Opinion

The Fall of Alexandria: Trashed And Neglected

The Fall of Alexandria: Trashed And Neglected
Miami in Alexandra.
Miami in Alexandra.

School children have been forced to walk through flooded and contaminated streets to get to school. Breadwinners have struggled to get to work. Shop owners have been forced to shut down their stores.

Most importantly, the sewage flooded streets of Alexandria have become a serious health and safety risk.

Despite photographs showing Egyptian youth enjoying the floods by riding jet skies, water skiing, sailing boats and more, the filthy water is not only likely disease-ridden, but photographs showing electricity lines engulfed by the water are an example of the extremely serious safety risk that is currently being ignored by Alexandria’s local government.

Water-skiing on the streets of Alexandria
Water-skiing on the streets of Alexandria

The flood commenced after a sewage pumping station broke down, leaving areas of Alexandria flooded with rainwater and sewage.

On television, Alexandria’s governor Tarek El-Mahdy said “we are dealing very well” with the situation and that the local government was working to clear the water.

Yet, this recent catastrophe in Alexandria is one of many failures since Alexandria’s governor took power.

The former Supreme Council of Armed Forces member, who was previously the head of Egypt’s state television, has neglected Alexandria’s streets.

Walking along Alexandria’s corniche, pedestrians are no longer able to fully enjoy the beautiful waves crashing on the rocks. Instead, everyday people struggle to breathe in the fresh air as a result of huge garbage piles strewn all along the corniche.

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A street in Alexandria.
Walking along Alexandria's corniche
Walking along Alexandria’s corniche

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Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 8.53.56 pm

At Mahatet El-Raml, Alexandria’s downtown area, sidewalks are neglected and uncleaned, with rainwater turning them into a black, muddy mess, forcing pedestrians to walk on the congested roads.

Famous landmarks in Alexandria, including the 15th century Citadel of Qatibay and modern infrastructure such as the Stanley Bridge, have been vandalized with graffiti. The Citadel itself is void of any security and visitors are often scaling its high walls, which tower over large rocks, without any intervention from security officials (because there are none).

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Graffiti along the Stanley Bridge
Illegally parked car on the sidewalk along the corniche
Illegally parked car on the sidewalk along the corniche
Welcome to the 15th century Citadel.
Welcome to the 15th century Citadel.

In another sign of failure, traffic in Alexandria has became chaotic. Along Alexandria’s corniche, judges and lawyers have been allowed to illegally park outside Alexandria’s court, turning an already tight two-lane road into a one-lane chokehold.

Illegally parked cars outside Alexandria's court.
Illegally parked cars outside Alexandria’s court.

Alexandria’s governor and local government officials remain blind to these issues. Or perhaps, they do not care.

Once the pearl of the Mediterranean, the coastal city now needs government officials that will not turn their heads away, but that will recognize the city’s beauty and potential. What Alexandria needs now is change.

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@khairatmk

Mohamed Khairat is the Founder of Egyptian Streets.

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