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Bonding in the Streets: Ramadan with Cairo’s Street Vendors

In Cairo, Egypt’s bustling capital, the Ramadan atmosphere is quite palpable. With colored lanterns hanging in every neighborhood and the streets teeming with families and groups of friends staying out until the early morning eating and socializing, the Cairene vibe during the Holy Month is  electrifying. A certain buzz fills the air as people prepare for their Suhoor, and I spoke with a few of the vendors who sell traditional Egyptian street foods like foul, ta’ameya (falafel) French fries and mixed vegetables and pickles.

Mohammed Fouad, a vendor who has been selling foul and falafel in the Heliopolis neighborhood for the last five years, was busy stuffing pitas, handing them to hungry costumers and joking with his brother Fadi, who works with him. Familiar with most of the customers in the area, Mohammed told us that “Ramadan is such an exciting time. It’s probably my favorite time of the year, not just because business picks up at night before Suhoor, but also because Egyptians briefly forget about what’s going on politically and economically, and we all just unite, share food and enjoy the atmosphere”.


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