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1. 800 years of pyramids

2. Ancient temples

3. Ancient tombs

4. Just relaxing

5. Diving and snorkelling

6. The great river

7. Desert and oases

8. Christianity

9. Islamic sights

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Islamic sights

Islamic sights of Egypt is truly a question of Cairo. You can practically walk through the centuries of the religion and its architecture within a small part of the city. The shift of rulers and their preferences of what a mosque should look like, it all comes to life in Cairo.
Outside Cairo, there are plenty of splendid mosques, but they are usually quite new. This even applies to Alexandria. Among the cities with important or interesting Islamic sights are the following:
  • Rosetta. A few of the mosques here are very interesting as they represent smaller mosques from a period from which mainly large mosques have survived.
  • Dakhla. Dakhla Oasis, and especially Qasr village, has the finest examples of pepper-pot minarets, as well as a beautiful, small madrasa.
  • Luxor. The Mosque of Abu l-Haggag has a setting like no other mosque in the entire world! It penetrates the Luxor Temple, almost controlling the entrance to the ancient temple. Although small, the mosque is quite interesting and attractive by itself.
Another aspect of Islam which is interesting to a visitor are the many Islamic festivals, moulids. These are events of remembering and recreating holy men and women. Processions are held, lectures given, special ceremonies are held in the mosques and vendors and artists move in.
It is possible to suggest that these ceremonies are a continuation of public religion from the times of Ancient Egypt. Muslim scholars and clerics have criticized the the moulids of being heretical to Islam, but many of Egypt's mosques are built up around the tomb of the holy men and women.
Time of year Duration
Location Name of festival
October 7 Tanta Sayid Ahmed el-Bedawi
March * 14 Cairo El-Hussein
August * 14 Luxor Abu el-Haggag
September * 14 Wadi Humaysara Sayyid al-Shazli
* Moves ahead by 11 days/year as the festival is regulated according to the Islamic calender (which has a year of 354 days). Time set here is valid for 2010.

By Tore Kjeilen