In March of this year, a group of plucky Zamalekans – a word I just made up – did the impossible, bringing the some of the biggest names from Cairo’s food and drink scenes together for a day of goodwill and binge eating.
This weekend, Taste of Zamalek is back at the Aquarum Grotto Garden for some festive winter fun, and with smooth crooner, Ahmed Harfoush, hosting the event expect some classic holiday songs from him and his Riff Band comrades that will put you in the giving-mood as well as provide a nostalgic backdrop to all the eating, drinking and shopping.
But beyond the food, Taste of Zamalek has had a real impact on the island as a community. Backed by Palm Hills Development and CIB, the event's 10LE entrance fee goes towards urban renewal projects around Zamalek - and they can't come soon enough. Despite its 'Manhattan of Cairo' status, Zamalek residents have begun to see more and more cracks appear - both figuratively and literally - and the old gal has seen better days.
Remember, tis' the season to be jolly, but also charitable - either by the good of your own heart or by the vengeful hands of Christmas ghosts - and attendees are invited to bring a wrapped gift that will go to a variety of children's orphanages and hospitals.
And so with an empty stomach, a pocket full of fifties and a newspaper-wrapped box of rocks under my arm, I shall see you all there!