It seems every time I head out with Fatma, my beautiful Egyptian friend and jewelry maker extraordinaire….I find treasures !!

So it was just supposed to be another trip to the market again as we had been working on different designs for awhile and after I was finally  satisfied with them, we headed back to the market to find the materials we needed.

We stopped first to look for fabric that we needed and the place was chaotic but Fatma said very nonchanlantly, it really isn’t that crowded Julie….yikes !… I can’t imagine worse… It’s these tiny little spaces that are individually owned , full of bolts of fabrics and full of women fighting to get the attention of the shop keeper to haggle for a good price …. Well, we got what we needed (Fatma did the haggling) and off we went again looking for more material….

Before we entered the market, Fatma said she wanted to stop at the mosque at the entrance to the market to pray.  In Egypt, there are mosques almost every few blocks… Kind of like in Mexico where there is a church in almost every corner.

Anyway, I decided to stay outside to take pictures while Fatma was inside.  As I was taking pictures a man from the mosque asked me would you like to come in and take pictures?….I said, yes I would… so he lent me a scarf (it’s customary and respectful to wear a scarf when entering a mosque) and inside I went and began clicking away.   Another hidden treasure that from the outside seemed like an old dilapidated building…which most of the buildings in Cairo look this way btw!

This mosque happened to be 500 years old !  Not as beautiful as the Al Hussein that I have been too, but it still had beauty to it.   Beautiful lamps, and woodwork all over, I was clicking away when Fatma came out and was surprised to see me inside.  The man said if I wanted to see more of the mosque and of course I said yes so he took us to a higher level to see the mosque from a landing in the back….where of course we had to take a selfie!!!…lol..

Minaret…that’s pretty high

All I can say is d*** it was high and I was totally out of breath by the time I made it up…It’s a winding staircase and I have to admit, I stopped a couple of times to catch my breath and to not get dizzy.  But man….was it worth it !… The view was spectacular !….All of Cairo was there to see.. The Citadel in the back, the winding streets, the market below, truly Wow !After taking pictures from every angle I could imagine….The mosque man said to me…would you like to go up the minaret?  Now you don’t know what these means….this is not a common thing or something to take lightly, .it is a very special thing and a privilege.  Without thinking or any hesitation, I said Absolutely !  Now, the minaret is very high up, and I mean high…quite a feat and I should have counted the steps but I was so concerned about not breaking my neck that I forgot…. So here is a picture of the minaret….

Like I said… I step out with Fatma and magic happens….:)

 

After that spectacular interlude, we continued our quest for beautiful gemstones and the amazing shops at the market.

I always finish exhausted after a day at the market but I get my workout in for sure and keeping up with Fatma’s fast pace is a challenge indeed.  Tomorrow I’m off very early to Luxor to search for more treasures and inspirations.  Can’t wait to see Mara’s House, a true gem in Luxor and laugh at all of Amr’s antics !… Stay tuned

Peace and abundance to all

Julie Acosta AKA The Traveling Redheaded Lady…;)


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