Thursday June 1st, 2023
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7 Reasons Why Cairo Traffic is a Blessing in Disguise

In his Cairo Scene debut, Adham Abdelsalam pits Egyptian traffic as fool proof, robber proof, hacker proof, and even therapeutic at times!

Staff Writer

Along with the likes of Jakarta, Mexico City, and Bangkok, Cairo is somewhat notorious for its big, stinky traffic jams. In fact, our city is now becoming so crowded that we are planning to build a new one. But whereas many of the world's most congested cities retain some semblance of order, in Cairo, anything goes. And while this is enough to scare the living daylights out of tourists, to the average Cairene, the city's traffic can actually provide vital life training. Here are seven reasons why Cairo's traffic may actually be a blessing in disguise:

Hacker proof

No computer hacker will ever be able to hack the Egyptian traffic light grid to facilitate a crime or a getaway because:

  • there is no grid aslan
  • there aren't really any traffic lights, and 80 percent of those that do exist don’t work or are stuck blinking yellow
  • even if there were functioning traffic lights and a grid, Egyptians wouldn't give a fuck anyway

Photo by AndySerrano

Robber Proof

 The gridlock will make any potential bank robber who wishes to use a getaway vehicle think twice, because by the time they have finished looting, they will in all likelihood find their car trapped behind two others who are double- and triple-parked.

Fool Proof

The sporadic nature of driving in Egypt helps keep you alert. You never know what may happen, which keeps you focused, and you'll never be bored out of your mind driving in a straight line.

The Perfect Excuse

Having remained stationary for at least half an hour of your journey, you will have a totally legit, relatable, and justifiable excuse for being late to anything.

Welcome to the Dark Side

Driving in Cairo teaches you jedi-like agility and reflexes. Think 18-wheelers backing up on the exit ramp of da2ery, pot holes (or, more likely in our case, massive-ass gaping holes in the middle of the highway), delivery bikes whizzing by everywhere, old men driving on the left side of the road,  cars honking behind you, and screaming kids in the back seat. Through it all, you need to keep your shit together and maneuver your car in a snake like fashion between all the surrounding obstacles.

Inspires Creativity

Cairo's traffic pays homage to the rebels, the free thinkers, and the revolutionaries. It doesn’t expect you to drive like a mindless drone, keeping to the designated lanes and parking spaces. Here, you have a choice: you can drive in the lane, between lanes, on the line, or hell, even on the side walk if you're up for it!


Your journeys in Cairo help you through the three psychological stages of acceptance:

  • Panic - "ohhhh FUCK, I'm going to be late!"
  • Blind rage. Wanting to smash everything and everyone in your way, and seriously contemplating killing the fucker driving at 45KM/h in the left lane who, when you signal for them to get out of the way, they respond by slowing down even more and turning on their left blinker, as if to say, “mesh mashy ka3ed 3ala 2lbak we a3la ma fi kheilak erkaboh"
  • Acceptance. "You know what? Haye7sal eeh ya3ni if I am late? Or if don’t make it aslan? Elkheira feema ekhtaroh Allah."