Sunday, August 7, 2022

Kodak Agfa Presents : A glimpse into El-Sayeda Zeinab’s shipping trucks world in Cairo

Cairo has many small-worlds inside it from local businesses and some of those businesses people do not usually pay attention to.

They play a role and became a part of this old great city with its chaotic beauty.

In 2021 , I was doing my usual Ramadan lanterns market photoshoot in Cairo’s El-Sayida Zeinab district when I saw those so-many trucks being loaded with goods and furniture.

They were huge trucks. They are on the other side of the Islamic Museum of Cairo. I could not ignore them so I began to capture their photos on-the-go while I was in the car. “I was not driving and that’s why the quality is not the best”

El-Sayida's shipping truck in Cairo
The big trucks loaded with all sorts of goods 

I asked about them and it turned out that there are many shipping companies that transfer goods from Cairo to all governorates.

A loaded truck in Cairo's El-Sayeda
Protecting the loaded goods with cloth and ropes 

There are small companies that one specialized in one route or even couple of governorates in Upper Egypt or Nile Delta.

A loaded truck in Cairo's El-Sayeda
A truck being loaded with rolls of clothes I think 

I failed to know when this area or that street attracted this huge number of shipping companies but I assume it started decade earlier.

A loaded truck in Cairo's El-Sayeda
A loaded truck at El-Sayeda Zeinab 

In mid-July , the Egyptian government raised the prices for various octanes and diesel fuels.

That decision taken by the Fuel Automatic Pricing committee raised the fuel princes by LE 0.50 to LE 1.

It is another repercussion of the global increases in fuel prices due to the Russian invasion to Russia. It is the latest increase Egypt would witness in fuel prices.

A loaded truck in Cairo's El-Sayeda

The last increase in price was in April.

It is unclear if the prices will increase again in the upcoming meeting for the committee or not. One thing we sure , we all pay this increase in a way or another and it added more pressure on the struggling Egyptian families already.

Despite the prices of mazut supplies to food and electricity industries , the prices of food in those couple of weeks surged thanks to the important change in the prices of shipping and transportation.

Loading trucks in Cairo with all sorts of goods
Loading trucks in Cairo with all sorts of goods 

Trucks use diesel and the price of diesel rose from LE 6.75 to LE 7.25 per litre.

I do not have doubt that that small world of trucks in El-Sayida Zeinab was hugely impacted by this raise in prices.

I hope the owners, drivers and workers in this business are not harmed or suffered that much because in the end it has no social insurance protection or medical insurance or pensions.

Loading trucks in Cairo with all sorts of goods
Loading trucks in Cairo with all sorts of goods 

It is another example of the informal labor. I know that truck drivers got a syndicate or rather union but I highly doubt that its sound is heard.

Anyhow may be one day , we can take a deeper look in to that small-world and know how that area became a magnet for shipment companies like that.

FYI , just I was preparing this post to be published I found that out the owners of the heavy trucks transferring from goods from ports and factories are planning to start a strike or semi-strike on 8 August to protest the new shipping law. 

If this happens , this means a new crisis in Egypt that will leads to a new surge in prices 😭

Photos taken by Sony Alpha 6500 with 18-55mm emount lens. 


  1. Sorry
    These photos are from Bab Al-Khalq neighborhood on Port Said Street, not Al-Sayeda Zainab
    Transportation companies are spread in a range extending from Bab El Shearia to Ahmed Maher Hospital, due to its proximity to Al-Mosky market and Al-Azhar Street, which have wholesale shops for all goods
    I hope my notes will enrich the interesting topic

    1. Thanks :) they did enrich , I forget that they are near to Al-Mosky and Al-Azhar !!


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