Lavazza, Coffee Roots: Egypt part 2

Uploaded by lavazza on 24.02.2012

And so Cairo saw the birth
of its own literary salons,
which still preserve testimonies
of that intellectual vigour.
In short, coffee became
the middle class’ beverage of election.
Music shows were a mainstay
of the cafés chantants
and represented a golden opportunity
for artists and orchestras
to boost their fame.
This form of entertainment
was for men only;
women could attend
only if they were married
to liberal men
and even then they had to stay
in a separate area,
away from the gazes
of other male guests.
Many time-honoured cafés in Cairo
are dedicated to “the star of the East”,
Umm Kolthum.
The most breath-taking is
the Saraj El Es-Bakhia,
decorated with enchanting portraits
of this unforgettable singer
who passed away in 1975.
The Al Feshawi café was and is still
a mainstay of Egyptian social life.
It was a favourite of
literature Nobel prize winner Naguib Mahfouz.
Turks, Mores, Christians
and Jews used to meet here.