Khamseen

March 16, 2009

Even when there is no dust storm in Cairo, it seems there is always a bit of dust in the air during this time of year. As I mentioned in another post, it’s the season of the Khamaseen (Arabic for “fifty”) named for the fifty days of potential dust storms from mid-March through April. 

This first photo was taken the other day and you can see that the air is a bit dusty. Note large triangles on horizon.

View from my hotel room the other day.

View from my hotel room the other day.

The second photo was taken this morning during a very mild dust storm. Note large triangles disappeared. This all blew through within about a half hour of taking the second photo.
 

View from my hotel when the dust is flying.
View from my hotel when the dust is flying.

 

There are times when it’s very bad and you can’t see across the street, although I haven’t experienced that on this trip. You cannot keep it out of anything, including eyes, ears, throat, house, car, and clothing.

It’s also a bit humid here right now and when tramping around the hot Giza plateau, like I did this morning, the dust stuck to me like a barely discernable layer of talc.

Combined with Cairo’s air pollution, it’s a little annoying, although after only a few days, I don’t notice it too much. It does make me appreciate Seattle’s generally clear marine air.

Brian Hunt

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