Cairo at the End of the Line: A Photo Essay From the City’s Last Stops

This will be the last post on Year in Cairo. To all who read and shared this site with others, thank you. Encouragement from family and strangers alike was a huge inspiration over the past 12 months. The site will be maintained under its current domain for at least another couple of years, so please continue to share or use any and all media from the site, and thanks again. -Will

With two weeks before I return to the US, my initial – perhaps impossible – goal of going to every Cairo Metro stop appeared out of reach. In lieu of going to every stop, I decided to head out to every “last stop” on the Metro that I haven’t already been to.

With 3 Metro lines, there are 6 “last stops” in total: Helwan and New El Marg on Line 1, El Monib and Shoubra El Kheima on Line 2, and Attaba and Abbassiya (so far) on Line 3, which was only opened a few months ago. For a pretty good map of Cairo’s Metro system, click here. Regular readers may remember Helwan from an earlier post about the Japanese Buddha Gardens found there. I’ve also spent some time in and around the Attaba station, as it is much more centrally located than the rest of the “end stops.” In fact, Attaba is smack in the middle of Line 1 (Helwan – New El Marg), where that line links up the new Line 3, which will eventually go to Cairo’s airport. That left 4 stops to cover: El Monib, New El Marg, Shoubra El Kheima, and Abbassiya.

A housing complex in El Monib with one apparent tenant and plenty of vacancies. Mubarak era tax laws stipulated that property taxes were only paid upon completion of construction, causing many builders to simply withhold the finishing touches, or roofs, of many buildings in Cairo.

The view across the Nile an elevated highway in El Monib. 

A young man sells basic sandwiches outside of a microbus stop in El Monib. He can count on a continuous flow of foot traffic throughout the day.

A mosaic of small tiles at a microbus stop in El Monib is covered with old flyers for former Presidential candidate Aboul Fotouh.

A large open courtyard separates two building complexes in El Monib. The Nile, and the neighborhoods beyond, lie in the distance.

 

Microbuses wait for passengers as vendors sell produce outside the El Monib Metro.

A juice stand operating out of the first floor of an empty building in New El Marg. It’s not uncommon to see business being run out of the ground floor of an otherwise unoccupied space such as this, even in more central Cairo districts.

A new residential complex on its way up, a common sight in New El Marg.

Umbrellas cover the outdoor vendors in New El Marg from the summer heat.

New buildings extend off into the distance of New El Marg. Areas like this are almost entirely residential, but built around the accessible commercial hubs offered by the Metro station and its surrounding area.

A close-up on the facade of a new residential complex in New El Marg.

 

Men watch television outside a cafe in Shoubra El Kheima after a Ramadan Iftar.

Families browse what market vendors have to offer in Shoubra El Kheima.

A vendor puffs on a sheesha pipe as he sells food for microbus passengers in Shoubra El Kheima. The microbuses are color-coded according to their final destinations.

An underground tunnel connects two sides of the Shoubra El Kheima Metro and Train Stations. Even in the middle of the tunnel there are vendors selling clothing and food. 

From a bridge connecting the Metro and train stations in Shoubra El Kheima, a view of some childrens’ rides in front of a mosque.

A group of men gather at a cafe after Iftar in Abbassiya.

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