a turkish breakfast in cairo

After a quick taxi ride across the Nile, I walked from the nearly-deserted square on a Friday morning. I took the elevator to the top of a building at the end of a shady street. I entered the apartment, where chopping of tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro was happening at a furious pace. I accepted a Nescafe and pulled out my camera.

chopping tomatoes

The occasion was a brunch for the shilla of fellow students & friends who’d decided to return to Cairo this fall, pro-military populism and curfew and all. In past years we might have gathered for a dinner party, but given the constraints of the curfew, brunch has become the new dinner in Cairo, and Ada graciously stepped up to offer her apartment and culinary prowess to feed us that morning.

onions & garlic: a quick saute

eggs with cilantro, tomatoes, garlic & onions

There was bread, preserves, tart white cheese with herbs, cubes of cheese peppered with hot sauce, yogurt & bananas, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, grapes, and of course eggs fried up with tomatoes, cilantro, and red peppers…

laying out dishes over latticework

Also Nescafe. Did I mention Nescafe? Absolutely essential to gatherings such as these. I was so relaxed I almost forgot to take photos. But I managed to snap a few here and there…

bananas & yogurt

The guests included our class and a smattering of friends and partners. We broke bread and drifted in and out of Arabic and English, eating what for many of us was the largest dose of vegetables we’d enjoyed in quite some time. It was a perfectly relaxing morning: the perfect balm to the end of a long and dusty Cairo week.

the full spread

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