Monthly Archives: July 2012

Cairo: Randomness

Egypt sunset by apdk on Flickr

Egypt sunset by apdk on Flickr

I guess I realized why I don’t want to live in Egypt any longer: it reminds me of Russia. The level of absurd and bureaucratic nonsense is beyond any limits. I am going to Russia this Friday and I am already terrified by this idea. I left Russia for the above reason, and here I am, in Egypt: another country of absurd.

The difference between Egypt and Russia is not that huge: people in Egypt are much friendlier and I can solve pretty much everything just by raising my voice a little bit. This technique does not work in Russia. Many times I had to yell at people working in Client Relations/Services and it did not help. Rude waiters and border control people are already waiting for me. Soon enough I will see them all again.

On another note:

Egyptians turned out to be very creative. Some activists built up a web site dedicated to Mohammed Morsi’s activities: what he promised to be done in 100 days. This Morsimeter shows that nothing has been done so far: 0 out of 64 promises, while time is running fast: it’s been 18 days out of 100. So far Morsi is not doing well. Hopefully things will be changed soon, but you never know …

Someone finally decided to speak out loud about sexual harassment in Egypt. This country has the worst situation with sexual harassment. One of the art spaces in Cairo has organized an exhibition highlighting the issue.

“Through the group exhibition and month-long program of performances and concerts, they hope to raise awareness about the topic, hoping that it “will make other people speak about it, as it remains a taboo,” says “Enough” organizer Reem Hatem.”

Well, the problem with this statement is that only middle-class individuals go to such events, while harassers normally come from the poor neighborhoods, they are not really educated and have no clue that women might actually hate their sleazy comments. Tackling this group of people is a difficult mission.

Certain individuals got bored from the government not taking care of essential things and decided to take an action. Cairo is known for its trash: it is simply everywhere. Don’t listen to people saying it is better in some areas than others; it is NOT, unless you live in a private compound. Trash piles up and no one really cares about it; people keep throwing trash from their car windows and while walking down the streets.

Tech-consumerism is growing here. A lot of people I know keep buying and upgrading their TVs, phones, and computers. But where does this e-waste go? Right, to the streets

“To counter this, two e-waste management initiatives have developed over the past year and a half — RecycloBekia and Ecycle. They hope to create awareness, collect e-waste, and seek ways to properly manage it.”

RecycloBekia, started by a group of Tanta University engineering students in March 2011, is the larger of the two.

“We used computers a lot and, looking around at our surroundings, we realized that it was a crucial issue that nobody else in the whole country seemed to be addressing or even aware about,” says Mohamed Sehsah, RecycloBekia’s media manager.

He says that 50 people now work in the company. The team began its work by networking and collecting e-waste personally, by hand — from individuals, companies and garbage dumps — and has collected tens of thousands of computers and old electronics. This amounts to tons of e-waste.

So there is some hope in the end of the tunnel!