I continued to visit a few more equally interesting places on my last day in Cairo. We started the day visiting Saqqara where the Steps Pyramid is situated. Unlike the Pyramids of Giza, the Steps Pyramid or also known as the unfinished pyramid, was made from smaller bricks which over time turned into dust. It's actually quite a huge complex with several temple and wall ruins around the pyramid. Mum and I decided to 'tawaf' around the pyramid where we saw entrance into the pyramid which was unfortunately closed from public due to safety reasons.
Our next stop was a complex consists of Ramses II Museum, Mummification Temple, Hathour Temple among others. It sounded misleading but the complex is actually an open museum with a lot of statues exhibited including several huge statues of Ramses II. Ramses II is one of the famous paharaohs particularly for his long reign and notably famous wife, Queen Nefertiti. We were supposed to visit other areas within the complex but decided to pass as what we will be seeing will be more statues and we had seen enough statues for the day.
We then went to Imam Syafie Mosque which is situated in between residential buildings occupied by locals. We were pre-warned by our guide not to give hand out money to the locals in the area as once you give to one, more will come and ask you for money. I guess that place was not a popular tourist spot as we were the only ones there. Imam Syafie's Mosque is merely a small mosque and the his tomb is situated in the middle of the small praying hall. We peered through the glass and wooden structure housing his tomb and could see a lot of things strewn around the tomb from papers, 'sejadahs' and cash notes. I guess some visitors just went overboard worshipping the late Imam. Another interesting about this mosque at a corner under the old worn-off carpet lies what believed to be Rasulullah s.a.w footprint.
Next, we went to another famous Islamic sites i.e. Sultan Hasan Mosque and Refa'e Mosque, located opposite the Sultan Hasan Mosque separated only by a small passage. I spent more time in Sultan Hasan Mosque admiring the beautiful ancient Islamic architecture. We were privileged that the Imam himself spent time telling us about the mosque and we could sense pride in his voice. He recited outloud the Kursi verses inscripted around the base of the dome attracting the attention of other non-Muslim tourists and 'azan' in the mosque and we could hear the call for prayer echoing in the mosque. Such a soothing feeling...The mosque is also a madrasa shared by all the four mazhabs - Hanafi, Syafie, Hanbali and Maliki with each has a separate courtyard to its own. I spent a brief moment a Refa'e Mosque famous for being the final resting place of the former Shah of Iran which is equally magnificent in its own way.
On the way to Cairo International Airport before leaving for Dubai, we stopped at Anwar Sadat's tomb and site where he was assasinated which is just across the street from his burial place. He was assasinated for signing Egypt's peace treaty with Israel while watching a military parade. His tomb is underneath a pyramid like structure and guarded by 8 - 10 guards dressed in either modern military uniform and the ancient Egyptian attire.
I left Cairo with wonderful memories not only of the places I visited but also the people I met and befriended. It is definitely an interesting and exotic place to visit with the richness of her history, culture and mysterious past.
Background Song : We Maloh By Amr Diab