Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Overnight curfew ends in Egypt

Egypt takes another step toward normalcy and says goodbye to the night curfew that has kept the Army from Jan. 29 to fight insecurity on the roads and streets Egypt after the revolution. In recent weeks, the curfew had been reduced to just three hours from 2:00 to 5:00 local time (00:00 and 03:00 GMT) - although it came to be in effect from 16:00 to 08:00 am local time (14:00 and 06:00 GMT) during the first days of demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak.

Even so, the prohibition to leave the streets at night is not affected by continuous activity of Cairo, where cars and people moving at night continued at a rate only slightly less intense than usual in the city where the shops never close and people walking on the bridges crossing the Nile at all times.

The businessman Mohamed Sobhi, who runs a tourist transport company, said that in recent months has been forced to turn away customers who wanted to travel during the hours that had developed under the curfew. "I'm afraid that if my drivers are someone during those hours the police will stop and have problems," he said.

However, Sobhi acknowledged that on occasion he was forced to move with the current curfew and had to stop at checkpoints the army: "They want to know why you're on the street, but also do not cause many problems, that many taxis and many people have followed out at night, "he said. The nightlife industry, whose revenue fell when the first restrictions were imposed for a night out, celebrating the lifting of the curfew.

One of the bars popular with expatriates and upper class Egyptian, Cairo Jazz Club, reduced income by half in recent months, and a co-owner, Amar Dajani, expected to increase again. "Now we open until three or four instead of close to two," Dajani said with satisfaction. The manager of the premises, where there is live music every night, said that its benefits are concentrated mainly in the small hours of the morning, so "to open one or two hours will make a big difference." On the other hand, the director of the wholesale travel agency Galaxy Tours, Mohamed Hassanein, said the curfew order have "a psychological effect for people who come, will make tourists feel at ease." "It gives an image of more tranquility in the country, although employers in the tourism sector does not affect us in any way for between two and five in the morning the tourists do not move," he said.

Although the Army did not explain the reason to lift the curfew now, businesses and citizens aimed at improving the security situation in the country. In addition, the arrival of the oppressive summer heat and Cairo takes most of its inhabitants to sleep during the day and take advantage of more moderate temperatures at night to work, run errands, eat and talk on any corner in the company of a shisha pipe or water and a cup of tea on fire.

"It is logical that arise, we will not throw us a lifetime with the curfew," said Hassanein, while Sobhi attributed to the measure an attempt by the government to "encourage tourists to return to Egypt back to normal. "

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