Monday, January 25, 2010


The last few days have been tough. A variety of reasons, a variety of seasons, but alas, some magic has happened, progress has been made and time keeps on moving, so why the hell am I going to stop.

The last few days in a nutshell: meeting amazing people from all over the world with all sorts of stories, having a brilliant time, learning a ton and still I can't seem to fully shake whatever cold/flu-like symptoms I have, am coming up against blocks due to limited permits, the interpreter is at least one hour late every time, the weather in this region is being awkward: floods in Sinai and rain in Cairo, but all of that is small bananas...cuz worst of all: I am not getting straight answers out of anyone about the unification. Everyone I talk to says something different. Someone said yesterday, "In Cairo, you ask seven people the same question and take the average!" I agree to some extent, but from official sources I am hearing suche a wide range of answers; people are saying, "yes, it was in the newspaper last week, they are moving forward NOW" and then another, "oh yeah, we have been talking about this for years! Its Cairo, you know!" and yet another, "yes, we have everything set in place and its on the way sometime this year." It is even more vast, but that is just the gist. So, I am stopping by the Ministry of Religious Endownments again today, maybe meet with the nice man we met with in August and ask him without sounding too interested what the plan is!

I feel like I'm running out of time here although I have only been here 15 days. Such a strange feeling. Will it feel like a whole lifetime once I'm on the plane?

Ok, enough logistics, please check out the pictures below of some of the characters of Cairo. For this post, I have chosen one muezzin and one artist and craftworker.

This is Ruby, the most kind hearted man on the planet. He is a sculptor living and working in Sayeda Isha, just two buildings down from the Al-Ghuri Mosque, where Hassan Mustafa, the lead character in Voices of Cairo, is one of the muezzins calling people to prayer. Robbie prides himself on working in the pharoanic style. Much of his work sells wholesale to bazaars all over the world. He has been carving stone for over forty years! Some of the work is strictly for tourists and some for the connoiseur, while other work is for everyday use by the everyday person. I met him in my first few days here, he granted me asylum next to him and let me shoot from his perch. We didn't understand one another in language, but we loved each other in spirit. I came back yesterday with Anadha, who helped me speak to Ruby, and we filmed him a touch and hung out with him and his cat Mish Mish. He is absolutely AMAZING.

and then on the other side of town.......

This is Sayed. He is a muezzin at a mosque in Ma'adi. An older man, cross-eyed and sweet, he giggles and recites the adhan for us. He began calling people to prayer in Saudi Arabia many many years ago. If my memory isn't failing me, Sayed has three children, all girls and a wonderful wonderful wife. He was the most willing and open character I have personally worked with thus far! Super great!

ALL CONTENT AND PHOTOS COPYRIGHT (c) Anna Kipervaser, On Look Films, LLC
All Rights Reserved 2010


Lynne Jordan said...

OMG! This is amazing! Keep it coming and good luck with all the other stuff you have to deal with!

Rodion said...

Anna, you can't stop even if you wanted to... you know this ;-)

You're doing an amazing job with all of this! You're providing a small window into these people's lives and into your footsteps and experiences in this trip... and we, as onlookers, peer in through windows and screens of our computers in awe and amazement to discover an entire new world on the other side of this world.

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