“A super book. [It] made me want to go back to places I haven’t set foot in in decades. No one could have presented the Protected City more succulently.”—Humphrey Davies, translator of The Yacoubian Building

…..aims to be what Cairo is: “unusual and hard to explain.” The text is accompanied by extensive photos whose goal is to capture mood and transition through light and color. They include scenes of houseboat interiors and views out onto the Nile River, the timeless appeal of the old Windsor hotel and its Barrel Bar, the mix of architectural styles in central Cairo, the Anglo-Egyptian bookshop, the mausoleum of Ibn Barquq built in 1400, and of course, the pyramids, especially seen from the gorgeous interior of the Mena House Hotel. As Naylor presents the city, Dimitrova’s photos bring the text to life, creating a perfect seduction.”—Publishers Weekly

This is a delightful book that will enrich a visit to Cairo for both first-timers and those who think they already know the city well . . . The richness of the book lies in its identification of places that a visitor might overlook, even if they are in the guidebooks . . . This book will send me on new adventures next time I am there”—Andrew Cunningham, Arab Bankers Association

“Cairo Inside Out” is a reflection on Cairo; it exudes a certain something, indefinable, inexplicable, an elusive quality which is part of the city’s fabric. This book takes you to the heart of Cairo. Naylor conveys in words and pictures the moods and light of a city steeped in history, a city that is both eternal and ever changing. The text is superb and the photographs “talk.” What a wonderful book this is. But wonderful just does not seem good enough.”—Lisa Kaaki, Arab News

“Both Naylor and Dimitrova are experts in their field, but it is the combination of their crafts that creates the book’s aesthetic impact which is often breathtaking.”—Sally Bland, Jordan Times

“Cairo Inside Out is not a book to be read once only. One will want to return to it again and again.”—Sally Bland, The Jordan Times

“Breathtaking.”—Sally Bland, The Jordan Times

“This richly illustrated book lovingly explores Cairo through insiders’ eyes and lenses. Naylor and Dimitrova stroll through many of Cairo’s most famous neighborhoods (Zamalek, Old Cairo, Downtown) and visit monuments and locales (the Citadel, Khan al-Khalili marketplace, the Pyramids) in the locations’ quieter moments, often at dawn, when life is just stirring. The perspective is inside-looking out: the Arabian Nights-inspired architecture of the “impressively renovated Mu’izz Il-Din Illah Street” shot through latticework window screens, or foot traffic outside the city’s famous Anglo-Egyptian bookstore, viewed through its window displays of books. Even the Spinx and Great Pyramid share the photographic stage with the trinkets and postcards astride a gift-shop doorway that frames a view of the monuments. These carefully captured perspectives speak volumes without shouting.”–AramcoWorld

– link to AUC website presentation

from Amazon  readers

Engaging Narrative and Images About Places in Cairo

I learned about this book from a review in Aramco World magazine which I have found to be a reliable source of information on interesting books about the Middle East. As reviewed, the book provides an entirely engaging narrative about places in Cairo which are, while not entirely off the beaten path, not all the typical guidebook attractions. At once informative, charming, intriguing, the book places the reader in various locales near the Nile which have historical significance and offer unique architectural and cultural character and feeling. The photographs are complimentary to the text and also have a refreshing “you are there” quality which is different from photos in a coffee table book. All in all, a great read and experience (which I couldn’t put down and read in a single day). The only thing that might have enhanced the presentation is a diagrammatic map showing the general locations of the various places visited.


This is a gorgeous book, inside and out! It’s beautifully nostalgic for anyone who lived in or visited Cairo. There are many books out there with pictures of Cairo but none that I have seen with this unique approach. The idea of capturing the feeling of the city from inside out is brilliant. Even if you’ve never been to Cairo, this is how it really feels being there!