Sabil-Kuttab of Abd al-Rahman Katkhuda, Cairo


Cairo – A Street Scene
Publishers: Lehnert & Landrock, Cairo

Google Street View.

Sabil (Water Dispensary) and Kuttab (Qur’anic School) of ‘Abd al-Rahman Katkhuda
This monument has a special artistic importance, for it is a free-standing complex that consists of a sabil (water dispensary) and a kuttab (Qur’an school) both of which display many of the glories of Islamic art specific to the Ottoman period. The building represents the style of sabil that has three windows and which is a blend of the Mamluk and Ottoman styles. The sabil has three facades (south, north and west) that are identical and equal in length. Each façade contains a semi-circular arch, which is supported by two spiral marble pillars. In the middle of the arch is a large opening from which cups of water may be obtained for passers-by (windows for the procurement of water or tasbil).
Museum With No Frontiers: Discover Islamic Art

The Sabil-Kuttab of ‘Abd al Rahman Katkhuda of 1744 was named for its patron, a Mamluk amir and leader of the Egyptian Janissaries. The two-story square structure consists of the fountain within the block of the first level, which is surmounted by space for the school in the form of a two-tiered arcaded pavilion.
ArchNet

Sabil-Kuttab of Abd al-Rahman Katkhuda is a historic monument in the historic district of Cairo, Egypt. It comprises a public fountain or sabil, an elementary Quran school or kuttab, and an adjacent residential wing. A prime example of Egyptian architecture of its time, it was commissioned in 1744 by Abd al-Rahman Katkhuda, a local official who was a prominent patron of architecture. . . . Built in 1744 CE, it is named for its patron, a Mamluk amir (prince) and leader of the Egyptian Janissaries, who died in 1776. He did much work in Cairo including developments to Al-Azhar University and mosque. He also rebuilt the dome of the Qala’un Mosque after an earthquake in Egypt. Sabils and kuttabs were almost everywhere in old Islamic Cairo during Mamluk and Ottoman times. Sabils are facilities providing free, fresh water for thirsty people who are passing by. Kuttabs are primitive kinds of elementary schools that teach children to read and write. The Sabil-Kuttab was built using the Mamluk Egyptian style which continued to overwhelm all the styles of such buildings even after the Ottoman conquest in 1517. The architecture of this time was so delicate that even simple facilities like sabils were designed to be pieces of art.
Wikipedia.

Street & city gate, Cairo


CAIRO.– Near City Gate
On back:
LE CAIRE.– Un coin de la Ville Arabe.
c.1910
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)

Google Street View.

Bab Zuweila is one of three remaining gates in the walls of the Old City of Cairo, the capital of Egypt. It was also known as Bawabbat al-Mitwali during the Ottoman period, and is sometimes spelled Bab Zuwayla. It is considered one of the major landmarks of the city and is the last remaining southern gate from the walls of Fatimid Cairo in the 11th and 12th century. Its name comes from Bab, meaning “gate”, and Zuwayla, the name of an ethnic group recruited into the Fatimid army from the town of Zuwayla in the Fezzan.

The city of Cairo was founded in 969 as the royal city of the Fatimid dynasty. In 1092, the vizier Badr al-Jamali had a second wall built around Cairo. Bab Zuweila was the southern gate in this wall. It has twin towers (minarets) which can be accessed via a steep climb. In earlier times they were used to scout for enemy troops in the surrounding countryside, and in modern times, they are hailed for providing one of the best views of Old Cairo. The structure also has a famous platform. Executions would sometimes take place there, and it was also from this location that the Sultan would stand to watch the beginning of the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Sometimes the severed heads of criminals would be displayed along the tops of the walls. This was done as recently as 1811, when the severed heads of Mamluks from the Citadel massacre were mounted on spikes here. The corresponding gate on the northern side of the city was the Bab al-Futuh, which still stands on the northern side of the Muizz street.
Wikipedia.

Bab Zuwayla functioned as the southern entrance to the original Fatimid settlement from A.D. 969 (when ‘al-Qahirah’ or ‘Cairo’ was founded), and was reconstructed in stone in the late eleventh century A.D. by Badr al-Gamali, the de facto ruler of Egypt. During restoration work by ARCE it was discovered that the two massive doors of the Bab Zuwayla, each weighing almost 4 tons, moved on ball bearings, which were initially placed on display in the monument following the completion of the project. Colloquially, the gate is also known as Bab al­-Mitwalli after a popular Sufi saint who is associated with the location.
American Research Centre in Egypt

An Armenian himself, al-Jamali is reported to have employed Armenians from northern Mesopotamia as well as Syrians in a vast building campaign which he embarked on shortly after he assumed power. This work marks the beginning of a newly cultivated taste for stone in Cairo. The Byzantine and north Syrian stone details and techniques demonstrate the most direct encounter between neighboring regional building traditions, manifested in the importation of architects and possibly of manpower.
ArchNet

Sultan Hassan, Al-Rifa’i & Al-Mahmoudia Mosques, Cairo, Egypt


Cairo – The Mosque Sultan Hassan, El Rifaieh and El Mahmoudieh
“1930” is written on the back, this seems likely.
Publishers: Lehnert & Landrock, Cairo

(left) Mosque of Sultan Hassan

(centre) Al-Rifa’i Mosque

(right)Al-Mahmoudia Mosque

Al-Mahmoudia Mosque or the Mosque of Mahmud Pasha is a historic mosque in the city of Cairo, Egypt. . . . The mosque dates back to the Ottoman era in 1567 during the administration of Mahmud Pasha who is buried in the mosque. The name of the mosque is derived from him.The mosque is attached with the mausoleum of Mahmud Pasha which is accessible through the door on the mihrab wall. Mahmud Pasha was shot dead near the mosque after being accused of oppressing the Egyptian people.

The design of the mosque is unique in its architectural style which follows the Mamluk tradition for the main building and partly based on the Ottoman architecture for the minaret in particular. The minaret is decorated with a ring with muqarnas and a cone shaped obelisk on top. It is noted to be smaller than the other mosques in the same area, and it is partly due to the building was built on top of the pile of stones, and it is required to climb up stairs to the mosque. The mosque has four sides, and two of them have entrance gate on it. The gates are ornamented with two lines of windows filled with plasters and maroon glass works, with muqarnas on top of them facing toward the balconies.
Wikipedia.

The mosque built by Mahmud Pasha in 1567 is an early Cairene Ottoman official religious architecture which follows the Mamluk tradition. The positioning of the domed burial chamber behind the prayer hall to face the Citadel and the construction of the minaret on a semicircular buttress protruding from a corner next to the mausoleum show that it used the nearby Madrasa of Sultan Hasan as its model. The minaret, however, is Ottoman.
ArchNet

Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt

These three postcards are photographs taken of existing photographs and then printed as postcards. They have no publisher details. Given the bare surroundings, I assume the original photos were taken when Heliopolis was being developed (1910s).

Heliopolis was a suburb outside Cairo, Egypt, which has since merged with Cairo as a district of the city and is one of the more affluent areas of Cairo. It was established in 1905 by the Heliopolis Oasis Company headed by the Belgian industrialist Édouard Empain and by Boghos Nubar, son of the Egyptian Prime Minister Nubar Pasha.
. . .
In 1905, Empain established the Cairo Electric Railways and Heliopolis Oases Company, which bought a large stretch of desert some distance to the northeast of Cairo at a low price from the British occupation government. His efforts culminated in 1907 with the building of the new town of Heliopolis, in the Sahara desert ten kilometers from the center of Cairo. The new city represented the first large-scale attempt to promote its own architecture, known now as the Heliopolis style. It was designed as a “city of luxury and leisure”, with broad avenues and equipped with all conveniences and infrastructure: water, drains, electricity, hotel facilities, such as the Heliopolis Palace Hotel and Heliopolis House, and recreational amenities including a golf course, racetrack and park. In addition, there was housing for rent, offered in a range of innovative designs targeting specific social classes with detached and terraced villas, apartment buildings, tenement blocks with balcony access and workers’ bungalows.
Wikipedia.

 

Sultana Melek Palace

Google Maps.

Belgian engineer Baron Empain built the palace as a gift to Sultan Hussein Kamel. Following Kamel’s death, the palace’s ownership transferred to the Heliopolis Company for Housing & Development which leased it to Hussein’s second wife Sultana Melek Tourhan. The palace then became a school during the 1960s, and was later recorded on the list of Islamic and Coptic Antiquities in 2000.
Egypt Independent: Egypt begins restoring Sultana Melek Palace in Heliopolis

Sultan Hussein Kamel’s palace in Heliopolis dates back to the year 1908. Sultan Hussein Kamel took power in a dangerous period in the history of Egypt between 1914 and 1917, when Britain had imposed martial law on Egypt during the First World War. The palace, located opposite to Baron Empain’s palace, was built before Hussein Kamel assumed power. It was then gifted to Sultana Malak, his second wife of Circassian origin, whom he married in 1886.

The palace of Sultan Hussein Kamel is among the first buildings of Heliopolis. It was designed by French architect Alexander Marcel in 1908 and was implemented with clear Moroccan influences to revive Islamic architecture.
Egypt Today

 

Lady of Heliopolis Co-Cathedral

Google Street View.

Our Lady of Heliopolis Co-Cathedral, also known as the Latin Cathedral of Our Lady of Heliopolis, or the Basilica of the Holy Virgin, is a Roman Catholic church building, located on Al-Ahram Square in the Heliopolis neighbourhood of Cairo, Egypt. Alexandre Marcel designed the cathedral in a Byzantine Revival style, based on the Hagia Sophia. It was completed in 1913. A crypt within the cathedral houses the remains of its financer, Édouard Empain, and his family.
Wikipedia.

 

Heliopolis Palace Hotel

Google Maps.

The Heliopolis Palace Hotel was built in the open desert from 1908–1910, while development of the new suburb began around it, by the Heliopolis Oases Company. It was opened as Africa’s most luxurious hotel on December 1, 1910. The landmark hotel was designed by Belgian architect Ernest Jaspar. He introduced the local Heliopolis style of architecture, a synthesis of Persian, Moorish Revival, Islamic, and European Neoclassical architecture. It was built by the contracting firms Leon Rolin & Co. and Padova, Dentamaro & Ferro, the two largest civil contractors in Egypt then. Siemens & Schuepert of Berlin fitted the hotel’s web of electric cables and installations. The utilities were to the most modern standards of their day. The hotel operations were under French administered management. The Heliopolis architectural style, responsible for many wonderful original buildings in Heliopolis, was exceptionally expressed in the Heliopolis Palace Hotel’s exterior and interior design. The hotel had 400 rooms, including 55 private apartments. Beyond the Moorish Revival reception hall two public rooms were lavishly decorated in the Louis XIV and the Louis XV styles. Beyond those was the Central Hall, the primary public dining space with a classic symmetrical and elegant beauty.
. . .
In 1958, the hotel was purchased by the government and closed to guests.[3] It was then used to house the offices of government departments. In January 1972, the building became the headquarters of the Federation of Arab Republics, the short-lived political union between Egypt, Libya and Syria, which gave it the current Arabic name of قصر الاتحادية Kasr Al Ittihadia (“Federation Palace”). In the 1980s, after extensive renovation and restoration efforts, the building became an Egyptian presidential palace and the headquarters of the administration of the new president, Hosni Mubarak.
Wikipedia.

The First Australian General Hospital was to be placed in the Heliopolis Palace Hotel at Heliopolis. . . . Some description is required, however, of the Heliopolis Palace Hotel. This, as the photograph shows, is a huge hotel de luxe, consisting of a basement and four stories. It was arranged that the kitchens, stores, and accommodation for rank and file should be placed in the basement. The first floor was allotted to offices and officers’ quarters; a wing of the third floor provided accommodation for nurses, and the only portions of the building used at first for patients were the large restaurant and dining-room, and the billiard recesses, i.e. the Rotundas and Great Hall.
The Australian Army Medical Corps in Egypt, 1918 (Project Gutenberg) (includes floor plan)

Al-Azhar University, Cairo


CAIRO – El Azhar university
Postmarked 1922
Publisher: P. Coustoulides

Al-Azhar University is a university in Cairo, Egypt. Associated with Al-Azhar Mosque in Islamic Cairo, it is Egypt’s oldest degree-granting university and is renowned as the most prestigious university for Sunni Islamic learning.
Wikipedia.

Al-Azhar began as a mosque built in 970 AD during the Fatmid era, and became a Sunni institution after the conquest by Saladin in 1171. With the abolition of the caliphate and the office of Shaykh al-Islam (seyhul Islam) in Istanbul in 1924, al-Azhar became the paramount Islamic institution. There is no clear consensus as to when al-Azhar became a centre of learning. Al-Azhar is inclusive of the four major Sunni schools of law, the Ashari and Maturidi schools of theology, and seven major Sufi orders. Al-Azhar has been through several stages of reform: in the nineteenth century it was transformed from madrasa to university, with the Azhar Organisation Laws of 1896 and 1911 creating a centralised bureaucracy that allowed the institution’s head, the Grand Sheikh, to oversee its general administration.
University of Oxford: Changing Structures of Islamic Authority

Al-Rifa’i Mosque, Cairo


CAIRO – The Mosque El Rifaiyeh
Publisher: Lehnert & Landrock (1904+)

Google Street View.

Al-Rifa’i Mosque is located in Midan al-Qal’a adjacent to the Cairo Citadel. Now, it is also the royal mausoleum of Muhammad Ali’s family. The building is located opposite the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan, which dates from around 1361, and was architecturally conceived as a complement to the older structure. This was part of a vast campaign by the 19th century rulers of Egypt to both associate themselves with the perceived glory of earlier periods in Egypt’s Islamic history and modernize the city. The mosque was constructed next to two large public squares and off of several European style boulevards constructed around the same time. The Al-Rifa’i Mosque was constructed in two phases over the period between 1869 and 1912 when it was finally completed.
Wikipedia.

The original structure was a Fatimid mosque, which was then transformed into a shrine for Ali abu Sheibak. Finally, Ottoman queen Kosheir Hanim commissioned the current design of the mosque and put in charge of the construction the architect Hussein Pasha Fahmi. Part of the plan was to have a mausoleum for the royal family as part of the extension, which was made by imported building materials from Europe, such as Italian marble. In addition to traditional raw materials, cement has also been employed in the construction of the mosque—a first for any Islamic monument in Egypt—signaling the transition into modern times.
Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities: Egypt’s Monuments

This monument represents a turning point in the cultural and political history of Egypt. It looks onto straight boulevards and open squares, two aspects of European city planning introduced during the reign of Muhammad ‘Ali and his successors, who sought to transform Egypt’s traditional society into a cosmopolitan one. Designed as a free-standing monument, the Mosque of al-Rifa’i responds to its site by presenting four fully articulated facades in addition to a highly decorated, Mamluk-style dome and minaret.
ArchNet

Citadel, Cairo


Cairo – The Citadel
1920s
Publishers: Lehnert & Landrock, Cairo

Postcards of mosque

In 1171, Salah al-Din, a hero of the crusades who had become sultan of Syria and Egypt, had the Fatimid enclosure and its doors restored. He decided to unify into one enclosure the economic centre, Fustat, and the political centre, Al-Qahira. This was achieved by building a citadel on an artificial outcrop of one of the foothills of the Muqattam rocky plateau. The citadel was built to house garrisons and their leaders. Salah al-Din put one of his lieutenants, Bahaa al-Din Qaraqush, in charge of the construction. It was only completed in 1207, during the reign of Al-Kamil. The first residential structures are also attributed to him and he was the first to occupy it as a royal residence. The building then became the seat of government until the end of the Ottoman era, when it was transferred to the Abdīn Palace. Several additions were made to the structure during the Ayyubid era.
[continues with description of building]
Qantara

The Citadel of Cairo or Citadel of Saladin is a medieval Islamic-era fortification in Cairo, Egypt, built by Salah ad-Din (Saladin) and further developed by subsequent Egyptian rulers. It was the seat of government in Egypt and the residence of its rulers for nearly 700 years from the 13th to the 19th centuries. Its location on a promontory of the Mokattam hills near the center of Cairo commands a strategic position overlooking the city and dominating its skyline. At the time of its construction, it was among the most impressive and ambitious military fortification projects of its time. It is now a preserved historic site, including mosques and museums. In addition to the initial Ayyubid-era construction begun by Saladin in 1176, the Citadel underwent major development during the Mamluk Sultanate that followed, culminating with the construction projects of Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad in the 14th century. In the first half of the 19th century Muhammad Ali Pasha demolished many of the older buildings and built new palaces and monuments all across the site, giving it much of its present form. In the 20th century it was used as a military garrison by the British occupation and then by the Egyptian army until being opened to the public in 1983.
Wikipedia

We walked along the battlements, in the footsteps of bowman who had once manned these 12th-century walls, passing through towers and vaulted halls. We descended through a maze of stairways leading into a labyrinth of narrow galleries with the walls, past arrow slits a few inches wide, set at precise angles to give defending archers greater protection. . . . To Caireness, this is Qal’at al-Jabal, the Fortress on the Mountain, or just al-Qal;ah, the Fortress. The world knows it as the Citadel. Structurally, little has changed since the days of that hero of medieval legend, Saladin (Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub), who ordered it built. After more than eight centuries of sun, wind and desert storms, the massive towers and walls are as strong as the day they were completed.
Fortress on the Mountains on Archnet

“The Citadel of Cairo” on Archnet (booklet)

Read more

Egyptian Museum, Cairo


CAIRE Le Musée

Publisher: Cairo Postcard Trust

Google Street View.

The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum or Museum of Cairo, in Cairo, Egypt, is home to an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. It has 120,000 items, with a representative amount on display, the remainder in storerooms. Built in 1901 by the Italian construction company Garozzo-Zaffarani to a design by the French architect Marcel Dourgnon, the edifice is one of the largest museums in the region.
….
The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities contains many important pieces of ancient Egyptian history. It houses the world’s largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities. The Egyptian government established the museum built in 1835 near the Ezbekeyah Garden and later moved to the Cairo Citadel. In 1855, Archduke Maximilian of Austria was given all of the artifacts by the Egyptian government; these are now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

A new museum was established at Boulaq in 1858 in a former warehouse, following the foundation of the new Antiquities Department under the direction of Auguste Mariette. The building lay on the bank of the Nile River, and in 1878 it suffered significant damage in a flood of the Nile River. In 1891, the collections were moved to a former royal palace, in the Giza district of Cairo. They remained there until 1902 when they were moved, for the last time, to the current museum in Tahrir Square, built by the Italian company of Giuseppe Garozzo and Francesco Zaffrani to a design by the French architect Marcel Dourgnon.
Wikipedia.

The stick used to beat the Egyptian Museum most regularly, though, is visitor experience. In the past, it has been unfavorably compared to a store room, and there is no doubt that it charms and frustrates in equal measure. Visit during the day and dust dances in the shards of light that cascade down from the skylights in the central atrium, casting a heavenly glow upon the wonders below. Display cases are often antiques in themselves, and wandering among them transports visitors back to a time of mustachioed, pith-helmeted adventurers posing for sepia photographs with their finds before packing them up for display. Indeed, peer around certain corners and there are unopened wooden crates that look like they may well have been in situ since the turn of the 20th century, challenging you to imagine what wonders can be found inside and where they came from.
Daily Beast: Will This Be the End of the Legendary Egyptian Museum?

Supreme Council of Antiquities

Photos: Flickr Group

Soliman Pasha Square/Talaat Harb Square, Cairo


CAIRO. — Midan-Soliman Pasha. 

Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)
Now Talaat Harb Square. Google Maps.

In those days the celebrated café-theatre extended from its present location all the way to the Midan. Then like now, hardly anyone recalled that most of the area southeast of the square was where the garden palace of Mohammed-Ali Tewfik stood. But as buildings cropped up all over the place, the perimeter wall surrounding the garden no longer ensured the prince’s privacy. Thereupon he decided to purchase a large tract of land in Manial al-Rhoda where he erected his new neo-Islamic palace with its unique garden. Acquired by the Egyptian Land Company in 1904-5 the old palace was cleared and the land parceled out and sold in 1921-2 to Café Riche’s Greek owner Michel Politis. Thereon Politis established a garden theatre where Um Kalthum and other rising singers performed for paltry sums.

Fin de siècle tourists knew Midan Soliman Pasha well. To begin with it was home to the Savoy Hotel where titled lords and ladies stayed before it was transformed into British army headquarters during WW-1. Later Swiss hospitality Czar Charles Albert Baehler would pull down the Savoy in 1924-5 replacing it in 1929-30 by two blocks of handsome apartment flats.
Soliaman Pasha Square

Although a remnant of its former ‘Paris on the Nile’ 19th century grace, the Midan Talaat, or Talaat Square, at the street’s intersection with Qasr el-Nil Street is circled with buildings having the strong elegance of French neoclassical architecture from the Soliman Pasha era, and were once the locations of some of Cairo’s most popular and successful shops and services.
Wikipedia: Talaat Harb Street

Procession of the Holy Carpet, Cairo


CAIRO. — Procession of the Holy Carpet.

Publisher: Levy & Neurdein Reunis (1920-1932). image might be earlier.

At the beginning of the century, there were several types of popular ceremonies in Egypt that have disappeared or faded with time. One such ceremony is the procession of “El Mahmal” or “The Holy Carpet.” The yearly celebration involved the Egyptian government manufacturing a new cover for the Holy Kaaba and offering it to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. After the cover is prepared in the factory, a large ceremony takes place in Cairo, where a parade organised by the Egyptian army tours the different districts of the city.

The parade included a caravan of decorated camels carrying the Holy Carpet, as well as many other gifts. After the caravan ends its tour in Cairo, it starts its long trip, guarded by the Egyptian army, across the eastern desert, then on to the Suez Canal and Sinai till it reaches Palestine. From Palestine, it goes directly to Saudi Arabia, crossing its northern borders to the heart of Hijaz, then to Mecca. Normally it reached Mecca before the pilgrimage season, where another ceremony takes place that ends with the covering of the Kaaba with the Holy Carpet.
ahramonline: Egypt 100 years ago: The Ceremony of the Holy Carpet (Mahmal)

Capture of the Holy Carpet
London, Friday.–The “Holy Carpet,” which is annually despatched from Cairo with the pilgrims’ caravan to the Prophet’s tomb at Mecca, has been capture in the Arabian Desert by Bedouins. Six of the guard were killed. The Bedouins demand £600 as ransom for the carpet

Newcastle Morning Herald, 19 June 1899

PILGRIMAGE OF THE HOLY CARPET.
The theft of the Holy Carpet during the Pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the most sensational things that could have happened to those faithful to the Koran, who will regard it as an unexampled calamity. The yearly departure from Cairo to the famous, mosque, where with other coverings it adorns for a time the sacred enclosure, has always been the most imposing sight witnessed in the Egyptian capital. The camel bears a carpet trapped with gold, embroidered with crimson, and bears upon, its back a canopy cantaining it, the latter being of crimson and gold, with gilded ornaments at each corner of its base, and its pyramidal roof. Behind the animal comes another camel, carrying the chief Egyptian standard. This is followed by others, the last ridden by a man bearing the flag which sets forth a line from the Koran. The holy carpet itself is a number of pieces of silk embroidery, periodically manufactured in , Cairo by Jews, so that the loss in. this present instance is not serious from a mere point of commercial value. The yearly departure for Mecca, called the ceremony of the Kisweh, is characterised by the greatest Oriental splendour. The carpet is borne through the streets of Cairo, then taken by rail to Suez, thence to Jeddah and Mecca. It is generally blessed by the Khedive in person, and the sacred camels are always escorted by picked household troops,, who keep back the crowd of donkey boys, street vendors of sherbet, closely veiled women, merchants, beggars, and cripples. Among the crowd English people are allowed to mix with impunity, but after the departure of the carpet it is expected that they shall disperse, To follow it on the pilgrimage is considered an affront, and any European sufficiently venturesome to press forward at subsequent stopping places to catch a glimpse of the article does so at the risk of his life.

Clarence & Richmond Examiner, 27 June 1899

RANSOMING THE “HOLY CARPET.”
The capture by a tribe of marauding Bedouins of the “Holy Carpet,” somewhere between Medina and Mecca, has not unnaturally roused the pious indignation of the whole of the Moslem world. In the fierce conflict that ensued, four Turkish soldiers and three natives of the convoy were killed, the remainder escaping to Mecca. The “Holy Carpet” or Kiswa, consists of a series of-oblong strips of black brocade richly embroidered-in gold and silver with Arabic inscriptions from the Koran. It serves the purpose of beautifying the exterior of the Ka’aba the sacred shrine within the precincts of the Mosque at Mecca. It is renewed and sent every year at the expense of the Sultan from Constantinople via Cairo, where with its escort of Bashi Bazouks, it forms part of the great Egyptian caravan. the most important of tie. many which annually converge towards Mecca. Having done duty for a year, it is cut up in pieces and sold as relics to wealthy pilgrims . Our sketch shows the carpet as it is carried under a canopy. on the back of a camel through the streets of Cairo, during the festival preceding its departure, with two symbolical trophies that each year accompany the pilgrimage from Egypt. These are the Mahamal, a kind of canopy, and a pyramidal construction containing a copy of the Koran. Both are exquisitely embroidered in gold upon green cloth, and are held in superstitious reverence by the multitude. The proceedings are quaintly interesting. The women give their shrill, quaint cry of “Hooloo, hoo loo, hoo-loo” as the carpet passes.

Kalgoorlie Western Argue