Stormy Egypt

I’ve been in Cairo for barely five days now, but feel that it’s my duty to reveal some of her more intriguing peculiarities. 

Now that Midan al-Tahrir has been cleaned and refurbished , some Egyptians worry that it bears no resemblance to their original square. That simple, dirty, paved, concrete hub for revolution, has now been beautified and sanitised by new grass, and the Government’s intervention. Here I stand before “Mogamaa Tahrir”, a kind of central civil administration office.

The College of Music in Cairo’s Zamalek has an air of chic oriental beauty, and of aging neglect. The suburb has a heavy concentration of foreign diplomats living in Cairo with their families. The suburb is a relic of another age.

St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Zamalek, run by the Columbi community, is full of French nuns and Eritrean Priests. When I left my bag in the aisle to take a phone call outside, I returned to find them fretting over the bulky ominous potentially explosive package left by the swarthy bearded stranger.

Egypt has weathered storms, both literal and figurative in the past few days. Apart from the sandstorm which whipped through Cairo earlier this week, there’s been an earthquake, the murder of Cairo’s public prosecutor Hisham Barakat, and a bomb on the October 6th bridge in the heart of the city.  Dozens of soldiers have been killed in the Sinai peninsula by Islamist militants, to boot.

More to come on all of this in my next post.

Make sure to follow me on twitter @daniel_nour to keep up to speed with my Cairo adventures.


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