Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Light of Egypt

Light in Egypt is a location's signature. Alexandria light is soft and gentle with a playful aspect of the breeze that wanders in from the sea. The glints of the sun on wavetops are reflected from homes and even pedestrians along the sea wall. The light of Sinai is ascetic, almost hard. Sunlight shatters on the rocks and sand of the desert, and flings itself against the clear turquoise of the sea. This is the sunlight of the cave-dwelling saints, the sunlight of 40 years wandering in a wilderness, and shade is man's friend, even in the cooler winter months. The night sky of Sinai is black, deep, untouchable black, with diamond stars scattered through it. Cairo's light seeps through a curtain of dust, softening the sun's glare and diffusing the light that crashes into the city's walls. The pyramids slide into the horizon and pedestrians wander out of the haze into view. Night skies outside of Cairo are a true midnight blue with stars more like candles than diamonds.