If you recall, about a year ago I expressed some major jealously when my brother Chris got to see these same dervishes whirl and twirl for Allah. I never would have imagined that I would get to see them too. If you are planning a trip to Cairo, the whirling dervishes who perform at the Al-Ghuri Wikala is must-see. Plus, it's a free performance- you just have to get there early (like 1-2 hours early) to secure a seat. Definitely worth waiting around for.
If you're totally confused about what's going on, here's an article that might shed some light on Sufism and dervishes here in Egypt. I know this is a picture and video overload, but what can I say? I really enjoyed myself.
Here's a shot of the caravanserai where the performance was held. Back in the day, it was like a roadside inn where caravans would stop and rest their animals and maybe do a little trading. The open courtyard (where everyone is sitting) housed the animals while the surrounding stalls and rooms were used by the travelers and merchants.
After the dervishes, I was feeling brave and wanted to check out Khan el Khalili once more since it was right next door. It was about 10 o'clock at night on a weekday but the Khan was bustling with people. I knew exactly what I wanted and didn't waste any time trying to find it. Poor Clark was bombarded by shopkeepers on all sides, "Hello Mr. President! How can I take your money?"
After 30 minutes of searching, I was about ready to give up but I decided to check one more shop. And there they were! My rose earrings made out of coral.
I probably paid too much for them but I wasn't in the mood to bargain. They were still pretty inexpensive. Any date that starts with whirling dervishes and ends in earrings, is a good night by my standards.