cover image Cairo Inside Out

Cairo Inside Out

Trevor Naylor, photos by Doriana Dimitrova. American Univ. in Cairo, $29.95 (160p) ISBN 978-977-416-756-0

Cairo, one of the liveliest and most intriguing cities in the world, Cairo remains one of the world’s great cities despite political upheavals. Naylor (A Roving Eye: Head to Toe in Egyptian Arabic Expressions), who lives and works in Cairo, makes it clear in his introduction that his book does not fall into the usual categories (memoir, travel guide, history, coffee-table book) but aims to be what Cairo is: “unusual and hard to explain.” Opening with “Nile and Zamalek,” moving through “Downtown Cairo,” and concluding with “Pyramids and Pharaohs,” the text is accompanied by extensive photos whose goal is to capture mood and transition through light and color. They include scenes of houseboat interiors and views out onto the Nile River, the timeless appeal of the old Windsor hotel and its Barrel Bar, the mix of architectural styles in central Cairo, the Anglo-Egyptian bookshop, the mausoleum of Ibn Barquq built in 1400, and of course, the pyramids, especially seen from the gorgeous interior of the Mena House Hotel. As Naylor presents the city, Dimitrova’s photos bring the text to life, creating a perfect seduction. Color photos. (Feb.)