There are the pyramids of Giza, so iconic as to be beyond description. There is the astonishing gold of Tutankhamen, buried in the dusty upper corridors of the Cairo Museum. And there are the Islamic treasures of bejewelled mosques and sacred places of learning. For many people, however, the best of the city is experienced not through the iconic spectacle of ancient monuments, great though they are. Even more memorable perhaps is the morning coffee with traders in Khan al-Khalili bazaar, the glance of the midday sun off a piece of polished brass, or the call of a nation to prayer at sunset.

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