Mellanöstern och Nordafrika Tidningen
Published On: Tue, Sep 3rd, 2019

Cat City – the first in a series of my personal experience in Cairo

It was 2014 and I was living on the 12th floor in a high rise building in Cairo on my own. The landlord was a doctor who was in charge of one of the big hospitals in the city; he had the pent house. My landlady was an American expat who regularly travelled back to the States for her summer break.

Due to the power cuts five times a day, decided by the General El-Sisi who had seized the power from Morsi with the help of the military “for the best interest of the people”, I had to find energy to climb the 12 floors to the flat as the elevator during this time was not working. In the flat, or maybe we should call it a studio, there was a living room connected to a big balcony facing towards Tharir Square, a kitchen, bathroom and a bedroom. There were also 9 cats living in the flat with me. Some were residing in the living room and balcony, one in the kitchen, another in the bathroom, and of course in the bedroom. I had insisted that I would take care of them, feed them, tidy after them. And, in case of emergency, I would take them down the 12 flights of stairs to the vet around the corner.

I did however have a regular visitor, an employee of my landlady. He was a kind refugee from Sudan and worked between the hours of 1pm-4pm. Sundays he would be off, since he was a devoted Christian and went to church. He also studied to be a social worker.

I was in Cairo to interview female journalists through my Middle Eastern Studies. I was to spend much time in the flat, transcribing and writing.

Dr Abraham, widowed since a few years, was my landlord living in the penthouse and below him resided two female CNN journalists. My flat was owned by a journalist also, who had worked for The Washington Times and was now teaching in Egypt and Israel. Living under my home was a rich gay man from Wales and below him a Canadian woman with a tongue that stung. Often she accompanied my landlady and I for dinner as she was going to help having my back with the cats.

I was fortunate to find a book club with friendly expats and groups that had personal development interests, they had many activities going on. I was home during the days when the Sudanese man was working in the flat. He would tell me stories from his home country and how he hadn’t seen his relatives for 12 years. It was after sunset that I would go out and explore Cairo.

To be continued…

About the Author

- Founder of the MENA Magazine/Grundare till MENA Tidningen