|Old Cairo, Egypt|
This area predates Islam and it was once known as Babylon. The Church of Saint Sergius was the most interesting due to its historical importance. It was one of the resting places of the Holy family when they escaped Bethlehem with their infant Jesus, threatened by King Herod's death sentence. It was the first time Peter and I visited a Coptic church. These are one of the first christian churches in the world. The construction is very simple, with ceilings that look like barns, but with exquisite stained glasses mosaic inside. The exterior of Saint Sergius church is extremely simple, just like any other house. It was interesting to note that the altar of Coptic Churches are behind a screen where the mass is performed by a priest.
We also visited Roman wall ruins and an old cemetery. I was amazed at the size of some tombs. Some of them are bigger than a lot of popular houses on urban condominiums around the world.
Old Cairo is a relatively small area and a little neglected, I thought. However, for a country with only 10% Coptic practitioners over 90% Muslims, that is understandable.
Today is a holiday, the prophet Mohammed's birthday, so there were a few Egyptian families visiting Old Cairo, but zero foreign tourists.
When we returned to the Tahrir Square area, victory celebrations were full on. Families were out with children posing in front of tanks, brigades of youth were cleaning the streets, painting side walks, bridges and even trees with the white, red and black of their flag. The excitement for their victory is not going away and emerging political parties played music at their headquarters and the speeches for the next election have already started.
I have never seen urban streets as crowded in my life. It felt that all 18 million Cairenes were out on the streets, oblivious to the dust from the Sahara, steadily blowing on them.