The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891, October 01, 1878, Page 37, Image 3

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    October, 1878.
the great Aqueduct, built upon massive
arches and reaching from our observa
tory to the Nile, a distance of about
two miles. Here, as before, heaps of
gray sand, Mosques and Minarets weary
the eye Willi suangc sameness of ex
pression. A redeeming element in the
picture, however, is the grand old Nile
The ruins of Old Cairo, the Island of
Rhonda and the beautiful groves there
on, present an agreeable contrast to the
otherwise sterile 'appearance of the
country. On the other side of the
river, the little town of Djixa is seen
nestling among smiling groves of syca
more, fig and palm trees; a little be
yond still, loom up in the blue air the
Pyramid) of Djiza and Saccara. Fi-
panorama of the city and its environs.
Cairo comprises, essentially, a net-work
of narrow, dusty and crowded streets,
running in every direction through a
waste of eloomv wall and ill-ap
pointed buildings. A respectable vol
nine would not sulfite to contain what
might be said concerning the Interest
ing details of this truly city.
To speak of the inhabitants of Cairo
' and their social condition, would only
be to repeat what may be found in
scores of volumes in every considerable
library in our land. Many of the more
intelligent people in the higher walks
of society arc wisely abandoning the
ruts of ancient usage and adopting the
American and European ways of con
ducting social amenities. One great
of Almehs would be sure to go to the
full extent of their art. Saintly dressed,
they disport themselves in a way that
strongly brings to mind those practices
among the Greek eud ike Romans
that prompted Cicero to exclaim:
'Nemo sattut sohrius, nisi forte insa
nit!" The Almehs wear upon their fingers
little bells and carry in their hands
tambours of various forms. With the
bells ami tambours, together with their
voices, they rudely contrive to accom
pany their still more ungainly dancing.
The most extreme abandonment of bal
let dancers in our theatres would he
adjudged the quintessence of feni ale
propriety and decorum when compared
with the motions and attitudes alTectetl
" 411'-
nally, and beyond all, the famous Lib
yan Desert is projected until it clearly
cuts the azure of heaven. Looking to
wards the northwest and north, one
sees the renowned and wide spreading
Delta occupying a vast area, dotted
with groves, gardens and w hite gleam
ing cottages. Romantic djcrmscan
jas and other forms of little craft are
seen scuddling along the dark surface
of the river.
Lastly, and to complete our picture,
we look towards the northeast and take
in a view of the entire city of grand
Cairo. Almost beneath our feet stands
the grim old Mosque of Skan Hai
fa. Thu have we Completed living
stumbling block difficult of removal,
sadly obstructs the march of Improve
meut in this direction. We allude to
the Almehs, or dancing women of
Egypt J jealous of their profession nut!
tenacious of its indent celebrity, these
women obtrude themselves into the
In si Turkish society lo It round in the
city of Cairo. Why they should be tol
erated at all is the strangest part of the
whole matter. Ladicn of distinction in
vite these dancers to their houses on all
occasions of festivity, and scrm lo look
uion their grotesque and lascivious at-
titudes and motions a not in the least.
unseemly, or that may not lie witnessed
by all the inimUrt of their household.
Should foreigrfff be preeent.thabavy
by theae women. We will cloee Ibete
stricture by quoting what a late lia
cler justly says concerning tin si-darning
women of CflirOI "Kg) pi pre
nerve its pristine attachment to a las
civious dance; mid presents that dam c
as it was beheld above three thousand
year ago, in the annual procession to
liubailrti, when the female volant's
distinguished themselves in the cities
through which they passed by in
decency and daniing." While wr
write, fruit harvest is going on; in lit Ids
and gardens of this locality, the inhabi
tants are Uginiiing to gather the date
that grow almost pnntanaouly wher
ever young trees have bean planted
along the Nil. The cahal WN nil ma