.
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