Cairo with a population of around 15 million is the most populous city in Africa. Wandering its streets, it feels like a city of 15 million. I spent several days there and didn’t even crack more than three neighborhoods. It is a massive sprawl of a town; dirty, lively and exciting.

There is trash everywhere. I saw very few trash cans and the ones I did were fairly empty, with the litter carpeting the streets. The legendary traffic is also amazing, a different kind of chaos from Hanoi or other cities where traffic laws are considered more of suggestions.

Cairo, Egypt, February 2011; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Cairo, Egypt, February 2011; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

 

Taken near a hospital, this father and daughter image was shot in a playground that was literally in the middle of a busy thoroughfare under a bridge.

Cairo, Egypt, February 2011; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Cairo, Egypt, February 2011; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Cairo, Egypt, February 2011; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Cairo, Egypt, February 2011; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

 

I did see lots of men and women going to work but I also did see lots of men lounging around, smoking sheesha, drinking tea, playing backgammon.

Cairo, Egypt, February 2011; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Cairo, Egypt, February 2011; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Cairo, Egypt, February 2011; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Cairo, Egypt, February 2011; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

 

The tea in Egypt or shai is almost always Lipton. It is very strong and very sweet and always served with a glass of water. I must have averaged around five or six glasses a day and many, many cigarettes. Even when I was at my most lost in many neighborhoods, there was always a cafe to cop a squat and get a glass of shai.

Cairo, Egypt, February 2011; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Cairo, Egypt, February 2011; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Cairo, Egypt, February 2011; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Cairo, Egypt, February 2011; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

 

One of my favorite shots from my trip, this young boy was a glow and the dirty alley with the tile floor was typical of any residential side street. And of course, the ubiquitous street cat.

Cairo, Egypt, February 2011; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Cairo, Egypt, February 2011; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Cairo, Egypt, February 2011; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Cairo, Egypt, February 2011; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Cairo, Egypt, February 2011; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X

Cairo, Egypt, February 2011; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X