Cairo street scenes, By Ed Yourdon

Cairo street scenes, By Ed Yourdon

Yesterday I went to sleep at 1 am, I don’t do it often as I have to wake up at 6.30 to go to work. The reason why I did not go to sleep early is simple: the kids were shouting and playing ball at 12.30 am on my street.


So imagine me completely furious and wearing a tank top, getting on my balcony and yelling at them. They did not notice me at first – a crazy half naked lady. But they could not ignore me either. So they stared at me and I am sure they did not understand a single word that I was saying. So I yelled: “Yalla! Go home to sleep.” All these words were accompanied by my active gestures. The kids started walking away looking back, I was standing on the balcony just to make sure they left. When they reached the corner one boy turned around and yelled: “Fuck You!” Well, well, education, education …


I know it is summer, I know there is no school. But I will never be able to comprehend why parents allow their kids to walk around playing ball after midnight? No one really cares? I have noticed that parents take their children to restaurants and stay up late; they take children to watch a movie at midnight, so that the children scream and make a lot of noise annoying everyone around them. I have seen parents walking on the streets of Cairo with infants late at night. Imagine: cars running around, pollution and noise and little babies sleeping. I just cannot get it: why they do this to their children?  I know that not everyone is like this in here, but I have never seen such a thing in Europe or Russia. I know there are a lot of rude and misbehaved kids all over the world. But right now here, in Cairo I am a bit confused.


And then they say: Different culture and different traditions. Well, it is kind of the same as saying: “different culture, that’s why women here have to do this and that.” Cultural relativism all over again … To the contrary, it has nothing to do with the culture: if you check the modern pictures of Egypt and compare them to the pictures of Egypt form the 50s, you will see a significant difference. And then you will wonder: how did the country manage to bounce back so bad? Back in the 50s women wore short skirts on the streets and were not massively veiled like today. And then they say that harassing women on the streets is in their culture, oh, really?


Culture can sometimes be a great tool to camouflage ugly things in a nice way.


Here is an old Egyptian Coca Cola ad from 1950s. check out women outfits and hair.




About Masha Egupova

I am coming from the small city on the Russian Far East called Vladivostok, but Chinese call it 海參崴 [Hǎishēnwǎi] meaning "Sea Cucumber Cliffs." In my blog I will present the view from and about Vladivostok and my views on what is going on in Russia in general.

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