its Side Streets. CAIRTT 4. Route. 43
said to contain the head of Hosen. The head is said to have been
brought to Cairo in a green silk bag. This tomb-mosque is chiefly
frequented by men on Thursdays, and by women on Saturdays.
On leaving the mosque we turn into the Mashdad el-Heseni
(PI. E, 3), cross the Sikkeh el-Gedideh (p. 42) obliquely, and enter
the Shabi'a el-Halwagi (PL E, 3), which is mainly occupied by the
score or more stalls of the Booksellers.
Most of the booksellers are also scholars, and their shops are the resort
of the learned world of Cairo. As the prices of books vary greatly in
accordance with the demand and other circumstances and there is no
such thing as a fixed publishing price, purchasers should always endea¬
vour to ascertain beforehand the true value of any work they wish to
buy. As in the case of many other wares, the line between new and
second-hand books is not so strictly drawn in the East as in Europe.
The booksellers generally keep catalogues, several feet in length, to
refresh their memories regarding the state of their stock. The Koran,
which is shown very reluctantly to non-Muslims, is kept separate' from
the other books. The books are not arranged side by side as in Eu¬
ropean shops, but piled up in a very inconvenient fashion. Many of them
are sold in loose sheets, in which case the purchaser should see that
the work is complete, as gaps are of frequent occurrence. The bindings
usually consist of leather or pasteboard. Valuable books are often kept
in cases of red sheepskin, out of which they are drawn by means of a
loop. — The workmanship of the bookbinders, who, like other Oriental
artizans, work in the open street, is far inferior to European productions.
Red is their favourite colour.
We now proceed to the left to the W. entrance of the Mosque
The *Gami'a el-Azhar (PL E, 3, 4), the 'blooming', the most im¬
portant monument of the Fatimite period, was completed in 973 A.D.
by Gohar, the vizier of the Fatimite Sultan Mu'izz, and was converted
into a University in 988 by Khalif el-'Aziz (p. xciv). The rectangular
ground-plan of the original building is easily recognizable, but
it has been so frequently restored that no part of it can be said
to date actually from the Fatimite period except the central part
of the sanctuary, with its cupolas. Everything outside this rectangle
is known positively to be of later date. The characteristic old
ornamentation of the arcades and cupolas deserves special attention;
that of the walls has been for the most part renewed after vanished
patterns. The arcades of the court (sahn) were rebuilt under the
Khedive Tewfik with scrupulous reproduction ofthe old style and
the retention of the old columns. — The successive rulers of Egypt
have emulated each other in maintaining and enlargingthis venerable
huilding. In the 18th cent, the wealthy 'Abd er-Rahman added four
aisles to the sanctury, and in more recent days Sa'id Pasha and the
Khedives Tewfik and 'Abbas II. have been notable benefactors of
the mosque. 'Abbas II. erected a new building in place of the
dilapidated N.W. side of the mosque, and his neo-Arab facade
is practically the only one the mosque boasts, the other sides being
all quite unpretentious and concealed in narrow lanes.
The principal entrance (PL a), where strangers receive a guide,
is on the N.W. side, and is called Bab el-Muzeyinin, or 'Gate of the