There is something ridiculously reductionist about summing up a region in a picture. But when I attempt imaginative recreations of my personal experiences in the Arab world, the starting point is normally some image like this one.
This is my current “local” in Dokki, in south west Cairo. It really is just a series of narrow tables and small metal chairs thrown out on the street- but it’s nice.
The guy who I think is the owner smiles at my attempts at Arabic and answers me in English. Just like the owner of my “local” on the West Bank used to as well.
I will never improve my Arabic at this rate.
The coffee is nice though.