They boarded the buses again to make the trip across town to the shah's tomb. A group of passing Egyptian police recruits crammed into an official van gaped salaciously at the well-coiffed men and women inside the air-conditioned bus.
Shirvani noted with alarm the explosion in the number of women wearing all-covering head scarves and garments in Egypt and the passionate support the controversial Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, gets on the streets.
Iran, she said, is behind this trend, spending its oil money on Islamic movements throughout the region.
"The taxi drivers tell me, 'Ahmadinejad! Ahmadinejad!' " she said angrily. "I tell them, 'If he's so great, why don't you make him your president?' "
Keeping shoes on
Egyptian well-wishers and journalists looked on baffled as the women entered the Rifai mosque without putting on head scarves and the men walked in without taking off their shoes, obligatory for entering a Muslim house of worship.