In November I visited Cairo for one week. I mainly wanted to see my friends there but also wanted to understand how the situation is right now – one year after I left Egypt, which was home for me for almost three years.
It’s quite shocking to see how much the situation has worsened in this past year. The economic situation is a disaster: The Egyptian Pound has almost no value, the prices for daily products have doubled, many shops are nearly empty. Hospitals and drug stores run out of medication and equipment, there are hardly any imported products anymore, beggars are searching for food in the streets. At the same time the police state is in full control of the public sphere: cameras are controlling all the streets in Downtown Cairo, police men and soldiers are patrolling around Tahrir Square, civil police is present in every café and restaurant. Most of the cultural institution have been raided or shut down, most activists have moved to the outskirts of Cairo, the civil society has been smashed as never before. It’s a very sad state Egypt is in. But we shall not forget that there are still a lot of great people trying to fight for the goals of the revolution: social justice and freedom.
City of sounds
And although the situation in Egypt could hardly be any worse, it was, as always, sad to leave Cairo. When I close my eyes I see the golden light and hear the sounds of the bustling city: the honkings of the cars, the shouts of the garbage collectors, the miauing cats in the streets, the frequent calls for prayer. For me Cairo will always have the beauty and special familiarity that only places have which make you feel home.
More to follow soon!