Category Archives: road

in-flight fundamentalist

I board the Qatar flight from Luxor to Doha, on my way back to Dubai. I am in the aisle seat; next to me, a black man in a hat. The plane takes off, reaches cruising altitude; the flight attendants … Continue reading

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Luxor Temple

Luxor Temple sits in the middle of the town of Luxor. When you are inside of it looking out, through the pillars of the colonnades and hypostyle halls you can see the crappy apartment blocks of the city. There used … Continue reading

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the road to Luxor

My driver smokes in the car, plays Quranic chants, and slags off the Muslim Brotherhood. His brief history of modern Egypt, in basic English: Gamal Abdel Nasser not good, Anwar Sadat not good, Hosni Mubarak good. With Mubarak not Muslims … Continue reading

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the monument that moved

Out of Luxor airport: bougainvillea erupting, vegetation waving, lush crooked palm trees growing by giant irrigation ditches. Rough roads, studded with speed bumps and military checkpoints every few kilometres; a land locked down tight.  My driver chortles and guffaws at … Continue reading

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tiles and tombs

The Turks may have destroyed Byzantium, but to replace the mosaics they brought ceramics.  This is the Topkapi, palace of the Ottoman sultans. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves… Those were for the living, but they did it for … Continue reading

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churches into mosques

Aya Sofia is the most obvious example, but there are a few less famous ones around Istanbul: the Turks came, took the churches and converted them into mosques. One that still is a mosque is the small ex-church that was … Continue reading

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the Justinian underground

as above so below: right across the street from Aya Sofia, Justinian’s people built something else – an underground cistern to store the drinking water that was brought into Constantinople from nearby forest springs, by means of aqueducts and pipes. … Continue reading

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