I realise I haven’t written much – if anything – about my new place, and the point of this blog was to get a bit up close and personal, unlike my newspaper articles. So: I now live in Heliopolis, as the foreigners call it. The locals call it Misr el Gedida, or New Egypt. The ancient Greeks, if they read the name, would have translated it as ‘Sun City’.
Apparently it is hugely haunted, and has underground tunnels leading to the nearby Catholic basilica, and was the site of satanic rituals in the 1990s. The Lonely Planet explains – “The fantastical look of the place contributed to a citywide panic in 1997 about ‘Satanists’ allegedly holding rituals here – turned out there were a bunch of upper-class teenage heavy-metal fans.”
Nearby is Hosni’s House – aka home of the Egyptain president and dynasty builder, Hosni Mubarak. There’s also a swathe of military headquarters, which led to Heliopolis being bombed when Egypt was at war with Israel.