Resident Perspective is a series of standardized interviews with Cairo residents to get their views on the city and their neighborhoods.
Where in Cairo do you live?
I live 10mins away from Mall of Arabia in 6th of October City.
List the most positive and the most negative aspects of living there.
Positives: It’s a relatively new area so there’s a lot of potential to make it into one of the nicer districts in Cairo and it’s much cleaner than other ares in the city too. Negatives: It’s very isolated so you feel slightly disconnected from what’s going on in the rest of Cairo.
How do you move around Cairo (modes of transport) and what would you like to see different regarding the future of transport in the city?
I don’t drive myself but I usually car-share. Other than that, I mostly use taxis or buses. I would like to see the tram system in Egypt being revived and more funding should be put into the Metro system. I also hope to see designated bus stops which I think would solve a lot of problems because many traffic jams happen as a result of buses stopping randomly and suddenly in the streets.
How does your district fit within Cairo? What would you like to see changed in that relationship between your neighborhood and the city?
My district is quite isolated from the rest of Cairo but personally, I like it that way because it’s much quieter and more peaceful than the rest of Cairo. Perhaps a Metro line extension to the area would be useful but I don’t use the Metro much anyway.
What are your top complaints about Cairo and what would you suggest to solve those problems?
1) Rubbish/Pollution: recycling campaigns, investment into alternative modes of transport to reduce the amount of cars on the street 2) Sexual Harassment: harsher laws need to be implemented and public awareness campaigns need to be introduced to tackle this issue 3) Street children: this really depresses me, these children need to have access to education in order for them not to be exploited.
What do you like the most about Cairo and what are your favorite places in the city.
The weather is lovely compared to other cities I’ve lived in around the world. The history of the city is also fascinating. I love hanging out in Downtown Cairo and more historical areas such as Khan el Khalili and El Husayn.
Do you relate to the historic heritage of your district or of Cairo in general? Do you think you have a good sense of history of the city? Would you say you are have “civic pride” or are proud to live in Cairo?
I wouldn’t say I have the best sense of history of the city but I certainly do try and learn more about it. 6th of October doesn’t really have much history, it’s a new district after all but Cairo’s history in general is just amazing! I wouldn’t say I am “proud” to live in Cairo to be honest, because I always get treated like I am a foreigner although I am Egyptian and I do speak the language. I moved here a few years ago yet I don’t feel like I am ever going to fit in. Also, the amount of traffic/rubbish/ugliness of some parts of Cairo don’t really make you “proud” to live there unfortunately.
Do you understand how the city is governed/managed? Do you think your community/district would be better or worst if residents from the community/district were involved in local government (محليات)?
I have no idea how my district/city is governed. There are many suggestions/complaints that I want to get across to my local government but I don’t know how to voice them so I think it would be a great idea for residents from the community to get more involved in local government. I used to live in London and such initiatives were already well-established and it was much easier to organize the area and deal with problems within it as a result. It also promoted a sense of cohesiveness and community spirit and made residents more proud of their area and keen to improve it. The involvement of residents is imperative to the future of Cairo if we have any hope of it improving. It would also take the strain off central government which has enough to deal with already.
In the context of Cairo, what comes to mind when you think of these keywords?
Green Space/Parks: They’re really hard to get to and not very accessible but more of them is definitely needed. The ones that do exist like Azhar Park are also not very well maintained! Green Space/Parks: Green spaces? What Green Spaces? These have sadly become pretty much extinct in Cairo. The local authorities in 6th of October have been planting a lot of trees recently but their future is not really secured if that makes sense i.e. they’re very likely to end up getting cut-down as is the case with trees in Heliopolis. No one really cares about the environment to be honest, it’s not a top priority but the more trees we have, the less pollution and the nicer the city will look so this issue needs to be more highlighted.
Gated communities: Sad really, if you want to live in a nice, well-maintained and organized area then this is pretty much the only option. Everyone in Cairo should be given the privilege of living a nice peaceful life, not just those who can afford it!
Museums: Derelict and abandoned. Seriously depressing! There’s so many museums that have been “under-construction” for years now and many hidden gems that the people of Cairo don’t know about. The city has so much history yet no one cares for it.
“Informal Areas”: Another heartbreaking aspect of Cairo that people like to ignore. Living in 6th of October, you feel really sheltered from these areas and the horrific circumstances that people there live in. Neglected and in dire need of attention.
Downtown: Beautiful architecture/planning but no maintenance. Also, chaos and traffic but well-connected.
If you could move to another district in Cairo where would you move to?
I love my area, it’s very peaceful and I am satisfied with the way that it is being run. A lot of people are moving to 6th of October now and there are worrying signs that I am starting to see of the the area becoming more like other areas of Cairo which are less-organized and chaotic . There’s a lot of rubbish on the streets compared to before and more traffic in the area around El-Hosary mosque. If things don’t change soon then 6th of October will just become another busy and polluted part of Cairo.
*If you would like to tell us about where you live and share your views on Cairo, fill the survey by clicking here.