Egyptian Chronicles: Why does the President travel by air and not by train in Egypt??

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Why does the President travel by air and not by train in Egypt??

I travelled to Alexandria this Eid weekend. I travelled by train for the first time in my life by train. I always travel by car in Egypt but this time I thought it would be better to travel by train after writing about the history of the Egyptian Railways.

It was great experience and fun one for sure. I sat in the first degree which is not bad but need a lot of maintenance,already I wonder if this was the first class status what the third class is like !!?? “I sat on a broken chair in the way back !!??”

Travelling by train seriously is great experience because you discover places in your country you did not know or see before. For me I know about the governorates I passed through our way to Alexandria but it was the first time to me to see the out skirted villages on the  train’s way. Here it was the real Egypt.

My little adventure in the Egyptian Railway made me wonder why President Mubarak and the rest of his family “Wife and son” do not travel by train and always travel by air instead ??

All Presidents and Kings travel by train from time to time.The Presidential candidates in America travel from State to another by train in order to meet ,see more people and know directly their problems.

Does the president hate to see how his citizens live ??

Does he hate to see them in their simple villages whose red brick houses are not painted nor their streets are paved !!

Or may be those who are around him do not want him to see these citizens in their simple life !! Because I saw it by my own eyes when Mubarak went to inaugurate the army hospital in Old Agouza , the Governorate workers came and hided the old shanty red brick houses beside the hospital with a very big  red Khaimia cloth like the one used in the popular weddings and memorial services !! can you imagine it ,they did not want him to see these houses !!??

Of course now I should say that his son’s foundation donated to rebuild that old Agouza shanty area in to a clean new modern one in less than three years. Now they won’t hide it when the old man visits the area next time !!

Well I can’t imagine the regime men hiding the delta villages along the way to Alex by Khaimia cloth !!

It is not only him but also his wife and his son , the first lady and the Prince of Upper Egypt.

You see whenever anyone of them visits a place in Egypt , this place must have a facelift from upside down with flowers here and there and as soon as they leave ,the old wrinkles are back !!

It is sad pathetic thing.

It is not about Poverty , but it is about those villages need a lot of care and he needs to see them by his eyes to see that after 27 years of his rule nothing changed at all in the country side.

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  1. I agree with you about hiding places, we don't do that here, poverty is also part of life, trying to get governments to help out sometimes it is hard to get assistance.

  2. I'd better ask, why doesn't he die ?
    Railways services are severely deteriorating ya Zainab. Some claims this is planned so that they would sell it to the private sector later. I tend to believe that.

  3. I'm an avid daily follower of your blog. Very clever choice of subjects!

    To comment on what Yusuf is suspecting, it would be very interesting if we're still hungry for more privatizing at a time when the US is this week seriously criticizing the open markets era bolstered by Reagan (Reaganism) and other Republicans. This extreme version of capitalism and weaker and weaker government agencies has very clearly not worked for the US and other similar economies.

    What we need right now is government reform, or as you said that the regime DIES.

  4. The train has always been the source for romantic associations. I tried it many years ago as a kid, so I don't remember it that well anymore. But about three years ago I travelled with a bus from Alexandria to Cairo. Within four hours I passed desert, villages, the pyramides, new modern buildings, buildings from the colony time, old very pour areas, hotels, villas, the ocean...I was so tired but it was very beautiful. Egypt is a land full of contrasts. I mean this year I worked a while in Cairo. Everyday I had to travel from one end of Cairo to the other end. Passing the pour and the rich and the old and the modern. Cairo is Egypt.

    I wish that they would expand trains and subways, I mean all the public transportations in Egypt. That would offer the needed alternative for the Cairo traffic.

  5. N. American Princess10/09/2008 12:08:00 AM

    I can't believe that was your first trip by train. When I was in Egypt, since I took off on my own I travelled either by train or bus. Train has to be booked in advance. The first and even 2nd class was acceptable. I didn't have a torn seat at all. It was up to N. American standards 2 yrs ago when i travelled by train. Personally car is preferable cuz u don't have 2 lug around bags. Bus is Egypt is the worst cuz the seats are small and cramped and made 4 short people.

    Z I want you to take a trip (by car) someday to places in the Delta like Damanhour, Kafr El Sheikh, Rasheed and the surrounding Delta area and see how a large portion of Egypt is living. Just go for the experience and the drive. I want to go to Mounufia and see what he has done with his hometown.

    In Minya it is a bit nicer but Mama Suzy is from there. Another jem to visit,Beni Suef.

  6. Zeinobia,

    I, too have traveled on the train from Alex to Cairo and back. I enjoyed the ride tremendously trip, to say the least, I felt that it was much better than riding in a car or microbus, the scenery was just beautiful and scenic, and I could relate to people living in not so good condiitions along the way. The best part, it is much shorter of a ride.

  7. vagabondblogger10/09/2008 05:07:00 PM

    We had a great time in Alexandria, during Eid, as well. Our train trip was okay, and we would do it again (warning - don't use the bathroom). But the trains I saw (and photographed) are pretty dilapidated and in need of an overhaul.

    Meanwhile, I'm not sure you noticed, but the inter-city Alexandria trains looked atrocious! Packed full, with men hanging out from every nook and cranny (including between the cars themselves) for dear life!

    I love train travel, and have opted for it against driving even in the States.

    As for Mubarak, I'm sure he enjoyed his green little village at Mokatam, which is quite beautiful.

  8. vagabondblogger10/09/2008 05:09:00 PM

    I meant to say Montazza, not Mokkatam.

  9. @Mrs. Cloud unfortunately our government helps in spreading poverty not in erasing it , its economic decisions help in spreading poverty in a fearful rate and they are hiding it because they are afraid to confront people and the world .

    @Yusuf and who let it deteriorate ? I read about this claim but they can't do it ,they just can't ,it is like Egypt Air

    @anonymous#1,yeah they want to continue in privatization where as American is going for nationalization !! see the irony
    we do not need a government reform , we need a new regime better than this rotten one

    @anonymous#2,I share your wish with you ,they should expand and restore the railways and subways. and yes Egypt is like Cairo ,the country of extreme contrast :)

    @N.American , the car can be better choice despite it will not comfortable, about Monifa , be shocked ,he did nothing unlike President Sadat
    Mania is beautiful without Suzanne

    @anonymous#3, yes it is much better than a car or bus ,more comfortable and shorter

    @Vagabondblogger,I for trains in trips like Alex,much better and safer
    Mubarak even left his little village in Montazza and moved to Sharm ,Alex is no longer the second capital in Egypt
    and yes Montazza is so beautiful ,I love its palaces


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