This book of 24 detachable postcards, of which only 15 remain, is part of a collection relating the WWI service of brothers John and Albert Victor Peile. The postcards depict Egyptian themes, with a focus on the city of Cairo. Although all of the postcards are of interest, six appear to be particularly significant. The first of these depicts the Mohammad-Ali-Mosque (#3 in the booklet). The Mohammad Ali Mosque in Cairo was built between 1830 and 1848 in memory of Tusun Pasha, eldest son of Mohammad Ali Pasha, ruler of Egypt in the early-mid 19th century. The mosque was built in the Ottoman style by Greek architect Yussuf Bushnaq and is the largest Ottoman mosque of the early 19th century. It is built on the site of the old Mamluk Palaces, destroyed by Mohammad Ali, and houses the tomb of Mohammad Ali Pasha. Today it is one of the most popular Egyptian mosques for tourists.
The second and third postcards of interest relate to 'The Holy Carpet' (#4 & 6 in the booklet) which is, in fact, a reference to the 'Kiswah' - the covering for the Kaa'ba in Mecca. Each year, on the 9th day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, the Kiswah is removed and a new one is draped over the Kaa'ba. The Kiswah was made in Egypt from the mid 1200s until 1927 when, for political reasons, the manufacture of the cloth was moved to Saudi Arabia. The procession shown in this photograph shows the celebrations held in the great square of Cairo before the Kiswah departed for Mecca.
The fourth postcard of interest depicts the 'Statue of Memphis' (#8 in the booklet). The colossal statue shown in the image is that of the 19th dynasty Pharaoh, Ramesses II and was one of a pair of statues discovered in Mit Rahina (ancient Memphis) by Giovanni Caviglia in 1820. This particular statue is 10m long and is displayed on its back, due to the absence of the statues base, in a purpose built museum at Mit Rahina. The second statue in the pair is 11m high and was removed from the site in 1955 and was re-erected in what is now known as Ramsses Square in Cairo. The statue was eventually removed due to concerns over the pollution and vibrations caused by the increased traffic around the statue. The statue is due to be displayed in the new Grand Egyptian Museum, due to open in 2013.
The fifth postcard of interest depicts the Heliopolis Obelisk (#10 in the booklet). This obelisk was erected by Senwasret I, the second Pharaoh of the twelfth dynasty of Egypt, and is the only surviving relic of the Temple to the Sun that he erected at Heliopolis.
The sixth postcard of interest depicts the El-Azhar (Al-Azhar) Mosque (#14 in the booklet). The Al-Azhar Mosque was built in 971AD and its adjacent university was built in 988AD. The Al-Azhar Mosque and University lays claim to the title of the oldest university in the Islamic world, however this is disputed by the Kairaouine Mosque in Morocco.