The café Falak – Books and Art Work is located in Gamal ad-Din Abu al-Mahas Street Nr. 7 off Kasr al-Aini Street, right after a roundabout. The opening hours are quite convenient from 10 am to 12 am in the evening. Besides books you find a shop with hand-made jewelry, postcards, posters of classic Egyptian movies, knitted goods and other art handicraft. As Café Falak offers the usual soft drinks, cold and hot Sandwiches but also a choice of main plates and some coffee variations.
The atmosphere is comfy with upper-Egypt style carpeting, music played at a reasonable volume and art photography on the walls. You find groups of young adults as well as a few children with their parents. With an average age round 30 the place seems to be a meeting point for the middle class Egyptian as well as Non-Egyptian young adults.
Concerning books, you find an array of contemporary literature by new stars of the scene like Ahmed Mourad, (Vertigo, The Blue Elefant), Youssef Rakha (The Book of the Sultans Seal, The Crododiles) or Ahmed Khaled Towfik (Utopia) as well as ‘old-stagers’ like Sonallah Ibrahim , Ibrahim Adel Meguid , the women rights activist Nawal El Saadawi (Women at Point Zero a.o.) or the legendary Naguib Mahfouz (too many…).
From a first personal impression it seems that Falak is a meeting point for people working in the NGO and Arts sector and is frequently used to discuss and plan projects. Speaking of art, you shouldn’t skip Medrar for Contemporary Art one floor above Falak. Founded in 2005, the gallery not only exhibits contemporary art work but also holds workshop and festivals, one of which is the Rozname , a periodical competition and forum for visual art. It focuses on contemporary work by young Egyptian artists. On the 14th of September the closing ceremony of Rozname 4 will be held starting from 7 pm at the venue.
The spreading of the concept bookshop-café-art space has caught my attention. I assume that it became popular since the 2000s, with a rise around 2005 til the present. I would be keen on inquiring further onto this phenomenon.
A map to locate the Falak: