The poverty is real.
As you probably know, back in 2006 I studied for a semester at the American University in Cairo. One of the perks of attending this particular institution was its location. I was living and studying within the heart of one of the world’s oldest and largest cities. Eighteen million strong and growing at an astounding rate, Cairenes absorb any job vacancy faster than you can eat a falafel sandwich. Despite the joblessness, immigrants, mostly from Sudan and the Horn countries, continue to move into the city in great numbers. With the morning call from the muezzin’s tower, a dirty, uneducated, primarily male, and extremely poor mass descends upon downtown Cairo, where they will stay until sundown. Some hawk cheap plastic toys for kids, others wash the sidewalk in front of stores for a couple Egyptian pounds, some sit on main thoroughfares with their hand out, but mostly stand around doing absolutely nothing except smoking the occasional Cleopatra cigarette that has mysteriously appeared from I have no idea where.
Some of you might have asked yourself at some time or another when reading my blog, “Just how poor are Africans?”
The answer, very poor.
Top Ten Travel Books
1. Kingdom by the Sea -- Paul Theroux
2. Innocents Abroad -- Mark Twain
3. Catch 22 -- Joseph Heller
4. The Beach -- Alex Garland
5. Motoring With Muhammad -- Eric Hansen
6. Heart of Darkness -- Joseph Conrad
7. In a Sunburned Country -- Bill Bryson
8. Travels Through Egypt -- Gustav Flaubert
9. The Big Red Train Ride -- Eric Newby
10. A Year in Provence -- Peter Mayle
(11. Dark Star Safari -- Paul Theroux)
(12. Neither Here Nor There -- Bill Bryson)