In Photos

On a Neighbor’s Balcony: the Colorful Identity of the Egyptian Balcony

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On a Neighbor’s Balcony: the Colorful Identity of the Egyptian Balcony

A man taps his cigarette against the balcony railing, balances his qahwa turki along sparse wood. A woman flares her living room carpet over a different, iron-wrought railing three floors from him, beats the dust from its fringes. A group of children stand on tiptoe, peering down at a Harraniya street just past their family laundry; they giggle when the street vendor hollers back.

Balconies are a mundane, simple pleasure in Egypt: they are portals that marry city and home, patience and playfulness. Egyptians seek refuge high above the violent turbulence of Cairo, or the zooming straits of Alexandria in their miss-matched balconies, inviting guests into the simple overview of local stores and sweltering summer heat.

In cities particularly, where the outdoors are a scarce resource, balconies provide Egyptians with an escape and an opportunity.

Here is a visual exploration of balconies across Egypt, and the subtle beauties that carry wind from the sweeping gardens of Fayoum to the tight, cobblestone streets of al-Sayeda Zeinab.

Adham 8
“At Titi’s Balcony” | Photo Credit: Yasmina Benari
“Lunch on the balcony”; Dahab, Egypt | Photo Credit: Sherm on Flickr
Egypt | Photo Credit: Ahmed Adel
Egypt | Photo Credit: Ahmed Adel
No photo description available.
Cairo, Egypt | Photo Credit: Nour Elmassry
Egyptian transgender woman and activist Malak el-Kashif smokes a cigarette in the balcony of her apartment in Cairo, Egypt, October 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
Cairo, Egypt | Photo Credit: Nariman El-Mofty
Egypt | Photo Credit: Ahmed Adel
green trees near body of water under blue sky during daytime
Alexandria, Egypt | Photo Credit: Dash Studio
Facade of the modern residential building in hurghada egypt
Hurghada, Egypt | Photo Credit: Ihor Bondarenko
Detail of white wall of a house and red flower tree on the street of egypt in sharm el sheikh
Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt | Photo Credit: Olegdoro Shenko
113 Egypt Balcony Cairo Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime
Egypt | Photo Credit: Dreamstime

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In Photos
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With a heart for radio and an appetite for culture, Mona is a writer and illustrator based in Cairo. At the Erasmus University Rotterdam, she obtained a BSc and MA in Media, Culture, and Society, while actively writing for the faculty magazine. After graduating, Mona was an academic advisor at the American University in Cairo, as well as Managing Director of a small, campus-based advertising firm. Gears shifting, her knack for cultural research took over - enter: Egyptian Streets. Mona’s focus is tapered to issues of identity politics, culture, and social architecture.

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