Locked down in Cairo, I’m forced to confront my past – and see it with fresh eyes | Nesrine Malik

The things I wanted to escape as a student in the city now seem like all that is precious about life

From noon till sunset, the Cairo skies are dotted with kites. The schools have been shut for months now, and so the children began to fly kites. The few green spaces in the city are closed, the usually clogged streets and pavements less crowded, but the skies grow busier every day.

It all happened quickly here. I was in Cairo when the first cases of coronavirus were identified on cruise ships in March. There were no drawn-out deliberations over whether to lock down or not, no appeals from scientists. Once it was confirmed that Covid-19 was in the country, the government imposed a partial lockdown and closed the airports.

Related: ‘The virus comes for us’: capturing the Covid-19 crisis facing Egypt’s poor

Continue reading…