Cairene men have socialized in hole-in-the-wall coffee houses, or ’ahwas, ever since the beverage was introduced from Yemen in the early Middle Ages, while there are also a few larger and more sophisticated coffee houses, with high ceilings and tall mirrors, such as Fishawi’s in Khan al-Khalili and El Horryia in Midan Falaki. All-night ’ahwas can be found around Midan Ramses and Sharia Qalaa and the Saiyida Zeinab end of Sharia Mohammed Farid and Sharia al-Nasireya. Women can increasingly be seen smoking sheeshas in ’ahwas, though generally in more sophisticated, slightly upmarket places rather than old-fashioned hole-in-the-wall ones. In particular, al-Borsa, the area around the stock exchange, is very trendy for ’ahwas, which spread out during the evening into all the surrounding backstreets.

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