Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Scenes Around Cairo: فهوة - The coffee shop

Coffee shops have been an important part of Egyptian culture for as long as anyone can remember. The coffee shops are mostly frequented by men, but these days it is more and more common to see women in certain shops joining their husbands, or with another group of women. Traditionally, it is the place where men go to socialize. They are the central meeting points in most neighborhoods and the place to get the latest news (and gossip) as well as Turkish coffee, tea, or even a Stella (Egyptian Beer). In some you can also smoke shisha, play a game of backgammon, and even have your shoes shined. The younger generation typically goes for the newer and modern chains such as Costa, Starbucks, and Beanos. These newer chains offer a different ambiance entirely and you can find young up and coming professionals holding business meetings, chatting on the Internet, or strumming romantic melodies on guitars for their girlfriends. But these new places don't hold the same charm and appeal of the older shops. Step into one and you will feel as if you've stepped into a past decade. These pictures are from a very famous coffee shop downtown. I have forgotten the name. If anyone knows it please leave me a comment.

1 comment:

  1. This is the al-horreya (freedom) coffee shop in downtown cairo. Though except for that small corner on your left when you walk in, the one with old guys playing chess, no one seems to be drinking any coffee! Great place to grab a few (cheap) beers with your friends though.