We may not have a road system like the Dutch and cycling in Cairo may seem like an impossible feat but on a Friday the city is filled with bicycling groups who take advantage of the lack of traffic and the early morning weather. This Friday, Cairo University cycles to raise awareness for breast cancer.
The event is organised by Cairo University’s International Model European Union (IMEU), as the internal public relations committee has to organise a campaign for the benefit of society as part of the model’s activities.
Nadine Hassan, head of the committee said “this is the first event of many we will organise and the goal is to raise awareness about breast cancer. Philanthropy is part of what we do and we wanted to focus on health and happiness. We first started with a Facebook page that gave people daily tips on health and happiness and then we decided to focus on breast cancer. When we organised the cycling event, we thought the profit we make should go to a good cause.”
Hassan says Egypt lacks awareness of breast cancer, “in Egypt, some people may be well into their 30s before they get checked for breast cancer for the first time and then discover they have an advanced stage. We wanted to highlight the fact that men are at risk of getting breast cancer as well.”
Bescletta, Cairo’s high-end bike shop, will provide attendees with 150 free bikes for the event but those who have their own bike are encouraged to use them. “Bescletta gave us the bikes for free, in exchange for setting up a booth in the political science and economics department of Cairo University to deliver a one-hour awareness lecture on cycling. The number of bikes went up from 100 to 150 due to demand,” said Hassan.
The route will take participants from the Cairo University gate to Mourad Street, the Opera House in Zamalek, the Gezira Sporting Club and then back again. “We have 150 bicycles so we can do two routes where more than 150 people can join in or we can use 50 bicycles at a time, we still have not decided,” said Hassan.
To participate in the event, attendees had to register on the event’s Facebook page and pay a fee of EGP 35, which goes to the benefit of breast cancer. Though the event’s registration has been closed, IMEU plans on organising more events throughout the year.
“We also have the Breast Cancer Foundation of Egypt who have contacted us and who will provide information on the day of the event and will cycle with us in support of the cause,” said Hassan.
The event will start at 7.30 am on Friday in front of Cairo University’s main gate.