Farah talks Cairo
Updated: Apr 8, 2019
Farah shares food, sites, and why Cairo, Egypt should be on everyone's bucket list.
"I am a 27 year old young professional - attempting to enter the urban planning/design field. My hobbies include drinking delicious coffee, finding tasty pastries and sweets, trying fun and unique restaurants with people I love, game nights, exploring cities by foot and understanding their past/history! I have lived in Tucson, Arizona, Washington DC/Northern Virginia, London, and soon I can add San Antonio, Texas to the list! I also feel obliged to mention North Africa as an affiliate geographic location."
If a friend were visiting Cairo, what is the first thing you would show her?
"I would take her to the old city/market for some historical insights and shopping, then we would have a traditional Egyptian meal with some live Arabic music at Naguib Mahfouz Cafe. For a more contemporary vibe, I would take her to a cool cafe in Zamalek. My favorite things about Cairo is that it is always changing, there are always fun and new spots, and you can get a hookah with every meal!!! You can also get pampered and treated like a princess at a beauty salon."
"My favorite thing about being human in the Arab/Islamic world is their emphasis on family and traditions. I love going back home because it is a much less fast-paced life and people are not as work-oriented as they are in the West."
"I think it is empowering to get through the old city/market!! Negotiating prices and talking with salespeople is a fun experience but it can also be really hectic and stressful, so accomplishing that is absolutely empowering! I think talking with the locals is also empowering, it shows a different side of the city you're visiting."
Flavours of Cairo
"Cairo has an amazing food scene. I would recommend traditional food to really get in Egypt mode, but I recently went to a fun/delicious place called Bocca near Zamalek area. It had everything from burgers to smoothies, to salads - and of course hookah."
Wisdom and Advice for Travel in Cairo
"The usual safety tips for visiting a bustling, crowded big city apply. Be smart! Keep your bags close to you, don't wear anything flashy or too revealing, expect some cat calling and haggling, don't be overly nice to strangers.
Cairo is unique because they are so used to tourists and their society is really friendly and cool, but of course it's important to remember that it is traditional at its core and you always want to be respectful of that and dressing appropriately (not too revealing or flashy). It is a mega city, so it's important to keep in mind regular safety precautions (not going anywhere unsafe - doing your research, not trusting everyone, making sure not to get haggled too much, etc.)"
“Don't set expectations and guidelines for what you think a city should be like because of what you are used to! Experience the city for what it is, be smart, always alert, and safe!.”
"People all over the world can be really closed minded about women doing certain things, but it seems as though the younger generations are changing it up, which is exciting. I think a big misconception is that the Arab/Islamic world is particularly suffocating for women, but women deal with the same problems that the US and other parts of the world have i.e. cat calling, gender stereotypes, etc.
Don't set expectations and guidelines for what you think a city should be like because of what you are used to! Experience the city for what it is, be smart, always alert, and safe!"