Each year tens of thousands of Egyptians descend upon the Sayeda Zeinab neighborhood in Cairo to celebrate the birthday of Sayeda Zeinab, the granddaughter of the Muslim prophet Mohammed. It attracts followers from the Sunni, Shia and Sufi sects. For a week, the entire neighborhood is overcome by the festival.
A mother holds her daughter in the crowd. The Sayeda Zeinab moulid draws huge crowds each year, and has gained a reputation for being notorious for harassment and theft.
A man sways in a trance to traditional moulid music. Followers of the more spiritual Sufi sect are frequent guests of the festival. They are known to dance and sing for hours into the night.
An elderly couple sleeps in a small park surrounded by the Sayeda Zeinab moulid festivities. The festival brings thousands of people
from all over the country who often live and sleep in the neighborhood streets during the entire festival.
A group of local men from Sayeda Zeinab perform their skills at a local party in the side streets of the neighborhood.
In a side street, local youth organized an electro-sha’abi dance party.
While the main streets are filled with the festival,
the locals often stay in side streets at their own gatherings.
Some of the only female moulid singers in Egypt perform for a large crowd. They are part of a family act, their male relatives play the instruments.
A mother looks upon her daughter singing traditional Sufi music at the Sayeda Zeinab moulid.