- Life Style
While some are lucky enough to travel to the Red Sea bungalows or sandy beaches of the North Coast during the Eid (end of Ramadan festival) holidays, many Egyptians, and some foreigners, are obliged to stay in Cairo while their friends head to the Red Sea bungalows or sandy beaches of the North Coast.
That, however, does not mean that those who are staying behind should not enjoy their time. The city offers many attractions during the three days of Eid. Some are worth the visit just to enjoy people-watching, while others are fun experiences in their own right.
The Eid season usually features the worst of what Egyptian movie production has to offer. Over the years, it's become the shortest of the main cinema release seasons. The best movies typically show over the summer, and the mediocre ones during the spring break season and the Adha Eid holiday. The current season is deemed the worst by most Egyptians.
The eight movies slated to hit the screen during the upcoming holiday weekend include the Saad al-Soghair movie "Welad Al-Balad" ("The Sons Of This Country," which is Egyptian slang for "the good guys"). Al-Soghair favors Eid for releasing his films, which usually include a lot of belly-dancing, shabby singing, and a group of villains kidnapping the romantic interest of the protagonist.
"Al-Raghoul Al-Ghamed Be-Salamto" ("The Mysterious Man In All His Glory") is another upcoming film starring Hany Ramzy. Ramzy has managed to ruin his career single-handedly with a stream of bad project choices. He usually plays a naive character who finds a way to the upper echelons of power, before seeing the ugly realities power-wielders face and deciding to go back to his old naive ways. This latest film falls in line with the above formula.
Finally, the last highlight of the season is "Sameer We Shaheer We Baheer." Judging by the trailer for the comedy, the film revolves around three half-brothers who travel back in time to stop their mother from marrying three different men, each hoping that the outcome of that venture will be the ending of the two other brothers' lives.
For the first time in ages, however, a couple of Hollywood movies have managed to jump to the Eid cinema forefront this year, including the latest Silvester Stallone project "The Expendables" (2010), the remake of the horror classic "Predator," and the Angelina Jolie spy thriller "Salt" (2010).
Giza Zoo is a favorite Eid spot for Egyptians, who go there to feed the lions with popcorn and introduce their little children to the monkeys and elephants. The zoo can get pretty crazy with crowds in the Eid season, with people showing up with all their extended family members and bringing along their picnic gear to enjoy a day in the outdoors. But it's a perfect spot for people-watching, and for taking as many photos as you like, especially if you are writing a story about animal rights in Egypt and need images that show animal cruelty.
Al-Azhar park is another spot where you can enjoy people-watching. Located near the old city of Cairo, with views over the mosques and minarets of the city, the place is perfect for an afternoon stroll. Running away from the Cairo humidity, you can enjoy the breezy atmosphere in the park.
You can also include a bit of educational fun in your trip, as the park management has placed signs next to the different types of trees giving details such as their name and origins.
Restaurants in al-Azhar park, especially the Citadel Restaurant, are famous for their lovely atmosphere, amazing view of the park, and great menu. So you might want to book yourself a table for a late launch or an early dinner.
Being the one left behind while everyone else goes to snorkel and swim in the sea does not mean you’re forbidden from the joys of water. Usually swimming pools around Cairo--especially the ones inside hotels--are open during the holidays. Click here to see a previous compilation of swimming pools in Cairo.
An extra addition to the list would be the swimming pool in Le Méridien Pyramids Hotel. The newly-renovated swimming pool is a perfect spot for a day-pass for you, your family and/or your friends. Overlooking the pyramids of Giza, the pool is huge with multiple areas, some with shallow water for the children and others for deep water to enjoy long swims. With an amazing food menu, lovely views and a great atmosphere, the place might be the right spot for you to spend the days of Eid.