Saturday, 12 April 2008
There's something about this photo, taken in a suburb with Islamic origins, that captures the essence of Hania, a town with a rich history of invading settlers who came and went. A derelict house is standing right next to one with a satellite dish and solar energy panel. There is also an expensive SUV parked outside it. The house is located at the very bit of Hania that becomes a relaxed touristy cafe promenade (you can't see the bars due to the large billboards). Koum Kapi is one of the last inner-city suburbs before heading out eastwards.
The surrounding hills show the urban sprawl - when I first arrived in Hania, there were hardly any houses or apartment blocks on that very site - and you can even see the dome of the church of Evaggelistria in Halepa, once a posh suburb where embassies were located during the Ottoman Empire, now a built-up neighbourhood with a thriving student population in the school season due to the polytechnic which is located there, as well as being an immigrant area with low rents for the old houses which are now in need of costly repairs.