Selling on Cairo streets

Adel Heine
2 Min Read

The streets of Cairo are littered with small, independent businesses. The transactions are done from wooden carts, small tables or sheets of cardboard and the merchandise varies from tea, juice and baked potatoes to shoes, clothes and everything in between.

You can find them at busy thoroughfares, under bridges, by traffic lights and at events where more than ten people are expected. They can set up in minutes and territories are defended and squabbled over when colleagues selling similar wares try to set up close to their competition.

With many people struggling to survive from one day to the next, the amount of vendors eking out an existence by trying to sell four pairs of shipship and seven white cotton T-shirts is increasing.

Not everyone is happy with those selling their wares wherever they can; traffic is brutal and they take up valuable metres of tarmac and passersby get tired of ignoring the calls to check out what is for sale. Verbal altercations are par for the course and physical confrontations are no longer exceptions. The powers that be have little love for the vendors and often forcibly move them from their chosen perch with little civility.

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DNE Art & Culture, and Lifestyle Editor
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