Mohamed Ali Pasha was the first to order for the streets and neighborhoods to be named, and the buildings to be numbered, and for that we thank you, Pasha, you made our life way easier. But the thing is, some of those streets and areas have weird names; it makes you almost certain that there are stories behind these names.

Yes, indeed there are, folks, and here are 5 of these stories:

1. El Mounira

In 1873, Egypt witnessed a phenomenal event known as “Afrah El Angal”, the royal weddings of Khedive Ismail’s sons and only daughter at El Qasr El Aaly. Forty consecutive nights of extravagant parties. So the whole area around El Qasr El Aaly got known until the present day as ‘El Mounira’, and that was due to the dazzling lights that were irradiating from the celebrations at the palace.

2. El 3agouza

Sherif Pasha, one of Egypt’s ex Prime Ministers, had wanted so much to build a mosque near El Galaa Bridge, and name it after him. After his death, his wife, Nazly Soleiman, fulfilled his wish and built the mosque. She lived in a villa nearby until she turned 90. People tended to call this area El 3agouza after her, so mean!

3. El Azbakeyah

In the late 14th century, during the reign of the Mamluk state, Sultan Qaitbay gave a piece of land as a reward to the commander of his armies, Saif al-Din bin Azbak, so the area was named after him. Shayfin el hadayah!

4. El Corbah

El Corbah was originally called “La Courbe”, a French word that means the curve, and that’s because the line of the tram used to take a curve in this area. So the area was known by this name.

5. Bola2 el Dakrour

It was primarily called “Beau Lac du Caire” which means “Cairo’s beautiful lake” before we, the Egyptians, put our special touch on the name and turned it into Bola2 el Dakrour! Magicians walahi!

6. El Zamalek

“Zomlok” is a Turkish word that means wooden huts. The island now know as El Zamalek used to be the fishermen’s meeting point where they built their huts to rest during the fishing hours. So we pluralized the name and it became El Zamalek. Mansbsh haga f 7alaha abadan!