Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Colonialist and the Cretan Woman

Mujib and I were done with the mosque fairly quickly.

I'm not one for grand mosques. They're all basically the same - big, once opulent, built more to glorify the builder, rather than who the builder prays to.

Houses, I can spend hours in. And the House of the Cretan Woman (now known as the Gayer Anderson Museum), next to the Ibn Tulun Mosque is a real gem.

Actually, it's two 17th century houses joined together. Used to belong to a couple of wealthy ladies, one of whom was from Crete.

When the brits were here, a major by the name of Gayer Anderson (an unfortunate first name in the schoolyard, I'm sure) took over the place, restored it, and filled it with quite a bit of stuff - kitsch, stolen artifacts, and lots of paintings of himself.

Everything in this place - from furniture, to cushions, to books - is over a hundred years old, and in really good shape.

I read somewhere that part of the Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me was also shot here. Couldn't tell you what part, though.
Look it up.
All pictures in this post copyright Yasir Khan 2007.

1 comment:

Atique Azad said...

I am glad you were able to meet with Mujib before he left. Your appartment looks great. I love Zamalek and I am sure you will too. Met Sufia for brunch yesterday. Emjoying reading your blog.