Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I have spent the last few days sorting and organising the many photographs that have built up around the house. I have been doing the same with my images on the computer.

Our big computer is now packed along with the scanner and printer. I am using my laptop. It has one of those low and set-down keyboards - it looks sophisticated but with any length on my finger nails at all I skitter all over the place so I have somehow never come to terms with using it!

I have been taking the photographs out to the areas where I took them and attempting to find the people I photographed.

One old man - who was elegant in black and white when I took the original shots - was not in the gold furniture area when I went there. The usual mob was starting to form, people crowding around to see if I had them in the pile in my hand. Sometimes I get plaintive requests for missing pictures - "Don't you remember? I was sitting on a motorbike behind the chairs you were looking at and it was about seven months ago - or maybe it was after the Eid as I was eating meat the night before..."

Most of what I had was distributed and we started to move - somehow I was being herded, like one bemused sheep in a very large group of sheep dogs. Down an alley we went, and through an archway, and down another alley I had never even realised existed. The children tend to run in circles around the group so we stopped and started as they got in the way -just like the way one of the cats weaves around my ankles as I walk in the garden.

We stopped under a green shutter and they started to call.

These are the images I had for him.



One boy went racing off to find the door on the other side, but the rest took up almost a chant. A very bewildered face appeared at the window. I had two pictures for him. One had been taken by the man who had headed for the door around the back,and one was now tossed up to the window.He was in sleeping clothes, a white galabeyieh and he looked a little tousled and obviously had not felt well enough to face the day.

I loved the look on his face when he saw the photos - and my three shots in quick succession tell the story!





Blogger Paddy's Daughter said...

What a wonderful face. They will all miss you, and we your wonderful tales from Cairo. Safe travels home.

10:23 pm  
Blogger Martha said...

I enyoy reading about your days in Egypt so much I will miss it. I hope I get to meet you someday, maybe in Houston at one of your workshops. Have a safe trip.

1:40 am  
Blogger 71square said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:55 am  
Blogger 71square said...

My heart aches. When are you leaving?

2:56 am  
Anonymous paramjeet said...

i am going to miss you so very much. hope to see you somewhere sometime and i am sure the flavor of the blog will not change even when you write from Australia

1:36 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenny, I have lived this adventure through your wonderful photos and insightful comments. Egypt and the people of the middle east of become real people to me and not at all as frightening as the world news portrayed them. Thank you - I'm sad too. Have a safe trip home.

3:24 am  
Blogger Sarah Ann Smith said...

Jenny.... what a wonderful gift.... your photos to him and his smile to you.... a great way to lift the sadness of departure. Travel safely, cheers, Sarah

9:22 am  
Blogger Kristin L said...

You have such a beautiful connection to the people of Cairo. I suspect you will stay in their hearts just as they will be in yours.

7:23 pm  
Blogger emma.jean said...

Wonderful photos. Best wishes!

10:31 am  
Blogger Sarah Nopp said...

Oh my, what a wonderful triplet of photos. That really touched me.

3:02 pm  
Blogger Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

I love looking at faces like these. Weathered, character-filled, and so different from what I usually see...

The name of your blog intrigued me...

5:49 am  
Blogger -K- said...

I just found your site from the Daily Photo site and now it seems like you're leaving.

The gentleman you photographed has a really magical look to him.

4:17 am  
Anonymous vishav bhraman said...

Nice article..

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11:09 pm  

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