The Quiet Moments in Between: Still & Solitary in Egypt

Interior of Lights, Mosque of Muhammad Ali, Cairo.

Egypt is a complex place: as a visitor, I found it beautiful but sad, and ever-evolving yet stagnant, post-revolution. I visited in November 2011 for three weeks and barely scratched its surface, but still got a taste of some of its layers and maneuvered parts of the country at varied paces: the street chaos of Cairo; the still, surreal landscape of the Sinai Peninsula, where the desert meets the sea; and the pharaonic temples in Luxor, where tourists and touts mingle among massive ruins under a hot sun. My first visit to the Middle East and first time navigating in a Muslim country, these weeks were challenging despite exploring with someone who called it home. While I never got used to the ceaseless cacophony of car horns and street noise of Cairo, by the final days I had become comfortable enough to weave through—and walk in front of—moving cars, as everyone else did: becoming one with the traffic, the movement of the city, the chaos itself.

Oddly, as I sift through my photographs six months later, I notice most of my shots capture the quiet moments in between—seconds of stillness and solitude, and of people alone, with their own thoughts, much like me as I wandered and tried to wrap my head around this new place. In this gallery, you'll find images from Cairo, the Sinai Peninsula, and Luxor.

[gallery link="file"]