Thousands of people gathered from governorates all across Egypt to attend the traditional celebration of Mouled Al-Sayeda Zaynab.
Tuesday marked Al-Leila Al-Kebeera, and the end of a week-long festivity of the birth date of Al-Sayeda Zaynab, the granddaughter of the Prophet Mohammed. Tents have been set up since last Tuesday in anticipation for the event.
Many of those in the pictures, including Um Ahmed and Shaykh Salmany, said they travelled to Cairo to “be close” Al-Sayeda Zaynab. They said that they frequent Mouled celebrations of the Prophet’s family members throughout the year.
According to a Sufi organiser, a tareeqa that wants to set up a tent has to obtain permission from the state and pay money to set up their tent. After setting up the tents, the organisers spend the week offering food, drink to their visitors as Quran and dhikr are recited.
Mouled literally means birth in Arabic. Islamic Mouleds are synchronised by the Islamic Lunar calendar. Other popular Mouleds include Al-Mouled Al-Nabawy, Mouled Al-Hussein, and Mouled Al-Sayyed Al-Badawi.
Mouleds are celebrated by both Christians and Muslims in Egypt. Mouled Al-Adra, The Virgin Mary, and Mouled Mari Girgis are the two largest Coptic Mouled celebrations.
Photos by Amany Kamal and Gehad Abaza