May 4, 2012

Canals Cut through the Cairo Egypt

Canals Cut through the City, 1039
Naser-e Khosraw

In the midst of the houses in the city are gardens and orchards watered by wells. In the sultan’s harem are the most beautiful gardens imaginable. Waterwheels have been constructed to irrigate these gardens. There are trees planted and pleasure parks built even on the roofs. At the time 1 was there, a house on a lot twenty by twelve ells was being rented for fifteen dinars a month.

Egyptian Mosque
The house was four stories tall, three of which were rented out. The tenant wanted to take the topmost floor also for [an additional] five dinars, but the landlord would not give it to him, saying that he might want to go there sometimes, although, during the year we were there, he did not come twice. These houses are so magnificent and fine that you would think they were made of jewels, not of plaster, tile and stone! All the houses of Cairo are built separate one from another, so that no one’s trees or outbuildings are against anyone else’s walls. Thus, whenever anyone needs to, he can open the walls of his house and add on, since it causes no detriment to anyone else.

Going west outside the city, you find a large canal called al-Khalij [Canal], which was built by the father of the present sultan, who has three hundred villages on his private property along the canal. The canal was cut from Old to New Cairo, where it turns and runs past the sultan’s palace. Two kiosks are built at the head of the canal, one called Lulu [Pearl] and the other Jawhara [jewel].

Cairo is huge, yet from almost every part of it one can glimpse the Citadel high above the city, built there by Salah al-Din, or Saladin, and now dominated by the twin minarets and dome of the mosque of Muhammad ‘Ali.

Related Web Search :
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