Archive for May, 2006

100 Pounds of Love

Hisham and his new wife sit in front of a crowd of woman for hours in their wedding seat, occasionally getting up to hug a friend or breaking into a smile for the numerous photographs.
The couple was married within the Southern Cemetery in the eastern section of Cairo, where a huge tent was set up and hundreds attended. The wedding was much less formal and stuffy than the Christian wedding I was invited to in Amman, Jordan, and the traditions were much different from those of a wedding in the United States.
One of the most interesting traditions of the wedding was throughout the whole evening a man would go among the crowds of hundreds of people collecting money from whoever was feeling generous at the moment. The man who retrieved the money would then make his way to the stage where the band made a perfect transition into a quieter background music and the announcer shouted out the amount of money given by a particular person in the crowd: “Mohammed Abu Jaber gives 100 pounds to the bride and groom and wishes them happiness!” This would go on all night long. A large bag would sat beneath a man on the stage who constantly stuffed the bills into it. There was a feeling in the air that one needed to give as much as all the others.

Doggy Dog World

On the sandy surroundings of the city of Cairo, Egypt, the poor reside in wherever they can find shelter. I photographed the Friday market this past week in the eastern section of town. In one part of the market dogs are sold off to those who seem to treat them more like fighting cocks than the canines who have evolved to be the closest companions to human nature.
Pets in this region of the world are a luxury. Their roles appear similar to those they must have played early on in the human animal relationship, which would most likely be a watchdog in exchange for food.