When the Flame Trees bloom, you can be sure it is heating up in Cairo! Between the last few weeks of May and early June, the streets light up in the brilliant glow of red from the Delonix regia tree. Though we need no reminder of summer heat in this part of the world, the glorious splash of red provides a welcomed relief. 

All Photographs and text are under international copyright laws. No re-use without the written permission of Lesley Lababidi 2023.

8 thoughts on “CAIRO AFLAME

  1. Wonderful pictures! Flame trees are one of our fondest memories of Cairo. One day, just to enjoy them and other trees of the season, we walked from our home in Ma’adi down to the Nile Hilton and back. It was a glorious walk!

    Thank you and wishing you the best, Paula >

    • Well that is a mega walk on its own! Between March and June the flowering trees gives a special softness to an often harsh looking city. Whatever government decided to plant the trees, we are the recipients of the softness. Sadly none have every been added to or replaced, mainly lost to development. But still…

  2. HOW EXQUISITELY BEAUTIFUL! Your photographs are so vivid – I feel like I am right there in Cairo…..wish it were true. Thanks, Lesley!!

    • Wish you were here too…although with the flames comes the heat so…here we back to Baudelaire thoughts,’“Beauty always has an element of strangeness… “

  3. So romantic, so real, so appealing! What a wonderful, beautiful, and symbolic tree! It means the BEAUTY that the Flame Tree provides signifies a change in climate. If I guess correctly, the ‘Bloomness’ of the Flame Trees’ flowers symbolises the return of ‘rainy season’.
    We have these kind of trees in my village, but I have never thought of them the way you did. Just as we want to enter paradise, but do not want to die; so we admire beautiful things like the beauty of Flame Trees in their bloom period, but do not like hot weather, particularly the Western people who are used to cold weather. The lesson here is that everything goes in pairs, fortune/misfortune, good/evil, likes/dislikes, beauty/ugly etc for example. To live a good live, one must take the risk of living an uncomfortable life; to enjoy sweets, one must sweat; to say ‘oh God! It is owesome and beautiful’, one must get ready to say ‘oh God! why this time when the weather is not conducive to me’.
    We should note that the smiling of the Flame Trees that glitters the streets of Cairo, and the hot weather, which insinuates the closeby of rainy season, which also fertile the sterilised sand dune of the entire Egypt, are one of the God’s ways of educating His servants about His existence, wisdom, and mighty. Parhaps the flowers of the Flame Trees serve as a callander that mark the beginning and ending of one season or another.
    I wish I am right now in Cairo to feel the hotness of her weather because my skin looks fresh, but most importantly to see the FLAME that that rises from those symbolic trees that sets the streets of Cairo AFLAME, which can only be extinguished by the vanish of weather.

    • Dear Murtala, Your comments add so much depth to the post. I always look forward to read your thoughts and interpretation.
      Change of seasons in Nigeria and Egypt are often subtle and short but incredibly delightful. I think that is what makes them dramatic when they are noticed.
      Thank you, L.

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