Friday, November 2, 2012

Putting Cairo the Sleepless City to sleep !!

I do not know really if there will be a curfew imposed on shops , Cafes and restaurants at 10 PM or not.I do not know if it is going to be postponed indefinitely as it was announced last Wednesday or postponed for just one week as loudmouth municipal development minister Ahmed Zaki Abdeen is claiming.
There is confusion , truly confusion when it comes to truth and news in Egypt , still without doubt the government can not market the curfew decision publicly especially with the refusal of commercial chambers.
Now whether the shops and curfew going to be postponed indefinitely or for just one week , here are my two cents :
Despite I am from the victims of those sleepless cafes in my street with its noise 24/7 , I am totally against the decision to impose a curfew or force the shops and restaurants.
Economically this decision will harm millions and force them in to unemployment by cancelling the night shifts in time we are fighting unemployment. I am not even speaking about shops and restaurants in fancy areas in Cairo but rather in poor and middle class areas.
From social point of view , our life style in big cities especially in Cairo is different than how it was from 10 years ago. For instance many people including myself return from work at 6PM or 7PM. If I have got an errand or I have to go for shopping for any urgent circumstance that can not wait to the weekend , I have to go shopping at 8 PM or even 9PM and with the great traffic of Cairo , I may not return back home except at 11 PM or 12 AM. We do not finish work and leave at 3 PM as we used to do in the old good days where we could have a siesta at 5PM and watch films at Cinemas from 6 PM to 9 PM for God sake.
This reason can be connected to the economical reasons , as we are speaking about economic losses for these shops which can not find customers in that early times.
Another social point that should be raised is that these open restaurants and shops foe very late time provide huge security in time we are suffering from the lack of security. There are complete streets that got no light posts in fancy areas like Mohendessin and Zamalek , open shops till late night provide company and security. Just think about poor areas.
Only the cafes and restaurants with tourism license will be exempted. The big irony is that conservatives are cheering for that decision without realizing that shops , night clubs cafes and restaurants selling alcohol got tourism license and thus they can be opened all night till morning . I bet some cafes and restaurants will think of selling alcohols in order to be granted tourism license !!
It is unfair when cafes and restaurants with tourism license open all night where as popular cafes in poor areas that provide security indirectly to the people in these locations close because they can not afford or even want to be touristically  licensed !!!
BY Maher Hatem : Cinderella had to leave
her prince at 10 PM to close her shop 
Already there is no need for such curfew in the upcoming winter season and the return to schools and faculties.
The closure of shops and restaurants at 10 PM will not save energy either , again if you want to provide and save energy you got other alternatives starting with raising the electricity bills to shops and restaurants and ending at the use of solar energy in Egypt.
Small towns and cities already do not need laws or orders to close the shops and restaurants , it is more of social habit you can feel it.
Anyhow even if the curfew imposed and the Hisham Kandeel’s government is trying to put Cairo asleep , I doubt that the defiant city will sleep early. Mubarak and Sadat also issued similar decrees and they failed to make this country sleep early in time our population was much less than our population is now !!
Interesting news related to the subject we are discussing :


  1. It's a national pastime wandering around aimlessly looking in shop windows. Looking in shops without buying anything. Egypt wont lose much at all but gain. You will have electricity and fuel and the window shoppers in their beds where they should be at midnight! The rest of the world does it so Egypt can do it. maybe if they all get to bed at a proper time their kids will be smarter and awake at school which is a huge problem with parents keeping their kids up all night!

    1. I don't see how closing shops at 10pm helps parents putting their kids asleep on time. Its the parents responsibility and has nothing to do with opening hours if you ask me!

      I think Egypt will loose with this curfew. A lot of shop owners will see their income decline and I totally agree with you Zeinobia on the security issue.

      Cairo's charm is that its a city which never sleeps. And people are responsible for their own sleeping behavior, certainly not the government!!

  2. thanks for sharing.


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