Hero of peace

Since I was a kid this painting has shaped part of my spatial memory, I used to pass by with my parents. It is covering the pointed arch of a building’s entrance in AL Qaid Gohar street in the heart of El Mancheya. It depicts a portrait of the former Egyptian president Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat, behind him we can see the pyramids, and a dove as a peace symbol. The decayed and partly hidden Arabic text under the portrait reads Al-Sadat, the hero of peace. I was always curious to know why it is here and why not every building has its own drawing. I grew up older with the same curiosity. When I decided to search for the answers, I started to ask people there. Shops owners, workers, and people doing their shopping activities. To my surprise, every time I ask, the answer is: “What drawing are you talking about?”…Very few notice there is a drawing adorning the building where they work for years. The people walking the street rarely look up. For them, it is just a crossing point. Since ever the street was always crowded. The sidewalks are occupied by street vendors. Nowadays they sell some plastic slippers, Chinese and Egyptian made. The Egyptian ones are much better. All this may leave no room or energy to look up. If you do you will fall down, or simply you would hit someone or something. Or maybe because the building of the drawing is located at the end of the street and when you reach this point you hold your breath just to get out to the open square. Which marks the end of the conjunction and/but a beginning of a new one.

About Alexandria’s Third Places