Moulids are multi-faceted festivals held in honor of holy people. The surrounding area is transformed into a festive space that, in the case of large moulids, may engulf an entire neighborhood. Anthropologist Farouk Ahmed Mostafa says, “Moulids have played a large role in invigorating the economic life of the society in which the saint is located.” Moulids also provide an opportunity for reestablishing social contacts with out-of-town friends, he explains.
Times are changing for Egypt’s moulids. Yet the reasons for change are more subtle and complex than the government’s dislike of street merchants or anxiety about crowds. While state policies certainly shape these temporary transformations of public space, shifting shades of religiosity, the economy and perceptions of modernity also contribute to the changing form and character of Egypt’s moulids. >> continue(link updated)