Al Qahira: Modern and Nostalgic Egyptian Memorabilia in Zamalek
6, Bahgat Ali St.
11AM - 9PM
Alia El Askalany
Strolling down Bahgat Ali Street
in Zamalek, we’ve always come across a really cool balcony with a canopy-like banner
reading ‘Al Qahira’ in authentic Arabic calligraphy. We assumed it was just
another patriotic Zamalek resident adding flair to their home; but it turns out
we were mistaken. Al Qahira is a sight for sore eyes, filled with art, jewellery,
interior design and home accessories as well as bags and glassware.
Located on the first floor of the building right beside Masterbed, Al Qahira
crafts centre should not be missed. The apartment is stacked with colourful and
artistic items, starting with their Arabic calligraphy notebooks and diaries in
fabric, recycled paper and papyrus material ranging between 10LE to 85LE. They
also have linen curtain fabrics with Arabic calligraphy on them ranging between
150LE and 180LE, hanging decorative chains with mirrors and framed pictures
from old Egypt ranging between 150LE and 250LE, very funky light fixtures with
old Arabic movie posters on them between 100LE and 200LE and ones with Arabic
calligraphy on them ranging in size and price starting at 60LE, and reaching
For the galabeya fans among you, Al Qahira has gorgeous pieces on
display in different fabrics and lengths but a bit pricey, starting at 1000LE and above. However,
there are cheaper alternatives also on display in cotton with gold and black
calligraphy on them for 300LE. Another dazzling item that they have is a pair of Indian
and Paisley print harem trousers in various
fabrics between 160LE and 180LE. We fell in love with the colourful scarves
made out of ‘melaya laf’ fabric, the same fabric used for the folkloric Banat
Bahary costume in Alexandria (350LE). They also have colourful plastic bags
with photos of Egyptian and foreign actors from the heydays (between 200LE to
300LE), and exceptionally pretty, practical loose change pouches with ‘fakka’
written on them for 10LE.
Al Qahira boasts a variety of home accessories such as trays adorned in
Arabic film posters as well as vintage jewellery boxes ranging between 150LE to
250LE, coasters and mugs at 35LE, blown glass sets starting at 15LE a piece,
couch cushions with calligraphy and old Arabic film poster prints at 50LE, 60LE
and 70LE, depending on their size. Their vintage-looking copper water jugs in
orange and green are not to be missed, especially at the affordable price of 50LE.
The gallery also has a very eclectic collection
of both modern artsy and vintage jewellery collections by Suzan El Masry in
silver and gold-plated material, such as earrings (220LE to 250LE) and
necklaces that go up to 2500LE.