Arab League Street



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Arab League Street
Cairo, Egypt

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Arab League Street, known locally as Gamaat al-Dawal al-Arabiya, is the main thoroughfare of al-Mohandiseen. Al-Mohandiseen, which means "the engineers", is a concrete suburb on the west bank of the Nile, built in the 60's to house Cairo's burgeoning middle class population of technocrats. Some say the area is somewhat soulless, though there's no denying that al-Mohandiseen is one of the more westernised districts of Cairo.

Arab League Street is a huge, straight, multi-lane boulevard that runs along a north-east to south-west axis; on a clear day it is said you can just make out the Pyramids of Giza in the distance. This three kilometre strip is home to boutique shops, banks, money changers and Western fast-food franchises of every description, including McDonald's, Costa Coffee and even Dunkin' Donuts! It's not just western food emporiums though – there are numerous home-grown restaurants and fast-food outlets too.

Somewhat at odds with the exuberant consumerism of its surrounds, half way along the street is the huge Mostafa Mahmoud Mosque, hemmed in by high-rise concrete behemoths. Whilst there is nothing as such to see on Arab League street, it's a fascinating area to stroll around: this high-paced consumer lifestyle is just as much a part of modern Cairo as the medieval markets of Islamic Cairo, and the tranquillity of the Coptic Christian area of Old Cairo.

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