Noisy Cairo

Cairo salesman by Shawn Baldwin, For The New York TimesI am convinced that my hearing is worse after a year of living in Cairo, and I always thought the decibel level in the city is unhealthy. New York Times bureau chief Michael Slackman has a story in today’s paper that confirms my suspicions.

He quotes an engineer named Mustafa el Sayyid, who helped carry out a study on Cairo’s high decibels: “All of greater Cairo is in the range of unacceptable noise levels from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.”

To illustrate the story, photographer Shawn Baldwin finds salesmen yelling in one of the city’s crowded markets. Another image highlights the chaos of Cairo’s streets, the traffic with its engines and blaring horns. In that photo, two boys cling to the back of a microbus with rebar on its roof.

Cairo’s overall noise level, according to the article, is like living with a running lawnmower next to you.

No wonder the word for *what* in Egyptian Arabic is “eh?”

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2 thoughts on “Noisy Cairo

  1. John

    Maybe you could ask Mr. Slackman to look into the effects of the air pollution/oxygen deprivation on Cairnenes’ brains? I swear my thinking slows down the more time I spend downtown.

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