Written by – Ola Oreiba
Hello Everyone! This is me; Ola Oreiba again, back with a new –not quite so actually- Cairo story for this week on Cairo’s Eye Corner. So yes, we’re talking curfew, again; because it hasn’t been milked enough already or because I have nothing else on my mind. What about Cairo’s so talked about curfew? Not much actually, we’re all staying safe at home every night starting 7pm –extended to 9pm 2 days ago, thank God!-, and well, mostly everyone spend their time watching the news or debating on Facebook comments, taking opposing political stands which are all merely wrong and in vain. While others read books, listen to music, kill time through movie buffering, or maybe skim through our humble blog, the streets in Cairo are generally quite empty, yes empty as in totally deserted. The curfew is taken so seriously that you can spend about 10 minutes watching a main street from your balcony idly before a car shows up, which is so not Cairo to begin with. Of course, rules are rules, and the recent turmoil in Egypt left everyone with no choice but staying safe locked up in their homes. Then, after a few days when things calmed down a bit, you start feeling the depression of an empty street at 9pm, and feeling nostalgic for the crowd and traffic you’ve always despised, longing for the temper, the energy, the whole life of it.
I watch the streets from my balcony every night, so silent yet never tranquil or serene. It felt abandoned and awful, because this life never suited Cairo; the city that never sleeps. Every night I stand there wondering, how is it that we’re in summer season, where everyone is supposed to be enjoying themselves somewhere other than their homes, with friends or family, or even alone; back in the days when you could leave your house at any night hour, however late, and never feel threatened; when you’d always find company here or there. Not only is it about the summer season, even in winter you won’t find an empty street at 9pm.
We’re not crybabies complaining about their wasted summer vacation, or their ruined outings, or not being able to go to Sahel because the roads aren’t safe. It’s the spirit of Cairo that the curfew stripped her off, the constant fear that still never allowed her to sleep although her streets are totally deserted. We know it’s going to end soon, and everything is going to go back to how things always were because this is how things are here, however, we’re here pleading and pledging everyone whoever and wherever they are to never let such times or circumstances come upon us ever again no matter what.
Your insights too, maybe?!
Please let us know how you felt deep inside during the long curfew nights, not just about the mourning of your summer. Leave a comment or email us at [email protected]