The past couple of weeks the city has been making preparations for President Obama’s visit to our city. Garbage has been collected, streets have been swept and cleaned on a very regular basis as well as side walks, lamp posts and bridges being painted! I have heard that Cairo University where Mr. Obama is going to give his address has had one hell of paint job and re tiling! DANG!!! In recent days his agenda has been made public and he’ll be visiting the pyramids of Giza. What do you bet the pyramids have been dusted and the Sphinx has had a sponge bath and a manicure! I was on my way to the Marriot Zamalek yesterday to meet some close friends for our weekly Tuesday outing and I was almost hanging out of the taxi window watching the teams of men splattered in silver paint from the tips of their head to the points of their toes. The cars desperately trying to avoid being trapped behind the street sweeping truck and the police men barricaded streets. Everyone busy like worker bees in a hive! If this is what it takes to get the city cleaned up and looking good then I think Mr. Obama and other officials from other regions of the world need to make more visits to not just the capital but the rest of the country too!

On another note it’s really sad that all of this is being done when an official visit is being made. Why can’t the same effort be made all year-long, so that Cairo looks GREAT all the time? We can’t use the excuse that there aren’t enough people to hire to keep the cities clean, we are one of the most populated countries in the world!! We’ve got the labor!! Is it a matter of pride? I don’t see why that should be an issue either. If we can take the time to keep our homes  and ourselves clean why can’t we do the same outside of the home?

Another thing that I have REALLY been itching to say is why do we, the residents of the city have to have our lives made difficult, by having roads blocked off, stores and schools being advised to close during Mr. Obama’s visit? Police and Secret service men have been going door to door in many neighbourhoods where The American President is set to drive through and have  had I.D checks and have been told that they can not have their cars parked on the main street, can not have any windows open and can not stand looking out the window. If they do they will be put at risk at being shot at by a sniper! Won’t the president find it strange that in a city with over 8 million people almost non of them will be out going about their daily activities? Cairo is going to look like a ghost town! I know that there are security issues and I understand and respect that. Heaven forbid that anything should happen during an officials visit I would not want to be the leader of that country. However, on the flip side of the coin, I don’t see the harm of having some people out in the street waving and welcoming The President to our nation. Wouldn’t it give a better  impression if some people stood on the side-walk waving the American flag in one hand while the other hand holds the Egyptian one? Wouldn’t that give an image or an impression of solidarity?

I live on one of the most busiest streets in Cairo, Khalifa El Ma’amoun over looking ‘Haras El Gumhoury’ (National Guard). In the four years I have lived here, I have never seen it so clean and well maintained. There isn’t a single over flowing garbage bin or car parked outside the row of buildings. The leader of the land of the free hasn’t even landed in the country and the streets are relatively quiet and easy to cross without having to play doge cars! 

I cant’ wait to hear and see what happens to the Cairians after a full days lock down. I bet the minute Air Force One takes off tomorrow everyone will be running out of their homes trying to cure their mild case of cabin fever! Some people are being smart they are leaving the city for the 3 day un planned long weekend. If I had only known, I would have left for Alexandria this evening and spent the weekend at the beach!

Hawk Eyes on the look out!