Al Fishawy Cafe in Khan El Khalili | Egypt's Oldest Cafe

Al-Fishawi cafe is one of the famous and historic cafes located in one of the narrow alleys adjacent to the Imam Hussein Mosque in the Al-Azhar district, in the heart of Fatimid Cairo, in the Khan Al-Khalili area. It is frequented by a mix of Egyptian, Arab and foreign tourists of all nationalities who are dazzled by the oriental ambiance of the cafe, with its wooden tables and chairs known for its Arab-loaded sofas, and mirrors and wooden-backed frames scattered on the sides.

Al Fishawy Cafe in Khan El Khalili

Al-Fishawi Café, or “Al-Fishawi Coffee” as the Egyptians call it, is the place in which the Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz woven his famous trilogy “Between Kasserine” and “Qasr Al-Souq” and “Al-Sukariah”, but this is not all about the café. It is also the place where philosophers like Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and Sheikh Muhammad Abdo visited repeatedly, they are considered symbols of renewal in Islamic jurisprudence, and here also sat the famous classic singer Umm Kulthum and other figures who made the history of modern Egypt.

The cafe is closer to a house consisting of three rooms, and the idea is that the visitor feels at home and not in a cafe like the other cafes, and there was a different idea expressed by each of the cafe rooms because the first room is called the" Bosphorus " room, it is lined with wood inlaid with ebony, and it contains tools made In silver, crystal and Chinese, this room was mainly dedicated to King Farouk and his guests during the month of Ramadan.

King Farouk

King Farouk


The second room is called a "masterpiece", and the reason is that the cafe owner wanted to actually be closer to an artistic masterpiece than it is for an area in a café so that its walls were decorated with seashells, braided wood, ivory, and arabesque, while their sofas are lined in green, and this room is for artists.

But the strangest room in this cafe is the rhyme room, which is closer to a sarcastic game, in which an individual poses a question to another person, and he replies to him with the word “listen to me” so the question owner answers him with a comic answer, and then the second person asks a question and the first response to him with the same word “listen” and so on The two people continue the verbal fight until one of them becomes silent.
The goal of this satirical game was to show which of them was more light-headed, quick-witted, and fluent in tongue and ridicule, and the rhyming game was run every Thursday of Ramadan.


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