A Taste of Religion

When I first began planning my dream trip, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to include any religious tours. It wasn’t because we weren’t interested in other religions or didn’t care, but simply because we’ve been in other parts of the Middle East for longer and already made sure to dive into their Islamic faith and practices. Many synagogues and customs here are the same or similar. I wanted to reserve Egypt for tombs, artifacts, and archeological sites the most- things that make Egypt, well, Egypt. In the end, I decided that we had to at least squeeze in a morning of understanding and experiencing Egyptian religious practices because it is such a big part of life. And of course, it didn’t disappoint.

The Citadel of Sultan Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi (Saladin) is one of the most iconic monuments in Islamic Cairo, and among the most impressive defensive fortresses dating to the Middle Ages. Its strategic location on the Muqattam Hills gave it a formidable defensive position, and a spectacular panoramic view of Cairo.

During this particular time there was an Egyptian holiday taking place, meaning that many locals came from the countryside to visit places in the city. This citadel was one of them. We were told that most of them have never been exposed to or seen a foreigner, so you can imagine how smitten they were with us. We were followed by school children of all ages and asked to take photos with them constantly.

Mosque of Sultan Hasan is one of the largest in the world and has gorgeous/impressive architecture. Completed in the 1300’s, it has an inner courtyard and houses four Islamic schools. A mass had just begun when we arrived so we had to wait out front for thirty minutes before going in. People flooded into the mosque for prayer and continued to come as the minutes ticked on, eventually cascading out the front doors.

The Mosque of al-Rifaii was completed in the 19th century and is full of beauty and elegance. A section of the mosque is dedicated to prayers and another for burials reserved for many members of Egyptian royalty and those from the Muhammad Ali Dynasty. Intricate tiles, woodwork, and carpets line this ancient building.


Lindsay View All →

Our roots will forever be from here, America, born and raised. Yet, life requires us to move more frequently than we care to count. Whether living stateside or abroad, you can always find us traveling somewhere. We scout out places that you only think you can dream of one day seeing and we seek out those that aren’t found in guidebooks. We then bring them to life here in our travel memos, so hopefully, one day you too can visit them or at least be able to live vicariously through us. This blog isn’t just about crossing off places from a bucket list. It’s about absorbing and learning how other cultures grow and fit into the same world that we do. Life is short and the world is big. Enjoy and get out there!

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