Ahmed Samy Photographs Cairo’s Minarets

The 26 year old founded Cairo Roamers

Ahmed Samy Photographs Cairo’s Minarets
Yaseen Dockrat

Ahmed Samy is an Egyptian photographer based in Cairo. Having grown up in El Mahalla El Kubra, Samy developed a love for photography, using his father’s camera, to begin with. After purchasing his own, he found himself looking at Cairo’s minarets. These iconic buildings that help call people to prayer served as his muse as the photographer roamed the streets of Cairo.

Back in 2021, Samy started Cairo Roamers, a walkabout where photographers could come together, roam the streets, and capture some of the city’s best sites. Here he explains how that, and his love for shooting in Egypt has developed.


Ahmed Samy Photographs Cairo's Minarets

Where are you from and where are you based?

I am from a small town named El Mahalla El Kubra, and I am based in Cairo, Egypt.

How did you get into photography? 

Back in 2006, when I was 10 years old, when my father bought our first digital camera – which I began using. I found myself shooting a lot of places and portraits at the time. I then bought my own  and began to learn the art of photography and here I am, so yeah, it has always been a passion for me.

What should we know about you?

I’m 26 years old and graduated from the faculty of commerce as an accountant, but art and photography have always been my main passion. I grew up in a small city near Cairo named El Mahalla El Kubra, but I have some relatives living in Cairo whom I visit from time to time. My dad loves the old monuments of Egypt, so he has taken me to these places since I was a kid. By the time I was travelling by myself, I started roaming these places – which led me to capture them. I participated in many photography exhibitions in Cairo and my hometown, and have worked in different types of photography, but my favourite area is architectural photography and heritage.

What is it about Islamic architecture that captures you? 

I like the idea of minarets. This tall building is covered in patterns and used to raise the call to prayer. It is also a remarkable and beautiful piece of architecture. There are also domes, geometric patterns and muqarnas which I like.

Ahmed Samy Photographs Cairo's Minarets

You photograph mosques and minarets in Cairo. Why are these mosques your subjects?

Well, I am really in love with Islamic architecture, and I am a fan of history. So, I photograph what I love.

You founded Cairo Roamers, a movement that captures Cairo. Tell us about it?

It is an initiative to explore the lovely old places in Cairo and find the best views by arranging photo walks around the city. There are more than 1,000 people from inside and outside Egypt who know about Cairo Roamers, and about 70 people who have contributed.

Cairo is known for its non-stop hustle, but you’ve captured a serenity. How?

Timing is an important thing. I always choose my time wisely when photographing. However, the movement of the crowd and streets also play a key role in the composition of the city. That is why in some photos I try to mix the architecture and the people.

Ahmed Samy Photographs Cairo's Minarets

If you could showcase your images anywhere, where would it be?

I would love to showcase them all over the world. My idea is to introduce our heritage and culture to the rest of the world. I want to show the world that Egypt is not just pharaohs and pyramids, there is much more to see here.

Ahmed Samy Photographs Cairo's Minarets

What mythological creature best embodies you?


What is your favourite – and least favourite – things about being a photographer?

My favourite would be looking at the world in a different artistic way. the least favourite thing is a lot of people find it hard to reimburse you before you are well known.

What advice would you give anyone starting in photography?

Practice, but try finding a unique perspective. Sometimes taking multiple shots can help with ‘getting your eye in’.