Peter A. Carrigan

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Latest by Peter A. Carrigan


A KHAWAGA'S TALE: An evening with the Dancing Queens

Love can ask many things of a man and what I did for love the other night took the biscuit. I sacrificed the last vestiges of my rock ‘n’ roll integrity and took Sophie along to the Abba revival show at the Nile Hilton. To prepare for the sacrificial alter, I turn up the N’ …

Peter A. Carrigan

Happy hour at the Canadian Hope Centre

The Canadian embassy’s Thursday night drinks are legendary, so when I saw the public invite for a charity dinner pop up in my inbox to the Ambassador’s Zamalek residence, wild moose couldn’t keep me away.Big candles burned outside the residence on Thursday night, others floated in the pool and the tables were lit in golden …

Peter A. Carrigan

A KHAWAGA'S TALE: Searching for the lost battalion

Wanted: Historical sources – photos, letters, journals or memories of the 70,000 New Zealand troops that were based in Maadi during World War II. A New Zealand filmmaker is on his second trip to Cairo in search of pieces to a jigsaw that he hopes will complete the picture of the life led by his …

Peter A. Carrigan

A KHAWAGA'S TALE: If kids run the world

Over the weekend I’ve made a few observations, the first being that kids could run the world. I’ve just spent the past three days at the Cairo American College Campus in Maadi, listening to teenagers solve the issues of the day, in a simulation called the Model United Nations (MUN). In this game, students play …

Peter A. Carrigan

KHAWAGA'S TALE: Tales of King Tut's crypt

London is preparing to host the National Geographic Tutankhamun Exhibition in November, which smashed records in four US cities, turning staid museum space into a theatrical experience. The exhibition designer, Mark Lach, considers the London 02 Arena the best exhibition space in the world and believes that Egyptians visiting London will see their history in …

Peter A. Carrigan

An audience with Egypt's royalty

This is the first anniversary of Khawaga’s Tale. I have only missed one week and that was over the New Year holiday, which I am sure any regular reader would understand. So what better way to celebrate than with an audience with the last King of Egypt? King Farouk is entombed in the Rifa’i Mosque …

Peter A. Carrigan

KHAWAGA'S TALE: Credit Card Scams

When using your credit card in Cairo, beware the extra charges that can turn up on your statement. A number of stories have popped up in my inbox this week of credit card fraud. Customers of both Travco and La Bodega Restaurant in Zamalek, allege their cards have been copied and then used to purchase …

Peter A. Carrigan

British Ambassador leaves BEBA, touts bilateral relations

CAIRO: Iftar was the meal and Nile Hilton the venue, for both British and Egyptian businessmen and women to say goodbye to one of their loudest cheerleaders, H.E. Sir Derek Plumbly. The British ambassador, who is married to an Egyptian, said goodbye to the British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) on Monday night, warning that there …

Peter A. Carrigan

KHAWAGA'S TALE: Moon Beach

Under a full moon on Thursday night, I let the sand run between my toes and the Sakara Gold wash away my week, as the waters of Suez lapped onto Sinai’s Moon Beach. I am going to rank the Spreader Bar, in my top 10. It is going to come behind the Railway Hotel in …

Peter A. Carrigan

Tripping on the tram

I’ve been in Cairo so long I had almost forgotten one of my tried and tested cost effective and adventurous activities when away from home: Riding a bus along a route you don’t know, to a destination unknown. Every time I hurtled through Heliopolis over the years, traveling to and from the airport, I would …

Peter A. Carrigan

KHAWAGA'S TALE: Ramadan is contagious, catch it!

I’ve got a lot of time on my hands at the moment, since I am now living in the dog house. I supported South Africa against England in the Rugby World Cup on Friday night and my English wife told me I had “crossed the line. You see, the English were humiliated and I am …

Peter A. Carrigan

KHAWAGA'S TALE: Touting tutorial talents

It will not be too long before autumn arrives in Cairo. For newly arrived foreigners it will be impossible to imagine that by October the leaves will have started to turn and the temperature will plummet. It is hard even for me to believe it at the moment. Ramadan is beginning this week and those …

Peter A. Carrigan

KHAWAGA'S TALE: Bye-Bye London

I returned home to Cairo yesterday. Though I am writing this in London on Friday, having almost failed the only assignment my editor gave me over the summer. “Visit Edgware Road, she said. “Find out how the smoking ban has affected the shisha cafes. My editor forgot to tell me to take a raincoat to …

Peter A. Carrigan

Comic relief at the Edinburgh Festival

An Egyptian Englishmen, Saif Abu Kandil, is staging a stand-up comedy act during the Edinburgh Festival, laced with explicit language and teenage sexual fantasies that makes the audience squirm uncomfortably, whilst attempting to break down Middle Eastern stereotypes dressed as a Catholic nun. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Middle East began with Saif comparing the …

Peter A. Carrigan

KHAWAGA'S TALE: London Trends

The English summer is in full bloom and I’ve jettisoned London’s Nu-rave, patton shoes and Generation-Y for the south coast and one of those iconic pebble beaches this island is so famous for. London is cool alright, too cool for school in fact and its teeming with Generation-Y who have poured into Chelsea and North …

Peter A. Carrigan

Special Forces to the rescue?

Londoners don’t seem that interested in the war anymore. Hundreds of thousands of anti-war demonstrators marched past Big Ben in February 2003, but now when I mention Iraq to my buddy Andy around the barbeque, he flips the sizzling lamb kofta and declares, “We are eating peace food tonight. I declare the propagandists have actually …

Peter A. Carrigan

KHAWAGA'S TALE: French summers and Le Tour de France

There is an eighth Century image of a Caravan going to Mecca from a book of Arab literature called “The Maqamat, with pilgrims blowing trumpets, banners waving and happy glowing faces showering Dinars on communities as they pass. Le Tour de France is kind of similar. Preceding the bicycles come the caravan of promotional vehicles, …

Peter A. Carrigan

KHAWAGA'S TALE: Pyrenees Part 3

I have been vacationing now for two weeks in this French Pyrenees farming village, where every morning feels like a Friday morning: a swim at about 10:30, then collect my mail from the internet café and peruse the International Herald Tribune with my morning café latté before breaking for lunch. Lunch is the key to …

Peter A. Carrigan

KHAWAGA'S TALE: The Pyrenees Vacation Part 2

It would not be uncommon to find Christians who would pour scorn on the 5,000,000 people who visit St. Bernadette’s grotto in this Pyrenees town, tucked in under the mountains and site of Catholicism most famous pilgrimage. Many European Christian sects turned against the Roman Church’s adoration of Saints, worshiping of relics and belief in …

Peter A. Carrigan

The Pyrenees vacation – Part 1

The Midi-Pyrenees, southern France, is my vacation spot this summer for three weeks and I can just make out the mountains from my loft in an 18th century farm house in the village of Lahitte. There was not a cloud in the sky, as I disembarked at Pau Airport, where the English had built Europe’s …

Peter A. Carrigan

A retro ball celebrates Queen, raises money for lepers

The British Community Association’s (BCA) Queen’s Birthday Ball, held in the grounds of the British Embassy on Friday evening, was a contemporary party. But it evoked a colonial past that may have been a snapshot from the Windsor’s own family photo album. A gaiety prevailed on the lawns of the British Ambassador’s majestic residence, that …

Peter A. Carrigan

KHAWAGA'S TALE: Escape to Sinai's 'golden' shores

EgyptAir has new sporty jets, complete with leather seats, a wider isle and a schedule that fits working Cairenes rather than the package tourist. My Egypt Express, Brazilian-made Embraer-170, came complete with a striking pale blue livery and three gangs of expatriate men who had been guzzling Heineken in the departure lounge before boarding and …

Peter A. Carrigan

KHAWAGA'S TALE: Baseball and burgers

Around two or three thousand hamburgers were sold in Maadi last weekend at the international schools’ baseball tournament. I can’t seem to track down the exact number, but the one I devoured was all that fast food promises, but rarely delivers. Apparently I have Melanie Nelson and Nevine Jeff to thank from Maadi’s American College …

Peter A. Carrigan

KHAWAGA'S TALE: The Arab Street, where the customer is king

Guide books and a newspaper’s postcards from abroad love the “man on the street story. A favorite is the Arab Street, a snapshot of life somewhere in the Middle East complete with a stereotypical check list; dusty, hardship, politics and throw in a veil. The list of negatives is endless, but here is a positive …

Peter A. Carrigan

BISC seniors win top prize

CAIRO: Senior students from the British International School, Cairo, were awarded the top prize in a business enterprise competition that drew competitors from throughout the Middle East. The British International School, Cairo (BISC) won through to the regional final, held in Amman, Jordan, by winning the Egyptian Injaz competition in April, which included older student …

Peter A. Carrigan

KHAWAGA'S TALE: Diamonds in the rough of Midan Tahrir

The Bajocchi family’s jewellery business is Egypt’s oldest and possibly the last sparkling gem of what was once ‘Paris on the Nile.’ Evidence of Cairo’s former grandeur can be found around Opera Square among jewellers and silversmiths like Atef Wassef, where photos of the Clintons and various ‘authentic’ royals lend their endorsement to the shops’ …

Peter A. Carrigan

KHAWAGA'S TALE: Fair play on the fairway

The Golf Hotel in Ain Sokhna hosted the last of the season’s tournaments on Saturday, which was won by Mrs Wang Xiao Ming with a score of 69. The course, which is in tip-top condition and has matured since opening 20 months ago, saw 49 competitors tee off from a shot-gun start, except for the …

Peter A. Carrigan