By William Carter

Photographer, Author, Jazz Musician

Egypt, Mother of of the World

with one comment


I landed in Beirut in 1964 knowing nothing of the region. I was there to represent a New York photo agency — when such outfits had their people stationed around the world doing photojournalistic assignments.

One of the first people I met was the New York Times’ Middle East bureau chief, Dana Adams Schmidt. A seasoned writer, he was just leaving for Egypt, Yemen, South Arabia and Yemen: did I want to go with him? I jumped at the chance.

In Cairo I accompanied Dana on some of his political interviews. Nasser was in power trumpeting his anti-colonialist, pro-socialist, Arab-nationalist agenda. Since time immemorial the Egyptians, with their proud history, had considered themselves the cultural and political leaders of the Arab community.

The term for this outlook was — and is — Masr, Um al-Dunia: “Egypt, mother of the world.”

I had time to explore the  teeming, wonderful streets. The following year I would return to the Nile Delta photographing for a UN agricultural development agency. The country’s problems were deep — seemingly intractable — yet the faces were joyous. I can only hope some of that spirit survives the latest crisis. Half a century seems less long inside a seedbed of civilization.

All photos © William Carter 1965





Copyright statement: William Carter papers, © Stanford University Libraries. Click here for a detailed usage guide.

Written by bywilliamcarter

September 23, 2013 at 8:59 pm

One Response

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  1. Beautiful photo’s as usual. I love that in most of these you shared with us, there are smiles on their faces. I feel like this country has been through a lot and has probably changed a lot since this time.



    September 24, 2013 at 11:08 pm

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