An amateur Spanish photographer with a passion for reporting, Javier Menendez Bonillahas traveled the world and lived in many countries as part of his work for the European Union’s Economic and Social Development Department.
But throughout his journeys, Menendez Bonilla has always maintained a certain infatuation with Egypt, where he lived and worked with the EU delegation from 2006 to 2010.
In particular he developed a zeal for moulids or the celebration of a holy figure’s day of birth. As part of his exploration into this ancient tradition, Menedez Bonilla spent two years attending moulids across Egypt, from celebrations in the Nile Delta to ceremonies in Upper Egypt that honored Muslim and Christian icons. He also witnessed the only remaining Jewish Moulid still held.
“It is a popular tradition of Muslim and Christian life,” explains Menendez Bonilla, who is posted in Ankara now. “I am captivated by moulids as they capture the true spirit of Egypt. It is a fascinating experience. Only there do you see the hidden, unknown Egypt that we cannot see in the big cities or in the promoted image of modern Egypt we usually see in mass media.”
Noha Moustafa / Egypt ndependent