This tiny alley is Islamic Cairo's literary star thanks to being immortalised in Naguib Mahfouz's famous novel named after the street. Although the stepped lane may not be populated with the same colourful characters as the book, the way of life here is little changed from the author's 1940s depictions. Because of the street's fame, the street sign is kept in the coffeehouse at the foot of the steps and produced only on payment of baksheesh.