Cairo is the capital of Egypt, the largest city in Africa and in the whole of the Middle East. It is one of the most famous tourist spots in Egypt as it is home to several sites of wonder, such as the Pyramids of Giza, Saqqara, and Memphis. If you’re planning to visit the dawn of human civilization, you’re probably already thinking what to get for your friends or loved ones from Egypt ahead of time. Fret not, we are here to guide you on what to buy in Cairo, Egypt. Let’s scroll below and see the little pieces of Cairo that you can bring to your home country.
1. Mini pyramids because you can't bring the big ones
Since you are traveling to the lands already synonymous with the word ‘pyramids’, why not get exactly that? A pyramid! And not just any mini pyramid, but a mini pyramid from Egypt created by the Egyptian people! You’ll forever be connected with Egypt as you’ve left a piece of yourself and gotten a piece of this great country for yourself and your friends back home!
2. Get yourself a prototype of the modern paper
The predecessor of the modern paper, papyrus, is said to have originated in Egypt. It is made out of the papyrus plant and was used as a writing surface in ancient times. It is where the term ‘paper’ comes from. Since the Egyptians invented papyrus, it only makes sense to buy a sheet or two during your travels to Cairo to have as a souvenir. Yes! You’ll feel more connected to the place where modern civilization emerged!
3. Feel like an Egyptian royalty with a cartouche
A cartouche (pronounced as kar-toosh) is the Egyptian version of a name tag, only a bit cooler. The use of cartouches became famous during the reign of Pharaoh Sneferu. The hieroglyphic name enclosed in a cartouche indicated that the person is a member of royalty, so if you have the hieroglyphic version of your name written on one, it would signify that you too are of royal origin. At least, in the world of make believe!
4. Buy a canopic jar or two
Canopic jars were used in ancient Egypt to preserve the internal organs of a person during the mummification process. These jars were usually made out of limestone or molded using pottery techniques. The term ‘canopic’ came from the erratic association of the legend of Canopus in Greek mythology. It was a mistake that stuck in people’s heads, hence, we still call them 'canopic jars.’ There are replicas, big and small, of these jars for sale in shops around Cairo. So if you want to collect Egyptian mementos as a souvenir from your travels, you might want to add one or two of these in your collection!
5. Try the traditional Egyptian fashion
Jalabeya, also known as ‘galabiya’ or 'jellabiya’ is traditional Egyptian clothing, native to the Nile Valley. It has a roomier cut, as compared to its Arabic counterparts, and has no collar. Jalabeya comes in different colors, and each color is worn depending on the season. For example, the white jalabeya is usually worn during summer and the colored ones are worn during winter. Since you’ll be going to Egypt, you might love the experience of wearing their traditional garment and bring home some for your friends, too!
6. Buy some alabaster vases to decorate your home
Pharaohs used alabaster vases for many religious rituals, burials and also for practical use as perfume and oil containers, for instance. The term ‘alabaster’ may have been derived from the term 'Bastet’ which means 'vessel of Bast’, an Egyptian goddess. Nowadays, these vases are mainly used for decorative purposes. Since you happen to be visiting Egypt, why not buy an alabaster vase to add to your decorative collection.
7. Egyptian jewelry boxes
Geometric pattern boxes or simply Egyptian boxes are containers with unique and exotic patterns. Egyptian artisans are known for their exquisite woodwork designs. Their talents are translated into fantastic ships, artistic furniture and, yes, you got it right, small jewelry boxes. The jewelry boxes were created by Egyptian artisans specifically to please their pharaohs, and who wouldn’t be pleased with these beautiful patterns? This is yet another item worth adding to your collection of souvenirs from Egypt!
8. Glass sand bottles
With my name inside the bottle??Ohh damn it!❤️😍 Beautiful- Wonderful gift!🎁❤️ ............ Sand Art Glass Bottle from Egypt THANK YOU sooo sooo much 💕 Love, CAROLINE ❤️Posted by Caroline Karen on Sunday, 5 March 2017
On the streets of Cairo, artistic people making a living out of making glass sand bottles for tourists who want to remember their Egyptian escapades for as long as they possibly can. If you buy one, you’ll see them create a personalized design based on your preference. You would, most likely, be amazed at their level of attention to detail and focus on creating these beautiful pieces of art. Bring home one or two of these to support their livelihood.
9. Wear a fez
RED FEZ A Story Behind Tarboosh By Salsabila Al-Kaaf This hat has a long and complicated history in the Middle East,...Posted by Historia Factory on Friday, 7 October 2016
Fez is a cylindrical shaped hat, and often red in color. Its origins are still being debated by experts. Some say it came from Morocco, some say from the Balkans, and others say it is from the ancient Greeks. Regardless of its origins, this hat was used by the Egyptian military, and it has become a part of the Egyptian culture. Plus, it’s cool to wear one! In the world full of cowboy hats and caps, you can choose the fez or tarboosh from time to time.
10. Buy khayameya
Khayameya is a middle-eastern textile used mainly for middle-eastern tents in the past, but are now mainly produced in Cairo, Egypt for decorative purposes. If you happen to pass by the Sharea al Khayamiya, or Souq El-Khaymiya (Street of the Tentmakers) you might want to take the opportunity to buy some to beautify your home. It’s a great souvenir that will always remind you that, at one point in your life, you had been to Cairo!
We love souvenirs
Humans are sentimental beings, and we like to associate our experiences with things. It isn’t a bad idea to get a thing or two from each part of the world that you’ve had a chance of visiting, even if it means you’ll support the livelihood of the locals and also be getting a memento of your traveling years. That said, have you decided what to buy in Cairo, Egypt already? If you haven’t, why not buy each and every item on our list?
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