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Egypt

A Century-Old Egyptian Whodunnit Resurfaces

Raya the Ripper?

Over a century ago, in the red-light district of Egypt’s port city Alexandria, two sisters partook in a series of murders. Raya and Sakina became synonymous with pure evil. But did they really kill sex workers for a few gold bracelets? New evidence suggests otherwise.

A New Theory: European Cathedrals Show Traces of Ancient Egypt

The Zigzag’s Tale

For years, I’ve been on an architectural odyssey, a quest for the origins of the zigzag. Curiosity was first sparked in 2005 after buying and restoring my Ottoman courtyard house in Damascus. Round all four courtyard walls, there was a distinctive decorative design — a trio of horizontal zigzags. My Syrian architect speculated it might be an ancient Mesopotamian pattern, but neither he, nor anyone else I asked, had any idea why it was chosen or what it signified.

The Artist Who Captured a Bygone Cairo

The Artist Who Captured a Bygone Cairo

Menhat Helmy was a pioneering printmaker and painter, and among the first Egyptian artists to create elaborate etchings that captured the intricacies and minutiae of life in Cairo during unprecedented socioeconomic changes that transformed the country under former president Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Preserving the Coptic Language

Preserving the Coptic Language

Titi Maurice is a native speaker of Coptic, which puts her in a group of only hundreds worldwide. “As long as Coptic exists, no matter how small the number of speakers, it connects us to ancient Egypt,” she says. Now a number of initiatives are aimed at reviving that connection to the language of the pharaohs.

What a Hunger Strike in Egypt Says About Power

What a Hunger Strike in Egypt Says About Power

Only when I experienced prison myself and grasped the power dynamics did I understand: Prisoners go on hunger strikes not because they cannot resist anymore but because the only act of resistance left to reclaim their body is to destroy it.

In Egypt, Foreigners Dominate Belly Dancing

In Egypt, Foreigners Dominate Belly Dancing

Foreign belly dancers, who hail from Eastern Europe, Latin America and the United States, were brought in to fill the space left by Egyptian dancers and now uphold what is viewed as a quintessential Egyptian art.

How a Goat Discovered Luxor’s Ancient Egyptian Treasures

How a Goat Discovered Luxor’s Ancient Egyptian Treasures

About 40 feet inside the temple area, the archaeologists were disappointed to find just a single coffin. One of their Egyptian workers, however, discovered a small crevice in the ground that revealed they were standing on an artificial plateau that ultimately led to yet another undisturbed grave, this time a mass of priests.