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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Permit to Open a Brothel in Upper Egypt



The Permit

This 1921 document was found in September 2018 at a police station in Upper Egypt. The man who found it shared it with one of Shira's Egyptian friends, who in turn made it available to this web site.

The document is a permit to open a brothel. The 3-bedroom establishment, operated by a woman named Halima, is in a village named Abnoub in Upper Egypt, in Qena province just before Luxor.

Halima's job title is horrma, which is the singular of hareem. (Hareem is a plural word.) This is a very old term, and it is no longer used because today it is considered extremely disrespectful and rude.

The brothel is located on a street called El Moumisat, which means, "the street of the prostitutes". (The word "moumis" means "prostitute".)

At the bottom, the permit says that the owner pledged that there won't be any gambling or smoking hashish.




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