In Photos

Mapping Egypt: How Egyptians Eat 3al Sofra

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Mapping Egypt: How Egyptians Eat 3al Sofra

Collection of photos from dinner gatherings.

El Sofra, it’s the table all Egyptians eat on. It can be large, small, in the kitchen, living room, or dining room – but traditionally, it’s what brings every Egyptian family together. In Egypt, it’s common to have a spread of food for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Depending on family size, social class and location, people’s tendencies, the size and content of the spread can differ, but the tradition stays the same across the world for Egyptians.

Egyptian Streets surveyed many Egyptians around the world to collect as many photos as possible of the age-old dinner table.

Starting with breakfast, Alia Shaddad shares a very sentimental and traditional breakfast her family has on the North Coast. It is the only time and place where the entire family gets together and catches up.
A larger North Coast breakfast. Photo courtesy of Alia Shaddad.
A breakfast of Fuul, cheese, eggs, tuna and Falafel. Photo courtesy of Alia Shaddad.
A Friend’s breakfast in the Fifth Settlement. Photo courtesy of Ali Kandil.
A family breakfast in Corona, California. Photo courtesy of Amany Selim.
A vegan Egyptian breakfast in El Sherouk. Photo courtesy of Fayza Ahmed.
A family’s breakast in El Sharkeya, eating the traditional Fuul. Photo courtesy of Sandy Mekky.
A family lunch at grandma’s in Agouza. Photo courtesy of Farida Moharram.
Friends meet for dinner at an Egyptian restaurant in Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Mohamed Khairat.
A grand Egyptian dinner post-Wedding celebration in the Fifth Settlement. Photo courtesy of Farida Moharram.
A large Egyptian family dinner post-Fatha reading ceremony in Zamalek. Photo courtesy of Farida Moharram.
An Egyptian family dinner in Saratoga, New York. Photo courtesy of Farida Moharram.
A family lunch in Shoubra on Easter Sunday. Photo courtesy of Fady Moawed.
A Family Friends dinner gathering in Cairo. Photo courtesy of Hagar Darwish.
A post-Bachelorette dinner in Fifth Settlement. Photo courtesy of Mary Aravanis.
Family reunion dinner in Cairo. Photo courtesy of Mohamed Khairat.
The first Ramadan Iftar for a group of five Egyptian students in London. Photo courtesy of Mariam El Sheikh.
Egyptian appetizers in Kuwait. Photo courtesy of Maryam Hassanein.
“We gathered at my grandparents’ place in Maadi — the main meeting place of my dad’s side of the family since forever — to celebrate my grandma’s birthday and Mouled El Nabi. She prepared most of the food actually, something she hasn’t done in a long time because of how exhausting it can be for her. It was amazing!” Amina Zaineldine said.
Eid family and friends gathering, Egyptian family living abroad in Australia. Photo courtesy of Mohamed Khairat.
Family gathering in Cairo. Photo courtesy of Sanaa el Dokhmesy.
Portions of a family gathering in Cairo. Photo courtesy of Sanaa el Dokhmesy.
Gathering to celebrate the National Day of Egypt in Australia. Photo courtesy of Mohamed Khairat.

If you have any suggestions for Egyptian Streets’ Mapping Egypt food series, message us on Facebook!

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Arts & Culture Reporter. Writer and multidisciplinary artist with a passion for podcasting and theatre. Pre-pandemic, can be spotted getting work done from a Cairo coffee shop, train in Delhi or a New York subway. Intra-pandemic, works at a sunny window with lots of iced coffee.

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