Just to the south of modern Cairo stands the historic enclave known as Old Cairo, which grew up in and around the Roman fortress of Babylon, and which today hosts a unique collection of monuments that attest to the shared cultural heritage of ancient Egyptians, Christians, Jews, and Muslims. In this lavishly illustrated celebration of a very special place, renowned photographer Sherif Sonbol’s remarkable images of the fortress, churches, synagogue, and mosque illuminate the living fabric of the ancient and medieval stones, while the text describes the history of Old Cairo from the time of the ancient Egyptians and the Romans to the founding of the first Muslim city of al-Fustat, focusing on the Jewish history of the area (exploring the famous Genizah documents found in the Ben Ezra Synagogue that tell so much about everyday life in medieval Egypt), the early Coptic Christian churches, some of the oldest in the world, and the arrival of the Muslims in the seventh century, their establishment of al-Fustat on the edge of Old Cairo, and the building of the oldest mosque in Africa.
The History and Religious Heritage of Old Cairo
Its Fortress, Churches, Synagogue, and Mosque
1 March 2017
370 color illus.
For sale worldwide
Sherif Sonbol is a highly regarded Egyptian photographer. He has contributed photographs to numerous illustrated books, including The Churches of Egypt (AUC Press, 2008), The Nile Cruise: An Illustrated Journey (AUC Press, 2010), and The History and Religious Heritage of Old Cairo (AUC Press, 2013)
Architecture for the Dead
Cairo’s Medieval Necropolis
Galila El Kadi Alain Bonnamy
Cairo’s Medieval NecropolisGalila El Kadi
The great medieval necropolis of Cairo, comprising two main areas that together stretch twelve kilometers from north to south, constitutes a major feature of the city’s urban landscape. With monumental and smaller-scale mausolea dating from all eras since early medieval times, and boasting some of the finest examples of Mamluk architecture not just in the city but in the region, the necropolis is an unparalleled—and until now largely undocumented—architectural treasure trove. In Architecture for the Dead, architect Galila El Kadi and photographer Alain Bonnamy have produced a comprehensive and visually stunning survey of all areas of the necropolis. Through detailed and painstaking research and remarkable photography, in text, maps, plans, and pictures, they describe and illustrate the astonishing variety of architectural styles in the necropolis: from Mamluk to neo-Mamluk via baroque and neo-pharaonic, from the grandest stone buildings with their decorative domes and minarets to the humblest—but elaborately decorated—wooden structures. The book also documents the modern settlement of the necropolis by families creating a space for the living in and among the tombs and architecture for the dead....read more
7 September 2007
320 b/w illus., 105 maps and plans
Architecture for the Poor
An Experiment in Rural Egypt
An Experiment in Rural EgyptHassan Fathy
In this now classic work, Hassan Fathy, Egypt’s greatest twentieth-century architect, describes in detail his plan for building the village of New Gourna on the west bank of the Nile at Luxor, employing both the traditional building material, mud brick, and such traditional Egyptian architectural features as enclosed courtyards and domed and vaulted roofing. Fathy worked closely with the people to tailor his designs to their needs; he taught them how to work with the mud bricks, supervised the erection of the buildings, and encouraged the revival of ancient techniques, such as the use of claustra (mud-brick latticework) to adorn the buildings. Although bureaucratic red tape and other problems prevented the completion of New Gourna, Fathy’s ideas have since commanded widespread attention both inside and outside Egypt, and Architecture for the Poor remains a testament to his vision as an architect of conscience. “Fathy demonstrates very powerfully that it is possible to build for the poor … cheaply and humanly by the use of earth for building and by teaching people to build for themselves. There is no other book quite like this.” —Choice...read more
132 b/w illus.
Gardens of Sand
Nineteenth-Century Photographs of Egypt, Arabia, Turkey, and the Levant
Issam Nassar Patricia Almárcegui Clark Worswick
Nineteenth-Century Photographs of Egypt, Arabia, Turkey, and the LevantIssam Nassar
Between 1859 and 1905, a number of photographers working in Damascus, Mecca, Cairo, Istanbul, and northern Africa captured their landscapes, towns, and monuments, bequeathing an unprecedented visual documentation of the Middle East. Gardens of Sand brings together 100 original photographs, masterpieces mostly hitherto unpublished, taken between 1859 and 1905. The archive illustrates the themes of the expatriate photographers of the second half of the nineteenth century—study portraits, royal commissions, landscapes, inventories of significant monuments and buildings, orientalist scenes, steeped in classical European imagination—but also explores the confrontation between western imagination and the visual reality of the Middle East, a meeting that gave rise to a local photography, gradually moving further away from western stereotypes, and includes a critical analysis of orientalism and of photography as a means of conveying a reality of prejudices....read more
The Churches of Egypt
From the Journey of the Holy Family to the Present Day
Edited by Carolyn Ludwig Gertrud J.M. van Loon Gawdat Gabra Photographs by Sherif Sonbol
From the Journey of the Holy Family to the Present DayEdited by Carolyn Ludwig
Gertrud J.M. van Loon
Photographs by Sherif Sonbol
With over 300 full-color photographs, this is the first fully illustrated book devoted to Christian houses of worship in Egypt. The text incorporates the latest research to complement the broad geographic scope covering nearly all significant Coptic sites throughout the country, from the ancient Coptic churches in Old Cairo to the churches in the monasteries of Wadi al-Natrun, the Red Sea, and Upper Egypt. Churches associated with the Holy Family’s sojourn in Egypt, including Gabal al-Tayr and Dayr al-Muharraq, enrich the volume. Churches of all other Christian denominations in Egypt are also described and beautifully illustrated here. A number of Greek Orthodox churches, Evangelical Coptic, Catholic, Armenian, and Anglican churches are included. Introductory chapters on the history of Christianity in Egypt, the architecture of the Coptic Church, and Coptic wall paintings help readers to appreciate fully the great cultural, artistic, and architectural heritage of Egypt’s Christians....read more
1 November 2012
350 color illus.