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Resident Perspective: Madinet Nasr

Resident Perspective is a series of standardized interviews with Cairo residents to get their views on the city and their neighborhoods. Share your views on Cairo, fill the survey by clicking here.

Where in Cairo do you live?

Nasr City. Intended to be widely spaced, for the elite. Ended up being densely urbanized, full of cars, with barely any passages for pedestrian usage.

List the most positive and the most negative aspects of living there.

Positive: The urban fabric is easy to understand, thus you’re less likely to get lost. There are a lot of close-by services, so you don’t really need to get out much.

Negative: There are a lot of gardens, which are poorly maintained, all gated off from the community instead of embracing the community. The streets are too wide to provide space for cars, making the thermal environment rather hot in summer. Buildings were intended to be with basement garages, that ended up being workshops or cafeterias that bestow a wide range of noise at odd hours throughout the day and during weekends. Buildings are extremely ugly, with barely any rhythm in style or shape. Ceilings are low and do not offer decent ventilation for indoor spaces. Most buildings are higher than was initially planned, which results in a dense community of massive number of cars, and a skyline that is cramped with horrid architecture.


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 use a car. I would much rather use a bike to a close-by metro station that can help me move around the city and enjoy the weather and sun. Maybe during summer, i would more likely park my car to the metro station, but i would definitely want to drive a lot less and save time wasted in Cairo traffic.


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 far but well connected within the city. I would like a stronger connection via metro lines and/or tram lines.


What are your top complaints about Cairo and what would you suggest to solve those problems?

Traffic: we need decent public transportation, plus on a broader scale providing job opportunities outside of the capital (decentralization). Harassment: social awareness and strict laws set to allow women to move around safely. Noise: I have no idea what can solve this problem except general decency, but it’s killing me!


What do you like the most about Cairo and what are your favorite places in the city.

I like Muizz Street the most in Cairo and older Cairo spaces such as Darb 1718. I also love Nile cafeterias and spaces that provide seating in-front of the Nile, i would love it if it were public open spaces, not just private paid for spaces. (Club 33, leftbank-Zamalik & Platform-Maadi).

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 am extremely proud to be living in Cairo, that’s why I want it to improve.


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)?

Yes, and I would believe people’s involvement can actually change a lot.


In the context of Cairo, what comes to mind when you think of these keywords?

Public Space: Markets such as Ataba, or Boulak where people are free to use their space as they will and intersect with different lives from all over the city.

Green Space/Parks: Parks stranded away from the community with gates and tickets, like those of Nasr City.

Gated communities: An inevitable response for people who have the means to close off from the intolerable city.

Museums What comes to mind is the Egyptian museum with poorly maintained artifacts, with barely any description.

Unplanned districts: Places full of potential and capacity for improvement.

Downtown: A misguidedly-utilized district in Cairo, that can be maintained with much more respect in regards to its history.

If you could move to another district in Cairo where would you move to?

I would move to a gated community such as; Rehab or Madinaty.

 

*If you would like to tell us about where you live and share your views on Cairo, fill the survey by clicking here.

transport in Nasr City: from dysfunctional tram, to temporary rapid transit lane and the dreams of a supertram

دينا لطفي

في العاشر من شهر سبتمبر الحالي فوجئ قاطنو مدينة نصر بعملية ردم لخط الترام المار بشارعي يوسف عباس ومصطفي النحاس والمتوقف عن العمل منذ حوالي خمس سنوات، وبالطبع تساءل المواطنون المارّون بشارع مصطفي النحاس حيث بدأت عملية الردم؛ لماذا يقومون بردم خط الترام؟ هل سيقيمون رصيف فوقها ويزيلون الأرصفة القائمة لتوسعة الشارع؟ اذن فلماذا لا يقومون بفك الفلنكات وأعمدة الاشارة والكابلات ويبيعون الحديد والخشب والأسلاك النحاسية كخردة فتُدرّ الملايين؟ الجميع يتساءل ولا أحد يفهم شيئاُ.

وفي اليوم التالي نُشر تصريح السيد المحافظ بأن البنك الدولي سيقدّم التمويل اللازم لتنفيذ مشروع الترام السريع من كلية البنات مرورا بمصطفى النحاس بمدينة نصر إلى القاهرة الجديدة، بطاقة 300 ألف راكب يوميا، وقد تم اتخاذ خطوات بالفعل من حيث التخطيط والتصميم، ومن المقرر البدء في التنفيذ خلال ستة أشهر من الآن.

فجاءت التصريحات مبشّرة بتطوير حقيقي في منظومة النقل العام، ولكنها زادت من الحيرة، فكيف يبدأ تنفيذ مشروع الترام السريع بعد ستة أشهر من الآن، وحاليا جاري ردم مسار الترام القائم بالرمال.

بعد عدة أيام أخري ظهرت بلاطات الانترلوك في منطقة أعمال الردم. فجاء تصريحاً آخر بأن المحافظة تقوم حاليا بتجهيز مسار مترو مصطفى النحاس ليصبح مسار معزول لخطوط سريعة للنقل العام لخدمة سكان مدينة نصر، ويبلغ طول المسار الجديد تسعة كيلومترات، ويمتد من بداية مصطفى النحاس عند تقاطعه مع امتداد رمسيس وصولاً إلى نهايته. وأن تجهيز المسار لا يتضمن رفع الكابلات الكهربائية أو القضبان الحديدية الخاصة بالمترو، فقط سيتم التبليط بالانترلوك الذي يمكن إعادة استخدامه في موقع آخر حين يبدأ تنفيذ مشروع الترام السريع المقترح على نفس المسار الحالي، والمتوقع أن تبدأ أعمال الإنشاء الخاصة به خلال عامين من الآن.

فاتضح أنه تم التراجع عن فكرة البدء في مشروع الترام السريع بعد ستة أشهر وتم التأجيل لبعد عامين من الآن -اي سبتمبر 2015- ولا أدري لماذا؛ في ظل الفترة الانتقالية الحالية والاضطرابات السياسية المحيطة أن نؤجل مشروعاً كهذا عامين بالرغم من توفّر الارادة والتمويل والتصميمات بحسب تصريحات السيد المحافظ.

في شهر يوليو 2012 ، صرّح محافظ القاهرة السابق بأن المحافظة قد بدأت بالتنسيق مع إدارة مرور القاهرة فى تخصيص حارة بالشوارع الرئيسية لسير حافلات النقل العام وسيارات الميكروباص، بحيث يتم دهان هذه الحارة بلون مميز، على أن تبدأ التجربة بطريق صلاح سالم تمهيدا لتعميمها، وأن المحافظة قد قامت بتوفير الدهانات اللازمة لذلك. ولكننا اليوم وبعد عام من هذا التصريح، لا نجد أثرا لهذا المشروع.

بشكل عام، فكرة الحارة السريعة المخصصة للمواصلات العامة هي فكرة مطبقة بالفعل وأثبتت نجاحا في عدة مدن آسيوية وأوروبية وأمريكية. ولكن لا يمكن قياس نجاح هذه التجربة الا في اطار منظومة المرور بأكملها ولا يمكن أن نفصلها عن الواقع المحيط. فبالتَمّعن أكثر في هذه الصورة نجد أن هذا المنظر المنتظم لم يتحقق بسبب تلك الحارة السريعة فقط وإنما هناك أسباب أخري يمكن رؤيتها بوضوح. فلا تجد سيارة غير ملتزمة بالحارة المرورية، ولا تجد سيارتين لا يفصلهما سوي عدة سنتيمترات من الجانب، ولا تجد مسافة أمان بين سيارة وسيارة أمامها عبارة عن عدة سنتيمترات ، ولا تجد آلة التنبيه تصيح اذا زادت مسافة الأمان قليلا خوفا من أن تأتي سيارة أخري فجأة تزاحم لتقفز علي مكان في الطابور، ولا تجد من يتجه يمينا الا في أقصي اليمين، ولا تجد من يتجه يساراً الا في أقصي اليسار.

لا يخفي علي أحد الوضع المُزري لحالة المرور في القاهرة الكبري، حيث أصبح غاية في الخطورة بناء علي احصائيات السلامة المرورية. وإن هذا هو الواقع، بدون تجميل وبدون رتوش، وبدون تشاؤم مُحبط، وبدون تفاؤل مُفرط.

فإن منظومة المرور بأكملها في حاجة الي تغيير جذري وفوري، ومن خلال المعاناة اليومية في شوارع القاهرة، فإن حل المشكلة ربما يتلخص في ثلاث خطوط عريضة:

أولاً: لابد من تفعيل قانون المرور بشكل فوري والزام قائدي السيارات به، وتوفير نظام مراقبة ومحاسبة حديث يعمل بشفافية عالية لضمان نزاهته، الأمر الذي سيتطلب بالتأكيد فترة زمنية غير قليلة لحين انشاء هذا النظام والالتزام بالقانون والاعتياد عليه، ولذلك فلابد أن يبدأ الآن وليس غداً.

ثانياً: علي الحكومة أن تبدأ في تعميم اشارات المرور التي تعمل بالثواني وبها كاميرات مراقبة في الشوارع الرئيسية وعند التقاطعات، بدلا من فكرة غلق التقاطع واستبدالها بدوران "يو ترن"، الفكرة التي علي مدار سنوات لم تحقق نتائج أفضل بل في بعض الأحيان تسببت في اختناقات وتكدسات كارثية.

ثالثا: لا بديل عن محاولة تقليص عدد السيارات في الشارع، ويمكن تحقيق ذلك من خلال أفكار مطبقة في مدن عدة. ولعل هذا الأمر يعتمد علي جميع مستخدمي المدينة حتي يتحقق، فهناك شق يعود علي الحكومة من خلال احلال وتجديد وسائل المواصلات الحالية وضخ عدد أكبر من الحافلات الحديثة، مع ربط المدن الجديدة بقلب القاهرة وببعضها البعض، من أجل جذب قطاع أكبر من المواطنين لاستخدامها، ومعها يمكن تخصيص حارات سريعة للنقل العام علي مستوي القاهرة الكبري من أجل تأثير ملموس علي مستوي المدينة، فربما يُمكن تفعيل الحارات المخصصة في الطرق الرئيسية الأعلي كثافة والمتاح تطبيق الفكرة بها دون عائق، علي سبيل المثال الطريق الدائري وطريق السويس والمحور والأوتوستراد وطريق صلاح سالم -كما كان مقررا من قبل، كما أنه لابد من حصر البنية القائمة غير المستغلة وبحث كيفية تحقيق أفضل استفادة منها، وكذلك توضيح الموقف الحالي لما تم تنفيذه في المشروعات الكبري التي لا تزال تحت التنفيذ منذ سنوات مثل الخط الثالث لمترو الأنفاق واتخاذ اجراءات فورية ضد ما يعيق الاستكمال والاعلان عن موعد الانتهاء بشكل واضح.

ربما يمكن أيضاً أن تقوم الحكومة بتشجيع القطاع الخاص وخاصة الكيانات الكبري علي توفير نظام نقل جماعي للعاملين اذا كان عددهم يزيد علي مائتي وخمسين مثلاً مقابل حوافز أو تسهيلات، وبشرط مراقبة هذه الأنظمة من حيث كثافة الركاب والمسارات وتحديد ما اذا كانت تعمل بكفاءة أولاُ، مما سيحث هذه الشركات علي توفير وسيلة مريحة وخطوط سير مناسبة للعاملين بها لتشجيعهم علي استخدامها.

وأخيراً هناك أفكار تعتمد علي المواطنين أنفسهم مثل فكرة الـ”كار بوول” حيث يقوم عدة أشخاص باستخدام سيارة واحدة اذا كانوا متجهين نفس الجهة كالزملاء في العمل أو المدرسة أو النادي الخ، وهي فكرة بدأت في الانتشار بالفعل بين المواطنين. وفي بعض الدول يُسمح لهذا النوع من النقل أن يستخدم الحارة السريعة المخصصة للنقل العام بشرط ألا يقل الركاب عن عدد محدد، مما يشجع عدد أكبر علي تطبيق الفكرة.

أمّا الآن وأثناء طريق الذهاب والعودة لقاطني مدينة نصر أو المارّين بشارعي مصطفي النحاس ويوسف عباس، فبالتأكيد هناك عدة أسئلة تدور في الأذهان:

لماذا لم يتم البدء في مشروع الترام السريع الآن خاصة مع وجود بنية قائمة وتوفّر التصميمات المطلوبة والتمويل اللازم؟ ولماذا نقوم بدفن هذه البنية بشكل مؤقت لعمل حارة سريعة للنقل العام لخدمة مدينة نصر فقط في حين أن الترام السريع سيخدم مصرالجديدة ومدينة نصر والقاهرة الجديدة؟ ولماذا نقوم الآن بأعمال من المقرر ازالتها بعد عامين؟ ولماذا تم التأجيل من ستة أشهر لعامين؟ ولماذا لا نقوم بتجربة تخصيص حارة سريعة للنقل العام في شارع رئيسي آخر عالي الكثافة أيضاً ولكن ليس به خط ترام قائم؛ وما أكثرهم؟

ثم ماذا لو نجحت التجربة وقررنا تعميمها؟ هل سنقوم حينئذ بازالة الانترلوك والرمال ثم تفكيك الفلنكات والكابلات الكهربائية ثم نعيد الردم بالرمال والتبليط بالانترلوك بطول تسعة كيلومترات مرة أخري، ونتنتازل عن مشروع الترام؟ أم أننا سنتنازل عن الحديد والخشب والنحاس ونرضي بالأمر الواقع لأن تكلفة الازالة ربما تكون أكبر؟

والتساؤل الأخطر؛ هل سيتذكر أحد بعد عامين من الآن شيئاً عن كل ذلك؟ من سيكون محافظاً حينئذ وأي حكومة ستكون مسئولة؟ هل سيُنسَي هذا المشروع كما نُسي من قبله مشروع الحارة السريعة في صلاح سالم والذي كان قد تم تجهيز الدهان اللازم له بالفعل، وهو المشروع الذي طُرح قبل عام واحد فقط من الآن؟

حاليا لا توجد اجابات لتلك التساؤلات، فما تزال الحكومات المتعاقبة تتعامل مع المواطن من منطلق “أبوي سُلطوي”، فهي تعلم ما لا يعلم، وتري أبعد مما يري، وتقرر بالنيابة عنه قرارات تؤثر في حياته اليومية بشكل مباشر دون استطلاع رأيه، وأحياناُ أخري دون ابلاغه، وهي غالبا لا تملك الدخل الكافي لتلبية الاحتياجات الأساسية، واذا توفّر التمويل فهي التي تحدد الأولويات، وعندئذ تُصبح رغبة المواطن في معرفة ماذا يجري “أمر مثير للريبة”، والتساؤل “تشكيك”، والنقد “محاولة للهدم والاحباط”، والاعتراض “ميْصَحّش”.. ولا أدري اذا ما زال هناك مُدناً في العالم تُدار بهذا الشكل.

الصورة الاولى والصورة الاخيرة المرفقتان مع المقال من تصوير دينا لطفي

Resident Perspective: Madinet Nasr

Resident Perspective is a series of standardized interviews with Cairo residents to get their views on the city and their neighborhoods.

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Where in Cairo do you live?
I live in Nasr-City since 1990. A district of perpendicular grid of streets that has transformed in the past 20 years from a deserted district to a high dense district.

List the most positive and the most negative aspects of living there.
The most positive aspect of living here is the availability of most services including medical, education, retail.

The most negative aspects are: traffic during day & night, lack of parking spaces, lack of sidewalks, the lack of a subway station, presence of parks that are not efficiently used by inhabitants probably due to the fact that they are fenced and requires entry fees.


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 move around using a car or a taxi. I would like to have the tram back (the tram lines are still in place in Mustafa el-Nahas st.), and also would like to have a subway station.


How does your district fit within Cairo? What would you like to see changed in that relationship between your neighborhood and the city?
It is accessible and well connected through various axes such as the autostrad, the Ring Road, the NA road, Cairo-Suez road, 6th of October bridge.


What are your top complaints about Cairo and what would you suggest to solve those problems?

1- Lack of humanly public transport .. Solving this issue requires governmental policies & budgeting providing more and more buses.

2- Terrible traffic all day long .. i suggest introducing back the Intersections instead of u-turns with traffic automated 60 seconds Signs instead of traffic officers, providing more parking areas & the most important in my opinion: introducing the one-way concept to all side narrow streets as in Heliopolis.

3- The lack of convenient sidewalks which makes walking in the street an uncomfortable experience.


What do you like the most about Cairo and what are your favorite places in the city.

1- The diversity of Cairo; within few kilos you can find almost all different types of lifestyle. 2- The potentials of Cairo; river front, historical heritage, fertile and a desert all in one city. Favorite Places: Azhar park - Nile front & Nile cruise restaurants & lately “Qursaya” island.


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 do relate to the historic heritage of Cairo.. I wouldn’t say i am proud to live in Cairo.. I just love to live here..


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)?

Not until the previous parliament elections. Some inhabitants of Nasr-City have started events and initiatives that might be primitive but still a good start .. Also these initiatives have introduced the Child’s Park in Makram Ebeid as a public space for inhabitants .. The involvement of residents in the decision making process would be better for they know well their own complaints and demands ..


In the context of Cairo, what comes to mind when you think of these keywords?

Green Space/Parks: Azhar Park, Qursaya Island.

Gated communities: Ruthless who would pay millions to get isolated from lower classes.

Museums School trips.

Informal areas: Beautiful, full of potentials.

Downtown: Tourists, affordable hotels.

If you could move to another district in Cairo where would you move to?
Probably to Zamalek or Maadi. A Nile front apartment would be lovely.

*If you would like to tell us about where you live and share your views on Cairo, fill the survey by clicking here.

Resident Perspective: Madinet Nasr

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?
Nasr City (Madinet Nasr). A densely-populated neighborhood with many mixed-use high-rises (residential/commercial)

List the most positive and the most negative aspects of living there.
The most positive things about it is walkability, 24 hour accessibility to virtually all amenities, a relative sense of security, and a potential for the use of the small parks that are scattered around the district. Negative aspects include extreme overcrowding, lack of parking spots, not being connected to decent transportation (subway), and ugly architecture.


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?
My mode of transport is almost always my car. Decent public transport is extremely necessary for Cairo, I can’t even imagine how people will be able to use their cars in 10 years if everything stays the same in Cairo. Extending the subway system to give more accessibility to all parts of the city, even if at higher prices, would encourage people to use them. Introducing a park-and-ride system would encourage Cairenes to use public transit. Increasing the cost of parking would also discourage people from buying more cars


How does your district fit within Cairo? What would you like to see changed in that relationship between your neighborhood and the city?
The neighborhood is on the eastern end of the city. However, it is very well connected to the rest of the city and feels like an integrated part of it. Informal public transit and buses exist to connect them, but I would like to see a more structured and decent public transportation linking us to the rest of Cairo.


What are your top complaints about Cairo and what would you suggest to solve those problems?

Overcrowding, Pollution, Noise and Dirtiness. Also, the fact that we, as residents, do not have a say in how the city is governed. Decent public transit as mentioned earlier would help solve some of those, but also measures need to be taken to reduce pollution and noise. Cleanliness of the city and its streets definitely needs to be taken more seriously. The most important thing is to completely change the way the city is governed, Allow for electing a mayor, and drastically increase community involvement in the city’s plans


What do you like the most about Cairo and what are your favorite places in the city.

I love its almost 24-hour liveliness, its diversity, and the heritage and history of many of its areas. My favorite places are Zamalek, Maadi, and Heliopolis


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?

Nasr City doesn’t really have a long history. However, if we consider it an extension of Heliopolis, as many do, then I definitely relate a lot to the history of that district especially given that my family actually moved from there. I have a very good sense of the history of the city mainly through my readings. I would definitely say I am proud to live in Cairo since it has an extensive heritage that is probably unrivaled in any other city in the world.


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)?

Not at all, and I think the district would be so much better if the community is involved in the local government. Electing a mayor is extremely necessary.


In the context of Cairo, what comes to mind when you think of these keywords?

Public Space: Tahrir Square

Green Space/Parks: Azhar Park, and the other small parks in Nasr City

Gated communities:  The American-style suburbia which Americans are starting to shift away from due to its sustainability.

Museums: Need to be much more presentable

“Informal Areas”: Don’t know what that is

Downtown: Beautiful heritage that is run down, needs urgent revitalization


If you could move to another district in Cairo where would you move to?
Maadi. This is a great initiative and I hope that it can reach higher levels of the city’s government since we really need to start involving our communities in shaping the city.

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Resident Perspective: Madinet Nasr

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? Describe your district.
Nasr City, near Wonderland.

List the most positive and the most negative aspects of living there.
A fairly walkable district/area, located on the right side of nahhas (so access to New Cairo where I work is very easy and ideal), still feels like a part of Cairo, basic amenities and services (thanks to cheap labor) is abundant-competition means one has choices, grid plan makes it easy to navigate/describe, lots of shisha joints around makes for great vibe during soccer games (feels like a stadium) negatives include the negative stigma to the district means friends very unlikely to visit, traffic can be impossible (especially the remarkably u-turn-heavy nahhas st.), lack of serious attractions (malls don’t count), speed-bumps-galore, parking, gated parks, unregulation of commercial zoning and the impact that has on traffic patterns/added friction (high traffic businesses on main road intersections (ex: phone operator stores, tawheed welnoor, large supermarkets, popular restaurants), placing large malls in residential and non-prepared locations).


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 own a car and mainly move around using white taxis. I will occasionally use public buses or microbuses if I’m in a remote location. Also, will use the metro if it makes sense. I also find I can catch rides with friends most of the time. Would like to see toll gates or other targeted mechanisms to deter congestion at certain times of the day and in certain locations (ex: placing a toll gate on Zamalek’s entrances …and building a large car park to encourage walking as opposed to driving). Enforcing laws would be a good start, parking laws, trucks in lanes, minimum speeds, abolishing the MOI-MOD-entitlement-speed-bumps, maintenance of roads, accounting and rehabilitation to allow for microbus and bus stations/pickup points, the end of the isreali-style-checkpoints.


How does your district fit within Cairo? What would you like to see changed in that relationship between your neighborhood and the city?
Nasr City lies on the south east side of the center of the city and can only be described as a large and impenetrable district that is residential heavy and somehow lacks enough services and outlets for it’s residents beyond the very basic. It also houses a number of old school malls who still attract decent crowds. It’s uninspiring faceless nature perhaps is the reason it never evolved beyond residential. Many of the main road infrastructure accounted for the district but still traffic within means that accessing far away districts sometimes can be easier than crossing NC from one end to another. I wish Nasr city had a more inviting features that added character to the district (rather than malls that create an isolated UX that works despite/against it’s location. High capacity and comfortable public transport would also be a big plus.


What are your top complaints about Cairo and what would you suggest to solve those problems?

The strong force of normalization and the general rule of the mob in many situations (think bawwabeen/camera police/modesty police/shishaholics and the resistance to be different) The death of the sidewalk: many districts in cairo are very walkable but a total disregard to these has pushed pedestrians onto the tarmac and people more into cars, so we have: more friction for traffic, more traffic, less value for district street side shops (customers are mobile), less healthy population, pedestrianism becoming a status symbol (for the poor), the subsequent death of the public space The strange survival of the fence-everything-syndrome: I personally trace it back to the understandable need for it by Egypt’s colonizers. I can see how a security-centric regime (Nasser and co) happily inherited the fence-everything-from-the-external-enemy mindset. What I don’t get is why no one is questioning and seeing that we stop fencing parks, houses, malls, hotels, resorts, universities, communities, rivers, etc…


What do you like the most about Cairo and what are your favorite places in the city.

A lot of pains and constraints means a number of genuinely brilliant solutions surface. A strong sense of humor and sense of community (on a certain basic level) that one sees more in the less well-off districts in Cairo. Favorite places: Zamalek - Maadi - el Darb el Ahmar.


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?

My family bought a plot and built a district-compliant building and I lived through the district’s out of control growth (and neighbor disputes for enrouching, proximity, endangering (heights, pile driving), and blocking views). My experience has been quite disheartening as I saw NC turn from a budding promise district to something akin to a lawless jungle. I’ve lived most of my childhood in the gulf and part of my working life in Dubai and seeing the power of coherent regulation and enforcement makes, coupled with unclear channels in Egypt to work towards fixing anything has simply meant I think of myself as a citizen of the world. I have pride in a mythical-model Egypt that partly exists.


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)?

In theory, and anecdotally through inference and what’s transpired on the streets as well as many stakeholders.


In the context of Cairo, what comes to mind when you think of these keywords?

Public Space: Tahrir.

Green Space/Parks: the Zoo, Azhar Park.

Gated communities: Kattamiya heights, New Cairo, Satellite cities, Marina and all the Portos, every university in Egypt.


If you could move to another district in Cairo where would you move to?
Zamalek - parts of heliopolis.

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