Alexandria was a hub of Sufism. Sufi scholars settled down here and had their disciples. In the piazza of mosques in Bahari, facing the two domes of the Sufi Emam Abu el-Abbas el-Mursi, I observed this tiny door located on the left side of the square. Beside the entrance, written in primitive Arabic calligraphy: Madad Madad. The repetition of this word is a Sufi tradition. Madad in Arabic means to support or seek support. In Sufism When you go to the scholar and say: “madad,” it means teach me. And when you say to the Emam: “madad,” it means make a good du’a (pray for me) for me. And you also say “Madad ya Rasool Allah,” meaning ask Allah to forgive me, oh Rasool Allah. The Sufi culture is embedded in the Alexandrian character, no matter how religious you are. It appears in traditions, songs and language, food habits, art, and literature, consciously and unconsciously. Lately, I have been in the same place but the wall was painted over and the words were lost.

About Alexandria’s Third Places