Saturday, April 25, 2009

Book Review : Egypt Pocket Guides - Alberto Silioti

The AUC Press has brought out a wonderful series of pocket guides for Egypt by Alberto Silioti.

Each of the books gives a quick glimpse into the area it covers, in just enough depth for the average tourist.

The aerial view maps reminiscent of the DK Eyewitness guides are much easier to navigate than flat maps.

The books are printed on glossy paper which brings the photographs used to life. There are just enough technical details for those mildly interested in them but not too much to bore those who aren't.

Egypt Pocket Guide : The Pyramids covers the pyramids of Giza, Saqqara, Dahshur and Meidum. It also includes Memphis just to complete the Pharonic circuit around Cairo.

Egypt Pocket Guide : Luxor, Karnak and the Theban Temples includes everything that you would want to see in and around Luxor. Luxor Temple, Avenue of sphinxes, Karnak Temple, Colossi of Memnon, Medinat Habu, Ramesseum, Hatchepsuts Temple, Luxor Museum, Mummification Museum and Dendara.

Egypt Pocket Guide : Islamic Cairo gives the historical time frame of the various Islamic dynasties. It also covers the major Islamic Monuments in Cairo : Ibn tulun Mosque, Gayer Anderson Museum, al Ghuri Complex, Al Azhar mosque, al Hakim mosque, Khan al Khalili, Qalawun & Barquq Complexes, Sultan Hassan Madrassa, al Muayyad Mosque, Blue Mosque, Citadel, Mamluk Tombs, Nilometer and the Museum of Islamic Art.

Egypt Pocket Guide : Coptic Egypt starts with an informative section on Coptic Christianity and monasticism. It only covers the Synagogue of Ben Ezra, Coptic Museum and Hanging Church in detail. The rest of the churches in the Coptic area; it just skims over. It does give details of all 4 monasteries in Wadi Natrun and the 2 monasteries of the Red Sea but not those of Upper Egypt.

Egypt Pocket Guide : Alexandria and the North Coast covers everything of interest in Alexandria: the Qaitbay Fort, Lighthouse of Alexandria, Serapeum, Pompei's Pillar, Roman Theater, Catacombs, Greco Roman museum, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Jewelry Museum, Montaza Palace and some of the Ncropolis around Alexandria and Abu Qir. It even covers Alamein.

Each of these books costs 30Le if you buy them in Egypt.


Zach said...

Speaking of maps, I've been searching everywhere for a reasonable map of greater Cairo, to no avail. My definition of Greater Cairo is that it include Maadi and the entire ring road in the main map, not an inset. Is that so much to ask?

Any suggestions appreciated.

Kim said...

Unfortunately, it does seem like its too much to ask.

I have friends living in certain districts of 6thoctober since the last 3 years who cannot have mail delivered because they have no addresses (no street address or building numbers.) Maps are a far cry. . .

The Cairo Practical Map from AUC Press is the best that I have sen so far. With Egypt recently passing a law allowing GPS, hopefully some good quality maps should soon hit the market.

johnwilpers said...

Dear Kim,

First of all, I apologize for using your comment area to reach out to you but I could not find an e-mail address on your blog.

Second, I want to tell you what you probably already know (but it's always nice to hear it from someone else): Your "Whazzup Egypt" blog is a delightful insight into life in Egypt! Your range of subjects, your writing style, your illustrations and photos make "Whazzup Egypt" a wonderful "read."

Anyway, suffice to say we love "Whazzup Egypt" and we would like to give your work more exposure here in the United States and around the world.

My name is John Wilpers. I am the Global Blog Coordinator for GlobalPost, a new international news organization that launched on Jan. 12. We were featured in the New York Times last month. We have also been featured in the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, MSNBC, MediaShift on PBS, the Columbia Journalism Review, the Online Journalism Review, and many more. In barely three months, we have had 250,000 unique visitors and 1.1 million page views. Our readers have come from every country in the world except North Korea, Chad, and Eritrea!

My job is to build a list of blogs that will appear on GlobalPost where we have approximately 65 correspondents in some 46 countries plus high-profile correspondents writing about nine major themes.

We are looking for enlightening, informative posts from bloggers writing (in English) about the country they live in or care deeply about. We were very, very pleased and excited to find "Whazzup Egypt."

So, I would like to extend an invitation to you to have the most recent post of the "Whazzup Egypt" blog included on the Egypt page of as part of our “Global Blogs” service.

The way it would work if you accept our invitation is that we would use your RSS full-text feed to place your most recent post on your personal page on We would point back to your actual blog for comments and for archives, hopefully driving lots of traffic to your site. Each time you write a new post, it would replace the older one so only one post would appear on at any one time.

By appearing on Global Post’s exciting new international news website, your words, viewpoints, and pictures would gain worldwide exposure. In barely two months, we have had 250,000 unique visitors and 1.1 million page views. Our readers have come from every country in the world except North Korea, Chad, and Eritrea!

You do not need to do anything differently. We do request that you point back to us from your blog (we will send out the code for our badge if you accept). We also ask that you use our GlobalPost headlines widget or badge, but that’s not a requirement.

You should know that we have a few guidelines that we observe here at Global Post (but reading your work, these rules don't really apply, but they give you a good sense of our culture):

1) We do not publish racist, sexist, or misogynist comments (unless those comments are the subject of the post).
2) We do not publish obscene language or photos. While we recognize that obscenity can be difficult to define, we know it when we see it and we will let you know if we think you have crossed our line.
3) We do not permit plagiarism. Any work taken from another source must be attributed to that source.
4) We do not publish libelous or slanderous language.
5) We do not tolerate repeated errors of fact or misrepresentations of facts or quotes.
6) We do not publish work inciting violence.

Failure to observe these guidelines would result in the removal of your blog from GlobalPost. We would contact you, of course, to discuss the post in question.

Because we have a broad multicultural audience holding every conceivable political and religious viewpoint, we want to respect their views while also possibly challenging them. We will host controversial work. We will encourage robust debate of the hottest topics. We will not stifle discussion, only abuse of people, belief systems, and laws.

We hope these guidelines are acceptable to you.

I look forward getting your permission to put your full-text RSS feed on our site. Thank you!


John Wilpers

Amanda Crowe said...

I'm completely agree with Kim, the books are not in depth, but can give a glimpse.

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