Our class schedule was rearranged a little bit, and as such, we now have Tuesday with no classes. So yesterday, myself and two friends undertook an adventure. We went to a house that survived from the Ottoman Empire, it was probably from around 16th or 17th century. It was kept in good shape and is now a fun little tourist spot. It was really cool to walk through it and see how the Cairene elite would have lived centuries ago. Very beautiful. It was also situated touching one wall of the Ibn Tulun Mosque. This mosque was awesome! It is a huge mosque! Something like 4 acres, and was built in the 9th century. It is the oldest surviving mosque in Cairo and is almost completely intact. We climbed the minaret (tower) and looked over Cairo, what a sight! Then we walked back to the Metro and stopped and got some juice. This was one of the biggest reasons for my excitement to be here, fresh juice! I drank a cup full of manjo juice and it cost me only 40 american cents! What an incredible price! I love the Middle East. Then before arriving at the metro we stepped inside the Sayyida Zeinab mosque. She was the granddaughter of the prophet Muhammed, and was buried in this mosque. This mosque was amazing! Whereas the Ibn Tulun was old and stone with no elaborate features, this one was carpeted and with chandeliers and fans and all sorts of nice decorations. We sat there in the air conditioned mosque soaking in the beauty of it and watching these pious people worship when the call to prayer went off. The muezzin (one who delivers the call) had a beautiful voice and it was so relaxing and spiritual to see the sons of Abraham worshiping the same God we do, albeit in a different way. Then we went home and started homework. What a fun day! I wonder what next Tuesday will hold?!?
Me on the end of a huge minaret
The mansion we toured
Inside the mansion
An accurate view of much of Cairo, sadly
Inside the Ibn Tulun mosque
Our tour group
The courtyard of the Ibn Tulun mosque, a hypostyle mosque featuring a minaret that wasn't originally intended for the call to prayer and was modeled after a Persian mosque
A view from the minaret, overlooking the massive city of Cairo, it is enormous.
Look at the detail put into this wall, the ceilings were equally detailed
I couldn't put a fraction of the pictures I wanted to up on the blog, I had too many as it was. So check out my facebook album which should be featuring them soon!