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  • Writer's picture Kester Eddy

If it's a Tough Life as a Politician (see KT43) - It's Tougher Still as a Street Seller in this City

Updated: May 13, 2021

Every Picture Tells a Story (Don't it?) 25 - It's Authentic Street Food Here - Updated

Photo: This lady graced a page in the Economist magazine some time in the 1980s, but it definitely wasn't for an article on the good life.

In fact, taking this photo nearly got me into an altercation with a passing male, who decided of his own volition he didn't want piccies of the more desperate citizens of his country getting to the outside world. I managed to extricate myself from the potentially nasty situation unharmed - and this is the result. I do hope the lady made some sales, though I didn't partake of her wares myself. (I think it's some kind of cheese.)

Any guesses of where she is? I'll post the answer in an update tomorrow.

Update: Well, this was a toughie, wasn't it? I really don't say that with any glee. Well, ok, there might be little bit, but not much, honest, because I know it will come back to bite me in the end. I really like to hear the logic of participants - and I try to put myself in their shoes. How would I go about guessing the location if I hadn't taken the piccie and knew? Also - and it wasn't intentional obfuscation - but I originally put the word 'town' in the title, then realised this was really inaccurate and might cause offence, because this location is really a massive city. So sincere apologies if that put anyone off. Albania featured strongly in a number of minds, along with Bosnia and other Balkan areas, plus Romania and Istanbul. Our Syrian friend, Hakam, who I thought might recognise the embroirdery patterns, was stumped - he ventured Homs, in central Syria, or even Amman in Jordan, but admitted it was guesswork. I did wonder if I should give another clue to assist, but by then one or two hard-core sleuths had already shot their bolt.

So thanks to all for trying. Not an easy one, you have my sympathies. Anyway, this hard-working lady, who I think bears the scars of a less-than-easy life, was shot in Cairo, Egypt in the very last days of 1983. It would be nice to know that some of her descendants could see this photo, but alas, I doubt they ever will.

Update 2: Hakam has written in after reading the answer: So Egypt! Amazing! I'm not good at different embroidery (and face tattoos!) patterns for telling different regions, but I should have guessed from her relatively relaxed clothing (her neck is not covered), something characteristic of Egypt of a couple of decades ago, which has now been taken over by a stricter reading of religion.

Hakam tells me he had to go on a panel, so he was in a rush originally - we forgive you, Hakam :)

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