Cairo's Air is 50% Cleaner Than a Year Ago

Egypt through Egyptian Eyes editor Adel Murad
Adel Murad

Cairo's Air is 50% Cleaner Than a Year Ago

There is a Cairo Air Improvement Project (CAIP) that managed to reduce air pollution in Greater Cairo by 50% over the past year. The Ministry of the Environment runs the project with funds from the USAID program. At this rate, Cairo's air should be cleaner and healthier over the next few years.

The problem, especially in central Cairo, has always been a combination of dense traffic, local metal and building material works and leaded fuel. Lack of green space added to the poor quality of air. The situation was not helped either by traffic congestion and older-type cars with badly maintained engines. There are also 200,000 motorcycles in Cairo, each producing the pollution equivalent of 20 cars. Add to this a few thousand buses, and over a million taxis, some running on Diesel fuel, and the situation becomes chronic.

The positive aspect of CAIP is that it started by what it could do, and measure, on a yearly basis. Success was only recognized if it produced results. Buses were identified as a major source of pollution because they run non-stop throughout the day and in all parts of Cairo. In the last year, 150 buses were converted to run on LPG. Another 500 buses await the same treatment next year, but until then, they are being checked regularly to insure that they have tuned and efficient engines.

All metal works and building materials processing plants are being phased out from inside Cairo and relocated out of town. Also, contracts were given for waste disposal projects and sites were allocated for dumping and burying solid waste.

Over the next four years, the program will make it a requirement to check, on an annual basis, emission from all cars and motorcycles, before they are licensed. Leaded fuel will also be banned, and replaced entirely be unleaded gasoline.

There are now 36 monitoring stations from Helwan in the south to Shubra El Kheima in the north to analyze the air quality and report back to the CAIP center in Maadi. Over the same period of time, environment agencies plan to plant one million trees in and around Cairo.

This level of awareness and co-coordinated effort will make everyone in Cairo breathe easy and will restore the largest city in Africa to its former glory.


What is Egyptosaurus Doing in Pennsylvania?

The Egyptian media got very excited last month about the discovery of the second largest dinosaur on earth, in the Egyptian Western Desert. Yet, a lot of that excitement was in the form of criticism leveled at the way the discovery was handled. The local media felt that Egypt was marginalized by the manner in which the discovery was announced to the world. First, the fossils were unearthed last April, but the announcement came several weeks later, from the US. Secondly, the discovered bones were shipped to the US for study and analysis, wasting a valuable learning experience for Egyptian geologists, had these bones been examined onsite by world geologists.

Not only that, but some media sources saw a rare opportunity to promote Egypt abroad. Instead, scientists from the University of Pennsylvania basked in the limelight. It is not clear whether the Egyptian Geological Museum will eventually get the dinosaur fossils back, but some writers in Egypt believe that the find should end up on display in Egypt.

It is certain that the Egyptian desert has many more treasures in store, and many feel that future discoveries should be handled in a way to give credit to the land which not only gave the world an early civilization, but also gave dinosaurs a home and a refuge, some 90 million years ago.

On the lighter side, one writer suggested that the dinosaur should not be calledStromsaurus, butEgyptosaurus. Earnest Stromer, the German scientist who first discovered dinosaurs in the Western Desert of Egypt earlier last century, took some of the fossils to Munich Museum in Germany. These were destroyed in the Second World War. The notes left behind were instrumental in finding this year's discovery.


Egyptian dispatches:

* Al Ahram reported on June 21 that Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, the Egyptian First Lady, has been selected as the most prominent Arab personality in caring for children and childhood. More than 500 delegates took part in a referendum in Algiers, organized by the Amal Society, a charity dedicated to alleviating poverty.

* The premier of "Ayam As-Sadat" or Days of Sadat was shown in Cairo at the Ramses Hilton and was attended by prominent personalities including Jihan Sadat, widow of the former President. The film has been in the making for three years and depicts 40 years of Sadat's life and times.

Egyptian Proverb:

Nothing fills the eyes of the greedy ..except dust.


The Mysteries of Qurna By Sonny Stengle
Traveling by Train in Egypt By Dr. Susan Wilson & Medhat A-Monem
The Charm of the Amulet By Anita Stratos
Egyptian Rock-Art Unveiled By Arnvid Aakre
Great Hair Days in Ancient Egypt By Ilene Springer
Touring With the Young, and Not-So-Young By Jimmy Dunn
A Tour in Egypt's Mohammed Ali's Mosque By Muhammad Hegab
Ancient Egyptian Agriculture By Catherine C. Harris
Why I Keep Going Back, and This is No 'Fish Story'! By Duncan McLean
Off the Beaten Path in the Sinai By Jimmy Dunn
Editor's Commentary
By Jimmy Dunn
Ancient Beauty Secrets
By Judith Illes
Book Reviews
Various Editors
Hotel Reviews By Jimmy Dunn & Juergen Stryjak
Kid's Corner By Margo Wayman
Cooking with Tour Egypt
By Mary K Radnich
The Month in Review By John Applegate
Egyptian ExhibitionsBy Staff
Egyptian View-Point
By Adel Murad
Various Editors
Egypt On Screen By Carolyn Patricia Scott
Restaurant Reviews
Various Editors
Shopping Around By Juergen Stryjak
Web Reviews By Siri Bezdicek

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June 1st, 2001
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January 1st, 2001

December 1st, 2000
October 1st, 2000
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August 1st, 2000

July 1st, 2000

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