Hark readers and sports enthusiasts! I have returned from a week long vacation, if it can be called as such for such a short period of time, to Cairo.
The weather was nice, in comparison to here, whilst everyone was complaining about the heat, I was relishing in it!
Previously I had posted a task I wished to complete, My Freedom Run, to go from my house to Tahrir Square (here), the distance was estimated via the good people at Google to be 12~16KM. I had initially planned to run it on friday morning, but given that I was at Tahrir Square at 3AM on friday, it seemed folly to attempt a distance run with improper rest, the run kept getting delayed due to personal reasons (lovely personal reasons) until last wednesday morning, I decided it was time to put up, or write an apology to all for chickening out.
I got my gear on, did my pre-run stretching, took my trusty N97 in my waist-pack and headed to a garden a stones throw away from my house to faciliate the ease of GPS signal reception. As soon as I heard the "beep" informing me that the connection was made, I headed out to the road, a route I had planned in my head, at roughly 9AM.
What I noticed about Cairo that differs from Kuwait is the contours first of all, the rises and falls along the streets, and the large sidewalks at times, and absence of such at other times!
Some people were staring, some people were laughing, some were cheering, and some were sneering. Nay did I care, for I was heavily engrossed in my music and my purpose.
When I saw the sign that Tahrir Square was close by, I got my second wind, it came after 3 slip ups, and a sore left ankle. Upon reaching the bend where the Ramsis Hilton loomed in the horizon, I felt a sense of elation, for there right across from it stood the Cairo Museum, and a few meters away, Tahrir Square.
I was carrying my national ID along with some spare change for a few drinks (juice and water, not that!) as well as some momento's for a few great friends (you know who you are). I passed by the first person without incident, they forwent the custom inspection as it was clear to any in the square that the guy in the black running shorts and red national football team t-shirt was not packing anything. It did not stop another inspector at the gate for asking for my ID a second time. In mocking manner, I replied that I had already shown it, a bit too nastily for my tastes to be honest. I felt bad and returned to the guy and apologised, in the end, he is volunteering his time to ensure the safety of the Square, and that in itself is commendable. I told him about my run, we laughed together and parted ways as friends.
This is the run:
And these are pictures from around the Square, a sort of 360 for any who have not been there who wish to see what it is like in real life, along with a few of me, bedecked in my black bandana.
Suffice to say, I took a taxi home. It may not seem as much to some, but to me this was symbolic.
Tahrir Square has slowly become a commercial circus, and is slowly but surely losing its identity as a symbol for the glorious Egyptian Revolution of January 25. It saddens me that this is happening, but it is another tale, for another time.
May this serve to motivate others to run as well, that way, my purpose is complete.
|The garden near my house, soon as the GPS picked up|
|Entrance towards Abbasya; my university was down the street, to the right|
|Tahrir Square, Straight ahead. Behind that sign, Ramsis Train Station|
|Tahrir from Afar|
|Passed the checkpoint, first view of the Square|
|dear SCAF - sorry, your credit has been depleted.|
|tents in the middle of the Square|