Noise and the City

<p>Cairo, Egypt is becoming increasingly noisy.</p>
April 15, 2008, 10am PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"Egyptians in this capital city say it is harder and harder to be heard and to have a voice, but they are not talking politics. Well, not only politics."

"What they are talking about, or rather yelling about, is noise, the incredible background noise of a city crammed with 18 million people, and millions of drivers who always have one hand on the horn and a rules-free way of thinking."

"Noise - outrageous, unceasing, pounding noise - is the unnerving backdrop to a tense time in Egypt, as inflation and low wages have people worried about basic survival, prompting strikes and protests. We're not just talking typical city noise, but what scientists here say is more like living inside a factory."

"'It's not enough to make you crazy, but it is very tiring,' said Essam Muhammad Hussein, as he sat in a cracked plastic chair outside the corner food shop his family has owned for 50 years. He was shouting as he talked about the noise, though he did not seem to realize it."

"'What are we going to do?' he asked. 'Where is the way out?'"

Thanks to Jon Cecil, AICP

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Published on Monday, April 14, 2008 in The New York Times
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