I am 67 years old, a resident of Egypt and Nigeria for forty-six years, a mother and wife, an adventurer, author, amateur photographer, a marathon cyclist, bird and nature enthusiast, and desert explorer. My long-awaited trip to follow the Silk Road from Beijing through China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan will take me through two months of trails and tales along the Silk Road.
I am the author of Cairo’s Street Stories:Exploring the City’s Statues, Squares, Bridges, Gardens, and Sidewalk Cafés (AUC Press, 2008), Cairo: The Practical Guide (AUC Press,15th edition, 2012), Cairo: The Family Guide (AUC Press, 4th Edition, 2010), Silent No More Special Needs People in Egypt (AUC Press, 2002), Paddle Your Own Canoe An American Woman’s Passage Into Nigeria (Spectrum Books, 1997), and Bahgory Legacy (Obelisque Publications, 2013). My articles are found in: Obelisque Magazine, Persimmon Tree Magazine, Horus, Turath, Valerie Magazine, ARCE newsletter and various other Egyptian publications.
***New book: Field Guide to Street Names of Central Cairo. To be published Spring 2018 by American University in Cairo Press. Co-author, Dr. Humphrey Davies. Synopsis: Streets, squares and bridges of Downtown, Garden City and Zamalek acquired their names for various reasons since the rule of Mohammed Ali Pasha in 1805. Cairo streets have their kings and queens, saints and martyrs, writers and musicians, statesmen and doctors—landmarks in a landscape peopled by Egyptian and Cairene history. 46% of Cairo streets bear names of an individual who either owned the first house on a street to those who instigated revolutions. There are streets named for places (Share’ Brazil, Share’ Berlin), events (Share’ el-Tahrir, Share’ el-Galaa), and dates (Share’ Sitta w-Eshrin Yulyu). Today’s resident of Cairo, wandering its boulevards and cul-de-sacs, its neighborhood thoroughfares and its alleyways, scans for street names. Questions follow: who, why, when? Who, for example, was Youssef al-Guindi that his name should grace a narrow but vital artery close to the American University in Cairo’s Tahrir Campus? What did he do to deserve such a distinction and when was it bestowed? A Field Guide to the Names of the Streets, Squares, and Bridges of Downtown Cairo charts the answers through a virtual timeline for each street. With a fascinating mix of adventure, history, geopolitics and people, the reference covers two centuries of Cairo’s urban development by the chronological breakdown of nearly 800 streets along with biographical information that takes the reader through an official narrative of history at its most familiar level of everyday life.
Conference paper presented at Inheriting the City Advancing Understanding in Urban Heritage, Taipei,Taiwan, organized by Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, University of Birmingham, April 2016.: City Walks: Another Perspective for Narrating the History of the City – Cairo, Egypt. See: https://nomad4now.com/2016/04/11/conference-inheriting-the-city/ and https://nomad4now.com/2017/02/23/announcement-lecture-at-megawra-february-28-2017/
The purpose for this blog is to collect, expand and update my publications. Use the drop-down menu to view new articles. There are a variety of subjects about Egypt, Nigeria, Syria, Togo, and Republic of Benin, which are found under ‘Articles’ and book titles.
‘Unplugged’ is my attempt to write poetry. You enter at your own literary risk!
This blog would not have been possible without the suggestion, mentoring, advice, direction and generous time of Ingrid Wassmann at AUC Press. Many thanks, Ingrid.
Pictures and photographs in this blog are solely my photography unless otherwise noted. Photographs, articles, and poetry are the intellectual property of Lesley Lababidi and protected under international copyright law.
All rights reserved by Lesley Lababidi. To copy or re-produce photography and/or writings, written permission from Lesley Lababidi is required.