Thursday, July 1, 2010

Al–Tunsi Market Fire : To See A Catastrophe In Making Under Our Own Eyes

Last week Egyptians especially Cairenes woke up one day to find one of their biggest  popular markets ever destroyed in fire , some of them was shocked , some of them expected it and some of them was surprised to find a market with that name in that place in the first place.
A car veered off the El-Saida Aisha doomed bridge to the market below it killing all the three young men in it and burning down the complete market, yes the complete market. The market was made of small shops and wooden stalls , with high temperature , lack of industrial security and late reaction ; it was like a scene from the apocalypse for thousands of poor families that considered that market its only source for living.

Before the fire (Siad Naga)

After the fire (AP)
Below you can find a video showing the fire taking place, for those who understand Arabic please ignore the inconsiderate creature who was filming the fire and making fun of it without knowing how many families are affected by it !!??

Friday Market fire
You may think that it was a flea market but you are wrong because this market included mini markets for food products from vegetable and fruits beside a famous pets market that used to be held on Fridays. I remember that I have always wanted to visit that Pet market after seeing a beautiful documentary about it on the national TV. I used to know the market as El-Saida Aisha market tribute to the El-Saida Aisha bridge and its pets market as Friday market.
The fish section at the market
 As far as I searched that market was a Mubarak regime product , a direct result of the shanty towns culture , it was a shanty market where you can find anything you want to buy .Here are photos from the market in its golden days.What scares me is that what happened to that shanty market can happen to a shanty town.
The day After (AP)

Despite being a shanty town , the market was so huge as not less than 2 million buyer and seller used to go their on a daily basis making it one of the biggest gray market in Egypt and according to estimation the size of trade there was  LE 3 billion.
After the fire
Now the question for decades this market was there in that location yet the government did not recognize its importance nor contribution to the local trade as if it were its illegitimate child , it did not give damn to the industrial security of this vital location and the fact that it is hot spot for millions of people on a daily basis , there was not even an ambulance or clinic , why is the government angry from the people there after rejecting its decision to transfer the whole market to the middle of the no where !!??
The government as usual did not like the Tunsi market and its people and to avoid any criticism for its hand in the catastrophe , it claimed that it has ordered the transfer of that market from two years ago in to the desert at the outskirts of 15th May city but it was the people who rejected it !!! The people had to reject because it is technically in the middle of nowhere , who will dare and go all that way for them !!??
These people did not study economics or marketing or business administration but they know that location and transportation are important factor for the customer and the business itself. These people , those sellers whom the businessmen cabinet considers insignificant used to work instead of stealing , they worked every single day in that market in order not to depend on a regime that does not recognize their class in the first place.Why could not the regime accept the reality of that market and tired to organize it as much as it could !?? Why could not the business cabinet recognize its importance to the working class that can't afford buying from Designopolis or City Stars !!??
 Back to the fire and its cause , despite it was a car that started the fire yet one can't ignore the role played by Cairo's most infamous bridges : El-Saida Aisha bridge that has a black record of car accidents more than any other bridge as I recall in Cairo. There is something wrong in its design I supposed that made it a scary experience for any driver to cross it especially at night.
Gathering the remains (AP)  
It was the mercy of God that this terrible fire happened at night not in the morning , God only knows how many people would have been killed because of the fire and also the excepted stampede.
The Citadel witnessed a lot of events for sure (AP)


  1. It would be fabulous if the current regime would build a new one for the poor people and that might change the public opinion...

  2. @Magda: "change the public opinion"?? Why bec they finally decided to do their job towards the ppl? and who will be financing this new market, us the tax payers who also paid for expenses to put off the fire and also some of us lost their money and even lived in the fire bec in the first place the gov turned a blind eye to properly developing the area and helping the ppl have a proper market and even when there was a decision to move it to another place the decision was never enforced for 2 years, on top of all that there wasnt any fire trucks or safety regulations set around the market just in case something like that could happen.


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