A Piece Of Switzerland In The Heart Of Cairo
In 1891 the Swiss citizen, Giacomo Groppi, founded the “Groppi” café in Cairo. It became one of the most well known cafes in the Middle East, as many notable personalities spent their time there. In the 1920’s English generals and liberal Egyptian politicians conducted their business within its walls. Later movie stars, German spies and the Jet Set came by, even the Egyptian king Farouk enjoyed the “Groppi” coffee. Then the founders of the Socialist Republic under Nasser forged their plans at “Groppi” tabels as well as the student movement of the 70’s. Later the cafe became the meeting point of the alternative culture scene and even the activists and revolutionaries of 2011 used the cafe as a retreat. Today the “Groppi” is in the hands of the “Muslim brotherhood”.
The documentary “Groppi” follows the history of a Swiss business that was involved with the social and political upheavels in Egypt.
The Swiss Desert Fox
In 2016, exactly 30 years have passed since René Michaud was buried on a small hill at the edge of the White Desert in Egypt. Such Graves are usually exclusive for Sheikhs, but René was not at all a Sheikh. In his Country Switzerland he was received as a looser. In Egypt on the other handed he was well regarded and people speak well of him till today. The Film “Sheikh René – The Swiss Desert Fox” shows how a antihero can become a hero.
Even today 30 years away from his passing the locals of Baharia Oasis did not forget about him. His Grave is a Navigation mark and the first tourist attraction on trips to the White Desert.