Home / news / Ramadan is a time in Egypt .. why do cafes acquire a historical special for Egyptians in the holy month?

Ramadan is a time in Egypt .. why do cafes acquire a historical special for Egyptians in the holy month?

Straying with his thoughts, Abd al-Rahman went to the Jamalia district in Cairo, remembering his annual habit, which was to go to Al-Hussein neighborhood to walk between its historical streets, and sit in one of the historical cafes there.

Abdel-Rahman decided after his tour to go to the Al-Fishawi café, which he always liked to sit in, to have a cup of tea, before ending his tour by going to the Suhur meal and the dawn prayer at Al-Hussein Mosque.

Cafes are a way that Egyptians gain privacy during Ramadan despite Corona (Al-Jazeera)

Samar sessions

“The atmosphere is wonderful in cafes in general, especially when friends and acquaintances share the Ramadan Samar sessions, which many were deprived of during the past year, following the ban due to the first wave of the Coronavirus,” Abdel-Rahman told Al-Jazeera Net.

Despite the Coronavirus pandemic and its consequences; However, this did not prevent cafes from being considered a destination for many groups, especially young people, during the current month of Ramadan, as this weather represents one of the ancient rituals that Egyptians have been accustomed to for hundreds of years.

A large gathering of football fans while watching the European League during the current month of Ramadan, despite Corona (Al-Jazeera)

Perhaps this is what appeared in a large gathering of football fans, while watching the European League a few days ago, which is what Khaled Al-Masry, a pharmacist, sees as a beautiful thing despite reservations about gatherings, amid talk about the need for social distancing and precautionary measures, which need to be applied, especially During the matches, in the presence of a large audience there.

Spirituality of the Hussein area

Al-Masry pointed out that the Egyptian café is a way to change the atmosphere and spend time with friends, indicating that going during the month of Ramadan to the cafes in the Hussein area gives a different feeling in light of an atmosphere of spirituality, and feeling the fragrant past mixed with the large presence of citizens there.

It should be noted that the Egyptian government had set the opening and closing dates for cafes and shops in Ramadan 2021 every day, as they open at 7 am and close at 11 pm, according to the summer dates that have recently begun.

Cairo Feather Cafe was founded in 1908, and it was a destination for intellectuals, writers and poets (communication sites)

The most prominent cafes in Ramadan

The role of cafes throughout history is not limited to serving different drinks to the attendees, but rather as a place for a varied and different presence, so you find cafes for intellectuals, others for writers and writers, sometimes for politicians, and other for the general public during Ramadan or other months.

Perhaps Al-Fishawi Café, which is located in the heart of the Al-Hussein neighborhood adjacent to Khan Al-Khalili, and the cafe was established in 1797, and it is one of the most prominent cafes in the month of Ramadan, as it gained its fame from the privacy of the place in which it is located, in addition to being considered a destination for a number of celebrities and politicians, starting with Napoleon Bonaparte, who intended him to eat fenugreek drink.

And through famous Egyptian personalities such as Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, Muhammad Abdo, the late writer Naguib Mahfouz and Ahmed Zewail, and it is crowded with attendance during the month of Ramadan in particular; Due to its location adjacent to the Al-Hussein Mosque, not to mention the peculiarity of the area, which is characterized by being a destination for tourists due to its ancient history.

Cultural cafes in Ramadan

We find other cafes that were and still are a destination for intellectuals, writers and politicians, such as the Rish Cafe, which was founded in 1908, and witnessed hot political events, passing by being a secret place to write and print the publications of the 1919 revolution led by Saad Zaghloul.

Likewise, Petro Café, in which Naguib Mahfouz, the late Egyptian writer, became acquainted with the late writer Tawfiq al-Hakim, and he used to spend some of his time there, as is the case for Qasr El-Nil and Orabi Café.

We also find the Zahrat Al Bustan Café in the downtown area, which are all cultural cafes, whose patrons, including writers, writers and artists, used to attend Ramadan cultural evenings, which were held there, turning into a destination for families and various popular factions over time.

The history of coffeehouses in Egypt

In his book “Features of Cairo in a Thousand Years”, the late writer Gamal Al-Ghitani narrates the peculiarity of cafes in Egypt and their historical importance since long ages, saying in the first chapter of the book: Cairo, the Moroccan traveler Abu Bakr Al-Ayashi, described the coffee-drinking councils in homes and in the places designated for them.

He continued, “At the beginning of the 10th century AH, the problem of prohibiting coffee was resolved or analyzed. The places that served it spread to Cairo, and they were called cafes, and it seems to us that these places existed hundreds of years before that, but they were not called cafes because the coffee itself was not You have not entered Egypt. “

Many people may overlook the bloody history of coffee and the places where it is drunk. Here, the Ottoman Sultan Murad IV issues orders to execute those who drink coffee and closes their drinking places under the pretext of the prohibition of the drink, which has turned into sedition. Before coffee finally triumphs by legalizing it and allowing it to be consumed, according to Dr. Sabri Ahmed, the historian and professor of modern history of Al-Jazeera Net.

He pointed out that coffee entered Egypt in the 16th century, and then the cafes appeared, which gradually spread after the Ottomans appointed a mufti in Egypt who authorized drinking coffee to ward off the strife that occurred between the sheikhs and coffee dealers after there was a prevailing belief that coffee is a forbidden drink.

Here, cafes have proliferated, and their use has become a means of spending free time and brunch sessions, as well as turning into an ideal place for Ramadan evenings, which were interspersed with singing, poetry, and the presentation of stories of a thousand and one nights in the form of stories that were told by storytellers inside these cafes.

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