Muqattam, Cairo: a tale of religion, or something like that

I was talking to him, a Muslim, about the 1940s and 50s in Cairo.  He told me that in those days he had a neighbor who was a Christian and another not too far away who was a Jew.  He said that they mingled with his family in the kitchen, picked him up at school when his  parents couldn't get there, vouched for him when he got into trouble. 

But then he shook his head and said that Nasser had done away with all of that.  That the Jews had mostly left after the war.  That those who stayed didn't know each other in the same way.  That everyone now stayed in their own camps.  Suspicious. 

I went with friends to Muqattam, an area in Cairo where Christians lived.  It was filled with garbage.  But they took the garbage and recycled it, making it into something beautiful.  Carpets, bags, stationary. 

Halloween and Maryam 186 

Halloween and Maryam 195 
 Halloween and Maryam 204

 Halloween and Maryam 189 

Halloween and Maryam 213 
I wish we could recycle our own tired old ideas about each other.  Muslim, Christian, Jew.  Recycle them.  And make them into something beautiful, too.