In turns and twists of the narrow alleys of downtown Cairo, just couple of kilometers away from Tahrir, where all the action happens, lays Somaiyya's area/ground as a hidden spot, a hidden entrance to enchanted world,, a very narrow restaurant with only three tables serving deliciously, made extremely traditional Egyptian food with the taste of the revolution where this whole thing started.
The story behind the place is interesting in the same fashion of its interesting customers themselves, whom they successfully squeeze themselves along the tiny place! Most of them being activists or protestors who seek this place as a break from their hectic clashes with police few blocks away or a place to mingle with fellow revolutionaries opening up endless debates,,, what you will enjoy most about the place,, is lack of privacy, really! You would be engaged in conversation of fellow eaters,, who comes from different walks of life united by the love of Somaiyya and revolution, with a lof of foreigners and long waiting line outside, ,, they ll laugh at your stories, you would ask to charge your mobile's battery and find lovely Egyptians helping you to it ( like I did ask), you would shout Somaiyya' s name across he kitchen that opens a Window facing her customers and asking her, like you would do typically with your mom ' what is on for dinner tonight"?
Somaiyya who cooks in front of cheering chatty customers where 3 tables furnished modestly by tradotional cloth, started unintentially this business during the break out of the revolution in 2011.
Somaiyya who is in her forties used to work in Merit printing house, Egyptian book publishing house, usually printing controversial books and mostly secular and political ones, started cooking for her colleagues as a fun way fulfilling her new learnt hobby after living in Italy for 10 years.
She never loved cooking before Italy as going to work as a secretary, which is her original job! But no wonder loving cooking after visiting this cooking heaven country! However with the daring decision of Merit to take in causalities at thiet location in downtown during the revolution and hosting them,, Somaiyya was one of the healing powers with her food. the place's wall now mixed between pictures of old downtown and revolutionary and anti-scaf ( military supreme council) posters which makes the revolution very alive in this spot of the world)
Although Somaiyya has a menu but it is very interactive and relevant to the day and her mood,, so leave yourself and your food prejudices at the tiny door in this alley of bab el louq and ask for the sizzling dish of the day which varies between ( Egyptian white rice, Okra with sauce, stuffed vegtables (mahshy), Mombar (stuffed cow intestineswith rice), chicken) along many many mouth-watering others.
Well,, if you walk out this door to the real world again, you are never thr same,, well you are enchanted forever but your mouth printed by the taste of the revolution, something you can never forget!