Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cleaning Cairo

I've seen evidence of the "new Egypt" in walking around our community:  cleaner streets and green areas, a spirit of community service in the clean-up effort, and an effort to create a new mindset to keep things clean.  

Here's a link to a good video about the team-spirit of cleaning Cairo from the website of the UK Telegraph:

Two days after Mubarak's resignation, I was walking on Road 9 in Maadi, the main shopping street in this area, when a woman called out to me.  I didn't recognize her at first.  She was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, carrying a garbage bag and picking up trash.  I was used to seeing her in a suit jacket chairing Rotary Club meetings.  She's the President of one of the local Rotary Clubs.  She chuckled at how I didn't recognize her in her trash-clean-up clothes.  She told me that she was doing her part for the new Egypt.  Road 9, and many parts of Cairo, have been known to have quite a bit of trash around, but she was out there picking it up.  I asked her if people were helping her with the clean-up.  She said there were about 25 people helping.  She had just knocked on the doors of all her neighbors flats and they had come out to help pick up trash.  

Not only did Road 9 look cleaner, but the park area next to Road 9 had almost no trash anywhere on the ground.  Somebody had been hard at work.

This afternoon, while walking to Digla, a different part of Maadi, we passed a little green area next to the road that also looked beautifully clean.  

Then I saw sign posted next to this grassy area:
This new civic effort to clean up Egypt is also noticeable in the terms of cleaning up government.   There was an article in one of the Egyptian newspapers today about how the Central Auditing Agency filed a thousand reports on corruption with the Mubarak regime between July 2004 and July 2010, most of which were ignored.  Now this corruption is coming to light and will presumably be dealt with.

In other news, here's a link to a good interview I just watched on EuroNews with Ayman Nour, head of one of Egypt's opposition political parties.  It's 3 and 1/2 minutes and is quite substantive.

I believe Mr. Nour is the only person who has announced he will be running for President in the next election which will be no later than September.


  1. Dear Carol (and Jeff and Cameron),

    I'm so happy that I discovered your blog! I was just talking with my dad yesterday about the situation in Cairo...we have both been following it with a lot of interest, but your blog is my favorite source so far for updates. I think I'll link my parents to it. Amazing that you get to be firsthand witnesses to the change happening there.


  2. Hi Carol! so great I found this. I was in and around Tahrir painting and videoing from Jan 24 through Feb 2nd; wish I'd known how to contact you! I hadn't been successful with your e-mail this fall. In Cairo, it was quite extraordinary to witness even 8 days of the uprising, and you are still there! I love the blog and your clarity of reporting. Hello to Jeff and Cameron!! Please e-mail me: I may be back within the year depending on how things (at home) go.
    Best, Julia Morgan-Leamon