About

DSC05036I am 68 years old, a resident of Egypt and Nigeria for forty-seven 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 MagazineHorus, Turath, Valerie Magazine, ARCE newsletter and various other Egyptian publications.

***New book Field Guide to Street Names of Central CairoTo 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 Street Names of Central 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/

See a review for Cairo Street Stories: Website: Borders Literature for All Nations; Facebook: Borders Literature for All Nations 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!

To watch an interview with Lesley Lababidi speaking about the 10th Anniversary of Cairo: The Family Guide (AUC Press, 2010), click here.

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.

11 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Leslie!
    This is the first time I have been on your blog! Great stuff!
    Hope you are doing well – say “Hi” to the Maan and the “kids” for me!
    Also, wanted to let you know that Dorry is in Denver in an assisted living place for now.
    She fell at home and Jim & I found her – she had been on the floor overnight until 3 pm
    when we came.
    She is recovering well, but is on oxygen and won’t be able to come home until her
    oxygen amount goes down to level 2 (she’s on 3 now). I go down to see her every week
    or so, and I’ll tell her that I sent you this message.
    I love your blog and will revisit it when I have time. So many interesting articles and
    pictures!

    Stay well and enjoy the summer!
    Love,
    Ann (& JIm) Neering
    Estes Park

  2. Hello Mrs. Lababidy,

    I bought your book, Cairo’s Street Stories, because I loved the details about green spaces, statues which I am totally interested in. I am doing a Master Thesis about Public Spaces in Cairo and found many books about urban spaces generaly. I saw a picture your daughter took in page 27, the Azbakeya garden with ‘Sour al-Azbakeya’ (the book market) but as you know this garden was removed during the construction of metro ataba. I have been searching in arabic and in english about the details of this garden with its statue, as a man standing and I can’t figure it out which statue it was, not the Ibrahim Pasha behind Opera. I wanted to ask you if you know which statue it was and if you have know any information about it. I already have a book called “Azbakiyya and its environs” but this book was published in 1985, so I am having trouble finding any useful information during Mubarak’s reign. I want to use this picture in my master to show the transformation but I could not find any similiar picture like the one in page 27 and also wanted to ask if I can have a picture instead of scanning and get a bad image. I am very happy and proud of your book because most books talk generaly about urban spaces and not specifially about certain gardens and I was having trouble to find useful books about green spaces nowadays. So Thank you for your hard work and for this book. 🙂

  3. Hello Mrs. Lababidy,

    We are an entrepreneurial team in the process of creating a website of modern African culture, set to launch in July 2015.

    We would love to be able to use 4 of your images of the Kano Durbar in the Travel section of ModernAfricanCulture.com, Proper accreditation will be provided, as well as links to nomad4now.com and to the official Nigerian tourism site. We will also include brief information on the festival.

    We would be providing free advertising for the Festival and for tourism in Nigeria in general. We are doing the same for all primary tourist attractions and events in Africa.

    We hope to hear favorably from you shortly.

    Thank you for all you do, and thank you so very much for your time.

    Best,
    Nii Tei Laryea
    ModernAfricanCulture.com

    • Dear Nii Tei Laryea, Thank you for asking my permission to use the Durbar photographs. I would be honored to have the photos in your magazine and I appreciate that you will give me full credit and link my blog to your magazine. Please send your web site address so that when the article comes out, I can link your magazine to my blog, as well.
      Thank you again for asking permission. I appreciate it.
      Sincerely,
      Mrs. L. Lababidi

  4. Dear Lesley,
    Thank you so much for sharing the experiences you make in so many beautiful countries!
    I try to find out the name of the restaurant in Cairo where you have lunch (Sinai Liberation Day/you tube video) – I am going to Cairo next week and would loooove to eat there.
    Thank you so much for your respond.
    Kindly from Berlin,
    Melanie

  5. Dear Melanie,
    Thank you for this lovely note that I woke to…Yes, I will get you the information. Give me a day and I will get back to you as Im in Nigeria right now.
    Thanks again,
    Lesley

  6. Dear Lesley
    I am project managing a Nigerian senior secondary school book for Cambridge University Press entitled “Excellence in English”. A section in the book relates to the Dubar Festival. I saw your beautiful photographs published in Obelisque Magazine 2013 and would love to use two of them (nobles paying tribute to the Emir and one with horsemen). Full credit will be given to the source.

    If you are agreeable, I would require higher resolution images than is on the website as it is a printed book.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind regards
    Nicci Botha

    • Dear Nicci,
      Thank you very much for your interest in my Durbar photographs and the lovely compliment.It would be a pleasure to contribute to your book. I have sent you an email on the subject so we can take it from there.
      Best,
      Lesley

  7. Dear Madam: Your pictures of the Durbar Festival in Nigeria are superb. I visited Bida in 1981 and attended the Durbar festival, It was fascinating, I am now writing about this trip in my proposed book – Artistic and Other Encounters – and am seeking permission to use the first picture of the group of horsemen at the top of the article. I still have another year or more to finish writing this text. All sources will be credited.

    • Dear Valerie,
      Firstly, I wish you the best in your writing. Thank you for your comment and compliment. I am very grateful. If you could be more specific which picture you wish to use, that would be helpful. For your book you will need high resolution unless this is an e-book. Thank you for asking my permission for use. I am very appreciative. Sincerely, Lesley

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