The Last Hammams of Cairo: A Disappearing Bathhouse Culture
American Univ in Cairo Press, 2009 - Photography - 134 pages
In the twelfth century, Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi affirmed that the Egyptian baths were "the most beautiful in the East, the most practical, and the best located." Nine centuries later, forgotten by the country's restoration campaign, Cairo's few remaining steam baths are drowning in general indifference. Places of relaxation and ritual, known for their therapeutic virtues, the last public baths are attempting to resist the evolution of tradition and real estate pressure. Curiously, the dilapidated state of the buildings, with their outstanding architecture, is full of charm: the decor is bright, flashy, and oriental, and the mixture of unusual objects creates a unique atmosphere. This book, with its exceptional color photographs and personal narrative, invites you into the intimacy of these bathhouses from another age before their definitive disappearance.
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