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Photographer's Note

Sayyida Zainab quarter | Cairo streets

The shops full of lanterns (arabic Fawanees, sg. Fanoos) of various kinds, hues and degrees of brightness, before the holy month of Ramadan.

According to article of Heba Fatteen Bizzari, Fatimid Caliph Al Hakim Bi-Amr Illah wanted to light the streets of Cairo during Ramadan nights, to make them look prettier, so he ordered all the sheikhs of mosques to hang Fawanees. As a result, the Fanoos became a custom that has never been abandoned. There are also many other legends about this typical egyptian tradition of hanging lamps and lanterns during the holy month.

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