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Cairo

In the Egyptian capital, ancient traditions mix with modern business practices. Susan Hack

Cairo is one of the world’s most historically, socially, and culturally layered cities. In traffic, between business appointments, you’re likely to encounter neighborhood knife sharpeners hauling enormous stone wheels on their backs and farmers driving donkey carts laden with pyramids of produce. But don’t be deceived by living remnants of Egypt’s 5,000-year-old past or the Third World traffic snarls. From cell phone moguls, to real estate tycoons, to furniture and textile manufacturers, a new generation of Egyptian entrepreneurs is taking Arab business global, overcoming obstacles that range from state corruption and bureaucracy to regional conflicts and anti-Arab bias in the West. Where to See and Be Seen Abou El Sid, a restaurant-bar in a 1900s building on Zamalek, serves local classics such as stuffed pigeon, moulakheya (a garlicky rabbit stew with spinachlike greens), tiny grilled quail, and minty veal kebabs in a setting of Egyptian royalist gilded chairs and Warholesque portraits of Cairo icons such as singer Oum Kalthoum. Around the corner at La Bodega, diplomats and thirty-somethings mingle at the Art Deco– inspired Baehler Building, which also houses two bar-lounges. On balmy spring and summer evenings, hipsters gravitate toward Nile-side restaurant lounges, including Sequoia...


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hipsters gravitate toward Nile-side restaurant lounges, including Sequoia... Kalthoum. Around the corner at La Bodega, diplomats and thirty-...

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