Five Things to Do in Cairo This Week
It really does feel like weekends are getting shorter. But then in a city like Cairo, keeping yourself busy or amused isn’t hard. Around every corner, there’s something that will amaze, shock or surprise you; it’s why we love it.
The likes of the X-Men and Batman may have left an impression on Hollywood in recent times, but Superman will always stand as the most iconic superhero of all time. Following unsuccessful 2006 reboot, Superman Returns, the pressure on director, Zach Snyder, has been intense. But with the help of writing team, David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan – the men responsible for taking the Batman series to new heights – said expectations have been met with aplomb, with Superman getting the dark, adult spin it’s been so desperately needing.
Gone are the red underpants – though the cape remains the centrepiece of the outfit – and in comes British beefcake, Henry Cavill, who becomes the ninth man to portray Clark Kent and his alter ego on film and TV – minus those awful cartoons. With him comes a heavyweight supporting cast; one that includes Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and the ever so slightly annoying face of Amy Adams, as well as Michael Shannon – one of the best villains in Hollywood.
Following the debacle of the NGO worker sentences in Cairo, one would be forgiven for giving up on life altogether. Don’t do that, though.
If this has shown us anything, apart from an obvious and outrageous defectiveness in government, it’s that NGOs and charities in Egypt need you now more than ever. In the past, we’ve profiled charities such as FACE For Children in Need, but what the Egyptian Society for the Mercy of Animals is truly unique.
Now, please don’t roll your eyes and make us bust out that quote about judging a society by the way it treats its animals. Yes it’s a cliché, but as with all clichés, there’s a damning truth underlining it. ESMA has only been around for six or so years, but what the organisation and its dedicated band of volunteers have done in that time is remarkable – they’ve taken in almost 1000 mistreated, malnourished, abandoned cats and dogs. But they need to house them; click here and fall in love.
Anyone who frequents the Cairo 360 pages might have picked up on the fact that we have a bit of a soft spot for the Sofitel Cairo El Gezirah. Moreover, anyone who frequents the hotel will know why. With some of the best restaurants in the city, a top spa and a host of other impressive in-house venues – including a casino – the Sofitel is one of the few hotels in Cairo that remains consistent.
On Friday June 21st, the Sofitel plans on ringing in the summer with a full day of music across its premises; from the lobby to the restaurants. The day begins with a harpist at breakfast and ends with a live band and DJ in the evening, so there’s something for everyone.
We, on the other hand, are planning to spend all seventeen hours bouncing between performances.
No longer shall you spend hours on the road to Maadi or be stuck on a bridge getting to Downtown. Nile Taxi hasn’t been around for long, but it has proven to be probably the most effective mode of transport in Cairo.
With several pick-up spots and a nifty, London Underground-inspired zone system, there’s no haggling and no stress – all you need to worry about is making sure your hair stays looking fabulous as you travel down the Nile.
What’s more is that prices are more than reasonable; a trip between Zamalek and Maadi, for example, will set you back a meagre 30LE. The only downside is that it gives Cairo’s taxi drivers another excuse to protest and block bridges.
It’s become rather en vogue to celebrate Downtown Cairo through art, but rarely do we see such coherency as we do in Gallery Misr’s ‘Down Town’.
The group exhibition brings together the work of thirteen local artists, each of which have a unique, yet completely accessible and relatable, take on the aesthetics and soul of the area. The collection encompasses the nostalgia of Downtown Cairo, but each participating artist’s individual touches of flair, across a range of techniques, makes this a truly eclectic exhibition. Plus, they’d look great on your wall.
Have a productive week, Cairo!