The first five days here in Egypt have merged from one to the other into a whirlwind of taxi rides, meetings, cafés, more meetings, train rides, phone calls, even more meetings, and finally our first unofficial workshop two days ago with 26 young people from AISEC, a youth organization in Alexandria. Basically, the usual routine before the beginning of a tour.
Street life here in Cairo never stops. Businesses close very late, and a whole variety of services are available throughout the night. Just as an example, the Vodafone store where we bought our Egyptian SIM cards closes at 11pm, it is not uncustomary to go shopping at 12am and we settled the deal for our apartments with the broker on a street pavement at 1am. Contrary to what you may think, there´s nothing particularly unusual about all this around here. Things happen when they need to happen. Welcome to Egypt!
The pyramids in the distance, the eclectic array of architectural styles that have learned to co-exist over the years, and the chaotic ´leap of faith´ driving style in a city that never sleeps – it all goes without saying. However, what has left the strongest impression on me so far in Cairo, is the relentless activity in a city that never sleeps, the camaraderie between people to help each other in times of need, and the willingness to make things happen when they must happen.
Oh, so many things to tell about Cairo and the life here, lots more to come in later posts.
So far, we´ve been very excited with the upcoming workshops and concerts, even more so after seeing the eagerness of the youth to try out what we have to offer, and their curiosity in encountering new cultures. To our delight, AISEC is organizing a big event for 500 people for us to reach even more of their members and people in Alexandria during the upcoming official tour. In the words of one of their members commenting on our first workshop, others ‘deserve to experience what we did in this session’.