Peter A. Carrigan

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Latest by Peter A. Carrigan


A KHAWAGA'S TALE: Little Italy in the heart of Cairo

The promenade is quintessentially Italian and the only place to walk the walk is Zamalek’s Marriott Hotel’s Promenade Terrace. You can do that before or after the Parma ham and gnocchi with gorgonzola cheese, washed down with imported quaffing red at the Italian Club across the river in Bulaq. Located on the July 26th corridor, …

Peter A. Carrigan

Of thugs, gentlemen and the Cairo Rugby Club

Cairo Rugby Club defeated Alexandria 14-7 on Friday, in a free flowing game, played on a well grassed pitch in front of a vocal crowd that kept the bar staff busy at Victory College. Cairo’s dominance was in stark contrast to their defeat by the Fijian peacekeepers from the Sinai, who ran in 20 tries …

Peter A. Carrigan

Time to say goodbye

CAIRO: Earlier this week, during my lunch hour, I called some of my friends to see who was available for a quick lunch out of the office. Every time I’d call someone they would say, “Sorry just ate at Casper & Gambini’s … It was so good, you have to try it. After scrolling through …

Peter A. Carrigan

Amsterdam, the pork capital of the world

AMSTERDAM: I took an Easyjet mini-break to Amsterdam over the Easter weekend to indulge a craving that is difficult to enjoy in a relaxed atmosphere in Cairo. Amsterdam is known as the liberalist of cities where anything goes and every kind of Pulp Fiction post punk rocker wants to dip into her pleasures. Taking advantage …

Peter A. Carrigan

The Gods have spoken: Egypt is hot

LONDON: Egypt is hot. It has been coming to the boil over the past 10 years and following a week in London it is easy to see the planets aligning, for the gods have spoken: “Egypt is hot”. Egypt is the hot tourist destination. It is the hot overseas property market and all things Egyptian …

Peter A. Carrigan

Egypt Air, not Egypt Scare

LONDON: I disembarked at Heathrow Airport on Friday, happy and safe from my EygptAir Flight 0777, an airline that doesn’t deserve its moniker, Egypt Scare. The scariest part of the journey was checking in. One expects a crowd at an airport but not a demonstration. Maybe the passengers were having a delayed reaction to the …

Peter A. Carrigan

Globalisation, or is it globalization?

Buenos Aires, Argentina, was my first tango with globalisation, when I met a German who had shipped a camper van to South America and we drove together through Uruguay and Brazil. Since those carefree Che Guevera days I cannot work out whether it is globalisation or globalization. But as the Americans would say, ‘whatever’. Globalis(z)ation …

Peter A. Carrigan

Ah, the beauties of Ireland in Egypt

AGAMI: National Days are mostly an impotent group of dates, but March 17 is one exception which always lives up to its naughty reputation. Who doesn’t like St. Patrick’s Day? Everyone wants to be Irish on Ireland’s national day that commemorates a missionary monk’s naturalist side when he chased the snakes out of the emerald …

Peter A. Carrigan

Fantasies on wheels

A colleague of mine, who is obviously looking for a cheap form of transport and not going through a mid-life crisis, I strenuously point out, has been harping on about buying a motor bike with a side-car for almost a year. Mr Peter Jenkinson, art teacher, raconteur and former resident of Papua New Guinea is …

Peter A. Carrigan

Stella Di Mare is a red carpet paradise

AIN SOUKHNA: Between the Oscars and the Six Nations Rugby it truly was super Saturday over the weekend, and what better place to get the red carpet treatment than at the Stella Di Mare on the Gulf of Suez. I have been coming here for three years and I’ve always felt the knick name, ‘Ain …

Peter A. Carrigan

Cleopatra, Viagra and the new souvenirs

It would seem the seasons changed over the weekend, the warm weather giving over to the khamaseen blowing in from the Libyan Desert; these winds coincide with the height of the tourist season. The annual arrival of 8 million tourists to Egypt has resulted in the opening of a number of new money exchangers in …

Peter A. Carrigan

Demise of Valentine's Day?

The greeting card industry has the world by the short and curlies with the genius of February 14th. Products packaged directly for romantic love, with the killer guilt add-on, if you don’t buy in, you don’t love your mate. True love is rare. Puppy love is pubescent and courtly love is for the poets. But …

Peter A. Carrigan

Cairo's medieval heritage undergoes facelift

The most gorgeous medieval buildings are being painstakingly restored in Islamic Cairo and discerning tourists are walking past Khan Al-Khalili into a medieval city of wikalas, through mighty Fatimid gates and sitting down to rest inside the Hassan Mosque, where Crusader knights were once chained for their sins. Sitting inside the marvellous Hassan Mosque I …

Peter A. Carrigan

Accidents and how to avoid a tumbling wall

I am often asked, mostly by taxi drivers, what religion I belong to. I have given various answers, all of them funny, but it has dawned on me, the driver is really enquiring after how he should dispose of my body. We are all going to have to go one day. And living in Cairo …

Peter A. Carrigan

History repeats itself

AIN EL SUKHNA: I picked up “The Shield of Achilles from my bookshelf and headed to the well-loved Palmera Resort for a breath of fresh air over the Islamic New Year weekend. I had been prompted to reread Philip Bobbitt’s tome of war, peace and the course of history, because I had met a Norwegian …

Peter A. Carrigan

The definitive expat shopping list

Even though it is my fourth Cairo winter, I and the rest of Cairo’s population, forget just how bone numbing cold it gets on the banks of the Nile, let alone on the water, where I first lived on a houseboat – four degrees colder. I was feeling a little more than smug at Christmas …

Peter A. Carrigan

You live in India like a king

GOA, INDIA: From Easy Rider to Ernesto Guvera’s Motorcycle Diaries, journeying across a continent on two wheels is a perennial fantasy for males coming of age, who yearn for an independent adventure, on the road, with no particular destination. The latest demographic with the wind in their hair are Israeli’s aged twenty something. Just released …

Peter A. Carrigan

Boxing Day a good day to reflect

BOXING DAY: I missed the Queen’s Christmas speech from Buckingham Palace, so I thought I might try and summarise some mysteries of my own that have crossed my path this year. Living in Egypt, the Middle East, I feel more and more as if I am watching a fuse sizzle and smoke as it races …

Peter A. Carrigan

How about Tut's mask for Christmas?

This past week I had three jobs on my agenda. Stealing Tutankhamun’s death mask from the Egyptian Museum, buying a Secret Santa gift for a colleague and fish. There is a fire escape that runs down the back wall of the Egyptian Museum on Midan Tahrir and I often wondered if a daring thief could …

Peter A. Carrigan

KHAWAGA'S TALE: Plastic surgery

Dr Galil’s hands are the tools of his trade. It is with these precision instruments that he welcomes me with an old fashioned hearty handshake, reminding me that manners are a signature of breeding. Plastic surgeon and native of Zamalek, Dr Galil, 56, rode his bike as a boy from his parents’ apartment on Hassan …

Peter A. Carrigan

Khawaga's tale: Mena House Golf Club

CAIRO: The Assistant Professional at Mena House Golf Club, Mohamed Fahmy, has that sweet swing and casual debonair air that comes with a life time association with the royal and ancient game. In fact he was picking up balls at the age of six. Mr Fahmy, known to members and guests of Mena House as …

Peter A. Carrigan

No wonder the Israelites wandered for 40 years!

The wonders of Sinai’s wadis offer an entrancing weekend After spending 40 hours wandering through the wadis of the high Sinai Mountains, I have a new appreciation for the geographically challenged Israelites. Because if it wasn’t for my Bedouin guide Mohamed Darwish, I might too have been wandering for 40 years. Over the weekend I …

Peter A. Carrigan

Singing it up in Harry's Pub

Karaoke draws a distinguished crowd CAIRO: A balanced diet, a balanced weekend I thought. On Thursday night it was a rich steaming stew of ideas served up by author and historian, William Dalyrmple at an AUC lecture, and on Friday night, karaoke at Harry’s Pub provided the pudding. Dalyrmple is an authority on the history …

Peter A. Carrigan

Take me out to the ballgame!

Softball alive and kicking in Cairo CAIRO: The Apache woman’s softball team caressed, crushed and cheered the ball to all points of the field on Friday, scoring eight runs in the fifth inning, to post an impressive 15-5 victory over Cairo’s Conrad Hotel. The power hitting of the Apache women was evident from their first …

Peter A. Carrigan

The 10 best memories of Christmas cheer

The season to be jolly in the heart of Cairo CAIRO: Autumn, it is the northern hemisphere’s favorite condition, and also Cairo’s best season. It is the ‘silly season.’ A shopping frenzy ensures, copious quantities of food and drink are consumed, party invites flood in and Cairo’s foreigners get all sentimental about Christmas crackers and …

Peter A. Carrigan

A Khawaga's Tale: From Cairo to Damascus, a traveler's trail

Eid presents an opportunity to cruise through Syrian history DAMASCUS: Over the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, the Khawaga’s Trail led to Syria, where boys with guns run riot, tourism’s potential is enormous and George Washington’s face is almost as prolific as President Bashar Al-Assad and Sheikh Nasrallah. Taxis, hotels, restaurants and even the barber happily accept …

Peter A. Carrigan

A Khawaga's Tale: In the belly of the beat

An introduction to the planet s most evocative art form CAIRO: The author Anne Rice has a famous book, Interview with a Vampire. I’ve had an enlightening afternoon that can match that: Interview with a Belly Dancer. Belly dancing is arguably the planet’s most evocative art form, conjuring up images of Bedouin tents, plush cushions, …

Peter A. Carrigan

A khawaga's tale

Initiation into the rite of fasting CAIRO: At 3:30 a.m. on Thursday, in the pitch dark, I tripped over my shoes, banged my knee on a chair and with hands outstretched I found the kitchen. Opened the fridge and flipped the lid off a plastic tub of fruit salad my lovely wife had prepared for …

Peter A. Carrigan

Bisc raises funds for Dahab victims

CAIRO: A teacher from The British International School Cairo (BISC) has coordinated a fund raising appeal for the families who lost relatives in the Dahab bombings, raising LE 40,000. Ms. Evan Zora, who teachers Business Studies at BISC, put students and staff on the auction block, taking the highest bids to buy a slave for …

Peter A. Carrigan

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