Egypt After the Revolution, Part II—Photographs

Selling Tea on the Nile

(This post originally appeared in Numéro Cinq Magazine in June, 2011.)

I’ve just returned from a second trip to Cairo. In the two months since my last visit, the mood  has noticeably lightened. This time, I found no tanks patrolling Tahrir Square; the military had disappeared. Instead, the police force was back on duty. Protests were staged, but these were tiny and orderly. While dissatisfaction with the lack of a significant overhaul exists, for the most part, Egyptians keep it in check. They are waiting for the elections in September. They’re hopeful that with a new President, a new direction will be charted. And, in the meantime, they’re living.


Hawking Bread

Protesting, for Housing

Protesting Prices, Tahrir Square




Another Load


In the Crossroads





Picnic on the Nile

Picnic at the Park



Praying, Jesus Heart Catholic Church, Cairo

Mosque and Minaret, View from Al Azhar


—Natalia Sarkissian

This photo essay first appeared in Numéro Cinq Magazine on June 21, 2011. Here are the comments associated with its publication:

  1. dg says:June 21, 2011 at 8:09 pmFantastic, Natalia.Reply
  2. andy says:January 16, 2017 at 11:51 amvery very beautyfulReply
  3. rjfarrell28 says:June 21, 2011 at 8:33 pmThis is an amazing look into living history. Wow.Reply
  4. rggblog says:June 21, 2011 at 8:37 pmGreat, great shots, Natalia. Formally, “Cleaning” is my favorite.Reply
  5. Valerie Sonnenthal says:June 21, 2011 at 8:59 pmgood walking eye, thank youReply
  6. Mary Stein says:June 21, 2011 at 9:24 pmWhen I say “breathtaking,” I mean it quite literally.Reply
  7. Margie says:June 21, 2011 at 11:23 pmBeautiful photos Natalia!Reply
  8. Robin says:June 23, 2011 at 10:47 amIncredible!!Reply
  9. Mikalee Byerman says:June 23, 2011 at 10:52 amI love these pix … I especially love that you capture so many beautiful faces. Thank you for sharing,MikaleeReply
  10. Things You Realize After You Get Married says:June 23, 2011 at 10:59 amThe pics really do tell a story! I love the “selling tea on the Nile” pic—-beautiful! Reply
  11. PCC Advantage says:June 23, 2011 at 11:00 amThank you so much for sharing these photos. The last one is my favourite…so full of hope.Reply
  12. I Made You A Mixtape says:June 23, 2011 at 11:26 amI love these pictures of everyday life!!Reply
  13. 7des7iny says:June 23, 2011 at 11:38 amMay they emerge stronger after all that..Reply
  14. dg says:June 23, 2011 at 11:51 amCongratulations, Natalia, for being picked to appear on the WordPress front page this morning. “Freshly Pressed: The best of 372,209 bloggers, 398,202 new posts, 406,510 comments, & 99,534,075 words posted today on”That’s you! Great photo essay but it’s really just one of a whole series of pieces you’ve done for NC that are stellar–passionate and intelligent.dgReply
  15. Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide says:June 23, 2011 at 11:55 amThanks for the updates and the great pictures. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.Reply
  16. Mr.memo says:June 23, 2011 at 12:08 pmI appreciate your work, showing Egypt to the world as one nation and peaceful environment. Im from Egypt as well but currently living in Malaysia… thank you so muchReply
  17. gealach says:June 23, 2011 at 12:29 pmWonderful pictures! I really have to go back to Egypt some day!Reply
  18. Bisi says:June 23, 2011 at 12:34 pmA blogger, Mfonobong Nsehe recently wrote on the list of five places in Africa we all must endeavor to visit before we die: you guessed it – the Pyramids in Egypt and the migration of the wildebeest in the Serengeti are two I’ve marked down before my time runs out! You’ve shown, though, that trips to Egypt need not be restricted to those ancient wonders. The selection of people and places photographed: a Christian service in progress and the minarets of mosques; how ’bout the religiously-clad woman and her friend attired in Western garb walking side by side – or the ancient push cart laden with goods for sale not far from the moped = the contrasts are endless. Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures.Reply
  19. gaycarboys says:June 23, 2011 at 12:38 pmI know they are beautiful pics but I found the “cleaning” one amazing. I’m not sure what that says abuout me lol.Reply
  20. Calogero Mira says:June 23, 2011 at 12:40 pmGood luck to Egypt. Nice photos.Reply
  21. Lyn Ferrand says:June 23, 2011 at 1:10 pmWonderful pictures. Thank you.Reply
  22. Amr El-Helw says:June 23, 2011 at 1:46 pmAmazing photos Natalia! They truly show the everyday life in the Egyptian society.Reply
  23. theworldviastandby says:June 23, 2011 at 1:55 pmBeautiful and enlightening. Thanks for sharing!Reply
  24. foottrackerluvya says:June 23, 2011 at 2:58 pmPhotos of everyday life are the best. It captures real people, real moments, and there are always interesting details in the photos (like a person making weird faces in the back and stuff like that).Reply
  25. CrabbyChique says:June 23, 2011 at 3:07 pmbeautifulReply
  26. be awake says:June 23, 2011 at 3:10 pmi found some great shots here! good job! and congrats for being FP Reply
  27. My Camera, My Friend says:June 23, 2011 at 3:23 pmYou’ve capture some great sights. Thank you for sharing. I hope Egypt eventually settles into a better government. For now, it’s good to hear they’ve gotten back to life.Reply
  28. ournote2self says:June 23, 2011 at 3:27 pmBeautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing!  Reply
  29. milezaway says:June 23, 2011 at 3:32 pmSo interesting pictures, thats the best thing about these sorts of blogs its views from a real persons point of view and not a news agency.Reply
  30. coolquest says:June 23, 2011 at 3:37 pmI love the picture with the dude who has the bag as big as him. Makes me happy to have the job I do, when I’m having a bad day I’ll just picture myself carring around a massive back full of whatever & go on enjoying my place of employment.Reply
  31. midnitechef says:June 23, 2011 at 3:44 pmI like the last one and the pic-nicsReply
  32. livvy30 says:June 23, 2011 at 3:45 pmLovely pictures! You really capture the feel of the city.Reply
  33. annikamdl says:June 23, 2011 at 3:47 pmlove your pictures! especially the very last one! see also my blog on vacation in egypt! lots of greetingsReply
  34. londontosydneybybike says:June 23, 2011 at 4:13 pmwow – great pictures – making us homesick for being on the road!Reply
  35. TamrahJo says:June 23, 2011 at 5:07 pmAbsolutely stunning – I doubt I will have the opportunity to travel to Egypt this life time, as I had once hoped – thank you so much for a brief view of the things I would be most interested in seeing – the daily life of those who live somewhere different from me! Thank you so much!Reply
  36. Joanna Linsley-poe says:June 23, 2011 at 5:08 pmExecllent photos. With my ancient foods blog you might gusee the man hawking bread is my favourite.Reply
  37. Diane Lefer says:June 23, 2011 at 5:16 pmThese are wonderful and they seem to tell even more than they show– as apparently you felt free to move around anywhere and take pictures. Thank you!Reply
  38. Rebecca says:June 23, 2011 at 6:07 pmReally beautiful photo odyssey reflecting on the new found daily life in Egypt. Thank youReply
  39. chocolatespacemonkey says:June 23, 2011 at 7:06 pmOutstanding!Reply
  40. beritabaris says:June 23, 2011 at 8:38 pmthey working hard.Reply
  41. fornormalstepfathers says:June 23, 2011 at 9:13 pmVery moving and insightful photos!Thank you for sharing.Reply
  42. Liz says:June 23, 2011 at 9:50 pmBeautiful pictures. My brother and his family live in Cairo.Reply
  43. Lonnie says:June 23, 2011 at 9:59 pmWonderful images, amazing colors. Thank you for this glimpse into Egypt. From the women chatting, the child on the slide, to the two women walking on the beach—just shows how much we all have in common. Great job!Reply
  44. sheokhanda says:June 23, 2011 at 10:13 pmbeautiful pics…Reply
  45. thirdeyemom says:June 23, 2011 at 10:14 pmI just found your post and this blog site today on Freshly Pressed and I am extremely impressed! Your article and photos are fabulous. I love how you capture the daily life of the people. I especially enjoyed the pictures of “swimming” and “playing”. I was recently in Morocco back in April and was surprised to see how modern it felt. While looking at your pictures, it seems like the women are much more covered than Moroccan women. Egypt appears to be a much more traditional society. I would love to go there someday. It is on my wish list for future travel destinations as I am intrigued by the Middle East and the Islam religion. I look forward to reading your posts and learning more about this fantastic blog. Keep up the excellent work! Reply
  46. songodiep says:June 23, 2011 at 10:25 pmOMg, ur pic make me wanna move ,,,,
    I like to move it , move it So amazing :X!!!Reply
  47. Viet says:June 23, 2011 at 11:05 pmWow, these pictures are amazing :D. All the pics you see in the past months are either about a protest or the dictators. It’s awesome to see some normal life pictures in Egypt. Keep up the great work! Reply
  48. Fire Crystals says:June 23, 2011 at 11:57 pmThose are beautiful pictures…..unlike the usual stories and sights of devastation, these look practically normal. I am so glad the Egyptians are doing good.Reply
  49. annemojica says:June 24, 2011 at 12:00 amweeew  picture tells a thousand word. Astonishing images  God speed Egypt Reply
  50. Thorsaurus says:June 24, 2011 at 12:13 amWell done.Reply
  51. Sharp says:June 24, 2011 at 1:34 amgreat picsReply
  52. balraj says:June 24, 2011 at 2:47 amthanx for sharing………..its gud to know bout your country i m sitting in india at present n ur blog gives me (i dont know) but v gud feeling………..beautiful images no doubtReply
  53. mila says:June 24, 2011 at 4:39 ambeautiful pictures.Reply
  54. Liam Soprych says:June 24, 2011 at 5:14 amI feel like “Cruising” really captures the heart and soul of so many young people around the world that just want peace and liberty. It also points out that even as eras come and go, as suns rise and set, we all just try to live and be free. It’s really a beautiful photo.Reply
  55. New Era Motor Group says:June 24, 2011 at 5:18 amThose are beautiful picturesReply
  56. richannkur says:June 24, 2011 at 5:52 amquiet similar to a day in India.Reply
  57. pulsar91 says:June 24, 2011 at 6:15 amgood to know about how egypts doing!Reply
  58. Cameo Morningstar says:June 24, 2011 at 6:54 amAmazing photographs!Reply
  59. Ed Williams says:June 24, 2011 at 7:13 amI have never been to Egypt. Your photos have great soul and amazing composition! You capture spirit! Lovely work. Thank you for sharing.Reply
  60. hanskcjournal says:June 24, 2011 at 7:39 amI am speechless, honestly. What the lovely pictures.Reply
  61. Shahi Hafez says:June 24, 2011 at 8:29 amI’m in Alexandria now and I feel as if it’s way worse.Reply
  62. thor27 says:June 24, 2011 at 10:10 amInteresting photos. We’ll see how it all turns out.Reply
  63. bardicblogger says:June 24, 2011 at 10:38 amBeautiful photos. They’re shot very well and really get across the human aspect and a sense of the mood within Egypt.Reply
  64. Kim Aubrey says:June 24, 2011 at 11:13 amAmazing, Natasha! Congrats on your photos making top wordpress post!!Reply
  65. Jeanne Gassman says:June 24, 2011 at 11:18 amWow! These are beautiful. Congratulations, my friend. An honor well deserved.JeanneReply
  66. Scott Thomas Photography says:June 24, 2011 at 11:44 amIt is good to see and hear the country is stable for now and hope for the future is there. Your photos show quite a diversity in the culture. More so than I had thought.Reply
  67. thebigbookofdating says:June 24, 2011 at 1:43 pmIt’s so amazing that you went there, the photo’s are so great to look through and get an impression of life thereReply
  68. lq says:June 24, 2011 at 10:33 pmA rich and beautiful series of photos, Natalia. The compositions are gorgeous and the images filled with meaning. In their light, direct communication of essence they remind me of the essays that you write for NC. I’m grateful for these opportunities to see the world through your eyes.Reply
  69. L says:June 24, 2011 at 10:54 pmWonderful, vibrant photos, saturated with life & color!Reply
  70. stellycious stella says:June 25, 2011 at 1:42 amBeautiful. Awesome photos. Thanks for sharing what you were seeing in Egypt.Reply
  71. Hospitality Writers says:June 26, 2011 at 7:42 amAmazing pictures! Really great. Fantastic series!Reply
  72. dg says:June 26, 2011 at 10:26 amI’ve been thinking this over, reading the comments. I/we’re (at NC) trying to do something out of the ordinary, different from the cultural cliches all around us. N’s photographs are great because they reflect her personality, her interest in life, not because they make a point about the Middle East or about politics. In N’s photos women wearing head scarves suddenly look completely ordinary and human and unthreatening (whereas when a newspaper or a new sites publishes a picture of a woman in a head scarf she looks like a sex bomb or a human bomb). There really is something brilliant about these photos.Reply
  73. Hannah Somerville says:June 26, 2011 at 5:26 pmA fantastic, uplifting set of photos; ‘Swimming’ is my favourite!Reply
  74. whatafy says:June 28, 2011 at 5:32 amPictures for history, definitely. They look like they have lost hope but they are continuing to struggle and fight against all the obstacles. For that, they have my respect.Reply
  75. Natalia says:June 28, 2011 at 11:11 amThanks to everyone for commenting and sharing. Wish you all well!Reply
  76. pause says:August 22, 2011 at 11:44 amreally reaaaally cool pictures..
  77. juliacastorp says:August 28, 2011 at 4:51 pmbeen here, loved itReply
  78. ns says:September 9, 2011 at 5:05 amJulia, thanks for stopping in!

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