In the world of instant access to the information and the exposure to the social media containing pictures, news, and videos of different parts of the world create a certain view or image of a particular place or perhaps sometimes the trending Instagram-worthy pictures lie into a particular part without showing much of the whole scenario, which makes us unaware of the hidden side of a city, or a community, etc. Similarly, we would have been unknown to the side of Cairo that Sydney Wise, a student of Northeastern University shows us by depicting her travel experience in a piece of writing published at News@Northeastern.
Sydney, a junior at Northeastern University, Department of Political Science and International Affairs, reached Cairo to attend the orientation at the American University in Cairo to start an internship for six months as an assistant director at The Cairo Review of Global Affairs. She talks about the transition she experienced in driving from the Downtown to New Cairo, where she saw an amalgamation of tradition and innovation. If minutely observed, the streets of the town told a story about the Egyptian community and the co-existence of suited men and the men wearing traditional ‘jalabiyas’, linen dresses designed for men that fall up to their ankle. Also, on one hand, the image of some women in polished attires and on the other, the women in ‘niqabs’ with their children. Almost all the downtown food stands had shawarma and other traditional foods to offer alongside some newly established French bakeries. On the contrary, as the car moved towards the New Cairo, Sydney noticed the shiny malls with global retailers constructed for the upper and middle-class people of Egypt with easier availability of French foods than shawarma.
According to Sydney, “the hour-long drive to New Cairo is an exhibition of idealism”. However, the increasing population has given birth to inevitable traffic on the roads and a fight to the infrastructure. The extensive development strategies and inhabiting the growing population needs financial support which inturns craft the future of the Egyptian society.