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Street in Cairo - Expo Chicago 1893

Street in Cairo at the Exhibition Expo Chicago 1893

The street in Cairo, which had won fame before the Exposition was a week old, comes next to the west. It presents to the visitor a series of views in the wonderful land of Egypt. In addition to the oriental nature of its architecture and decorations, the resemblance is carried still further by peopling the streets with the identical types of persons and animals one sees in the real Cairo. There are Egyptians, Arabs, Soudanese and other Africans, besides camels and donkeys with their drivers. There are private houses and stores; an Egyptian theatre, and a mosque. In the marts of the street are to be found oriental wares of every kind, jewels, daggers, wood carvings, embroideries, silks, shawls, bangles and pipes, and everything else found in the bazaars of the far east. In the theatre the dancing girls exhibit the famous “ danse du ventre.”
Entering at the eastern portal one obtains a view of houses, mosques and booths similar to those in the old street “ Bein el Kasrein.” The first typical building to the right is a wide hall with deep projecting roof and live fine archways to the street, here used as a cafe. Looking on beyond the vista presents houses decorated with gorgeous colors and constructed with projecting bays, stone brackets and overhanging second stories. To the left is a fine mosque with tall, graceful minarets girdled with three airy balconies, from the uppermost of which the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer. Both mosque and minaret are reproductions of fifteenth century architecture. Across the street from this building is one representing the dwelling of a wealthy merchant of the seventeenth century; its interior walls are decorated with marble mosaics and its ceilings richly gilded. Still farther on, standing to the left of the street, is a faithful reproduction of the " Okala, the public warehouse before the advent of railroads and steamers, the theatre is next in order. Its interior is richly decorated with fine cloth hangings and pendent lanterns and its aspect is decidedly oriental. The cafe, where fragrant Mocha coffee is to be had, is beautifully built in reproduction of a small mosque. Upon the plaza are Egyptians, Arabs, and persons of other nationalities who throng the streets of the wondrous city.

©The World's Columbian Exposition 1893