Speed driving

September 1, 2006 at 12:24 pm (Egypt, Fragments)

I start the engine.

Heliopolis looks so beautiful by dawn. European-style buildings standing tall beside Mosque minarets, BMWs parked next to FIAT 128s, reminding me of how diverse Cairo is, how diverse Egypt is, and how in that diversity lies beauty, in chaos lies harmony, in contradiction lies consistency. That’s my Cairo, that’s my Egypt, that’s my identity.

I push the pedal and drive along 6th of october bridge. For the first time I notice how many minarets we have in Cairo. Was it trying to reach as much believers as possible when it’s time for prayer or was it an attempt to reach higher up towards heaven that made them build minarets so high? I guess there’s no way now to tell which is which, but I like both thoughts.

 I think to myself, Latin beat matches Cairo spirit a lot. Is music truly universal or am I half Latin somehwere up my family tree? I know I got Arab, Egyptian, Turkish blood, but Latin? I still didn’t mind the thought. I feel at peace with the wolrd, and most importantly, with myself.

I push the 5th gear, and think to myself, maybe it’s the spirit of overcoming obstacles that attract me to speed-driving, maybe that spirit will paint a new canvas of a new Egypt one of these days.

What draws the line between ambitions and wishes? I don’t know for sure, but I know every wish I have is an ambition until something stops me.

I don’t know what on earth could stop me, I’m half-crazy, and that’s closer to virtue than I’ve ever experienced.

I’m empowered by millions like me who drive along high-ways and wonder, what road-bumps is the world going to bring along? They’re not stopping, neither am I.

I’m in love with a city, a culture, a place, an identity, and I’d die before I let it go down history as mere memories. We’re here to stay, to rise, and we will.

I kill the engine. I park and get off my car self-righteously as half a god. Could anyone stop this new dawn? Could anyone stop this new day? Could anyone stop this sunrise?

Cairo is there, like a goddess, she knows she’s here to stay. So do we.



  1. Sara said,

    I was always so in love with this city. Funny thing the first time i saw it at dawn was down the Mo2attam a couple of days ago. It’s a whole new perspective. It’s an epiphany.

  2. blacklander said,

    Mo2attam. That will be my next ride

  3. yosra said,

    Let’s go to the pyramids at dawn.

  4. blacklander said,

    That’s an inspired idea! I’m all for it, let’s.

  5. Jannah said,

    I’ve always wanted to understand why I speed drive like crazy?
    I know I’m ambitious, so may be it’s connected to the pedal or sth.

  6. blacklander said,

    I don’t know if it’s ambition or just the sense of not-stopping-unless-forced, whatever it is, it runs through a fuel cycle.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  7. saraghorab said,

    My brother.. what beautiful thoughts you have, beautifully put.

    My heart burst with love for Egypt, my mouth watered for the taste of smog and cigarettes and dust
    as my eyes devoured your words…

  8. blacklander said,

    So come back, I promise you smog, dust, and lots and lots and lots of cigarettes.

  9. Leilouta said,

    masr omm el donia 🙂

  10. Blacklander said,

    w tunis khaletha 😉

  11. sinofstrawberry said,

    i love ur blog,i left a comment on mine once
    u r great,i love the way u love ur country coz am a fan of my neighborhood ,city and country
    keep it up and thanks for stopping by at my blog

  12. sinofstrawberry said,

    i love ur blog,u left a comment on mine once
    u r great,i love the way u love ur country coz am a fan of my neighborhood ,city and country
    keep it up and thanks for stopping by at my blog

  13. Amy said,

    it surprises me how the way we both react to Cairo’s dawn time magical beauty the same way, having similar thoughts and reactions. I usually love waking up at dawn and walk around Cairo streets. the energy it gives me, the flow of thoughts, the pleasant confusion, and the mixture of emotions is just priceless!
    good one. I like how u express yourself here. by that I dont mean u expressed everything u felt at that moment in these lines, but I can tell u gave a chance for me to read/feel further between the lines =) or at least thats how I feel about it.

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