Sarah Huckabee, new White House Press Secretary, delivers first briefing    Our duty is to mobilize Muslims against Israeli violations in Al-Aqsa Mosque    Al-Azhar condemns Cairo-Fayoum ring road terrorist attack    U.S. State Department lauds Egypt's religious institutions efforts in countering violent extremism    U.S. State Department report values Egypt's Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing efforts    U.S. State Department lists Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiyya & party as Foreign Terrorist Organization    Egypt's PM greets El-Sisi on 65th anniversary of July 23 Revolution    Al-Shabaab kills two in Kenya    Meet Mariam, story of outstanding student takes Egyptians by storm    Takfiri Fatwa Observatory warns youth against training courses & programs organized by extremists    Gloria Gaynor visits Egypt's Pyramids ahead of concert    Cairo signs protocol to enhance value added of Egyptian cotton    Gloria Gaynor arrives in Cairo, and yes she'll sing 'I Will Survive'    President El-Sisi chairs Nuclear Energy Supreme Council    What if women ruled the world?    Former Brazilian football star Ronaldinho visits Egypt's Pyramids    مباشر انتقالات أوروبا – سانشيز يقرر مصيره مع أرسنال.. وبرشلونة يسترد ديولفيو    Mohamed Salah spends Eid holiday in Egypt after move to Liverpool    تغريدة – ماذا قال مشجعو ليفربول عن صلاح "الصفقة المسروقة وأسرع رجل حي"    HHD, Al Oula sign EGP 500m finance lease to develop New Heliopolis City utilities    2 June deadline to serve units allocated for Egyptian expats    Propertyfinder receives demand requests for property worth EGP 4.6bn in Q1    Egypt pledges right to self-defence before UNSC by Libya airstrikes    Egypt needs huge investments and 10 million tourists    Former ERTU head Safaa Hegazy mourned    How 5 alternatives left ‘no option' for Maspero Triangle residents    In Pictures: Lanterns' brightness glows Egypt's ashen streets    Borussia Dortmund win German Cup, beating Frankfurt 2-1    Raikkonen on pole as Ferrari lock out Monaco front row    Polezni Durak and the summit of Riyadh    Supreme Council of Antiquities to launch Cairo Pass permits for foreigners in Cairo and Giza    Summer Of Love: Beatles album &. Pepper's turns 50    Gomez penalty puts Wolfsburg in front in relegation playoff    Star Wars turns 40, but the Galactic Empire is far from over    High Administrative Court questions constitutionality of Emergency Law articles    Army destroys two tunnels beneath Egypt-Gaza border    After tribal clashes, is Sinai militancy turning into proxy war?    To promote tourism... Cristiano Ronaldo's family visits pyramids    Newsreel    New Year routine    Imminent cabinet reshuffle    Footballer furore    In quest of national consensus    ‘Protecting the weakest'    Briefs    IMF open to scrutiny    Art heist goes wrong    All the fun of the Book Fair    







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Two tales of a city
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 04 - 09 - 2012

It was due to a bad piece of advice that I saw the other side of the coastal city of Alexandria, known as Egypt's second capital.
In the absence of signs on the road, I had to ask a local pedestrian for directions to Al-Mamura, where I planned to spend some relaxing days by the sea.
The pedestrian said in a very sincere tone of voice that it would be better to drive right through the centre of Al-Mamura instead of using the Corniche.
“The Corniche is usually busy at this time of the day," he warned me in a solemn, convincing manner.
No sooner had the man disappeared from view, them we – myself and the other passengers in the car – realised we'd been, literally, taken for a ride.
For more than an hour, the driver had to thread his way across haphazardly constructed speed bumps and negotiate gaping manholes.
It happened more than once that we reached the end of a road only to find it closed for maintenance, without prior warning. We had to do several huge detours, with the driver steering his way cautiously as if he were sailing on rough seas.
Like Cairo, several areas of the outskirts of Alex were piled high with garbage. And, even in those places were there were rubbish skips, they were far too small to cope with the mountains of trash, overflowing in every direction.
Alexandria is traditionally a major holiday attraction for both Egyptians and foreigners. Compared to other seaside resorts, Alexandria is relatively near Cairo and boasts lots to do during the day and a colourful nightlife. It is also famed for its revived Bibliotheca Alexandrina and European-style cafés.
Thus, the city earns a lot from the bustling tourism, mainly in the summer. There is no good reason why the profits are not spent on improving the lives of the city's people and its infrastructure and facilities.
At the entrance to the city, a few yards from a tollgate, our driver had to spend nearly half an hour negotiating his way through a large puddle caused by a fractured pipeline. No local or government official there seems to care a fig about safety of motorists and pedestrians.
In stark contrast, Al-Mamura, if you can actually get there, is blissful. Neatly dressed, immaculately clean workers diligently keep the resort spotless.
To my delight, I didn't see a single fly, mosquito or other insect, a fact testifying to the efforts of these workers and their supervisors.
The leafy district is also distinguished from other resorts by its well-preserved, four-storey buildings, which look as though they are of recent construction. Some of them were run up in the late 1970s.
Al-Mamura is not a resort for the elite or the rich. Its beaches are open to the public for a nominal fee. However, it is the constant attention given to the place and the strict enforcement of rules that make it different.


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