Links for April 10-15 2010

Did I forget the links again? Do read the first link, very nice local reporting on an issue that's long nagged at me: the barricades surrounding the US Embassy in Cairo's Garden City neighborhood, which is also where I live. The permanent barriers and checkpoints are really getting tiresome and have depressed this part of Central Cairo that should be vibrant. I am relatively unaffected since I don't drive, and can easily cycle (yes I am the one of the crazy khawagas who cycles across Cairo) past the barriers. But it's really rather bad for the neighborhood, increasing traffic density through small streets and blocking off a thoroughfare in Lazoghly St. It's just not very nice for local residents, who of course were never consulted in the process. Not to mention the image of America it gives: it looks like the second biggest embassy in the world, in a key regional ally, is in a Green Zone. And it's not only the Americans, the nearby Brits are to blame too (and perhaps, a little further off, the Canadians and Belgians too.)

Also, there's a new movie about Garden City that I'm dying to see.

 

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.