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  • Writer's picture Ahmed Elkhouly

The Shift From Green to Grey..

Egypt has always been a country with an economy based on agriculture, but not anymore. Egypt is also a well targeted destination for tourists with its pharaonic, coptic, and Islamic heritage scatters along the length of the Nile. Tourism also plays a huge role in the Egyptian economy along with the Suez Canal and diverse industries. The common theme between the cities that I have visited till now, is that farm lands are shrinking.

Year after year, the area that was once completely dedicated to agriculture is converted into areas for residential buildings. Without substitute, every lot of land destroyed is no longer a productive element of Egypt’s agricultural machine. Crops like cotton, wheat, rice, and corn that were once Egypt’s source of pride and profit, today it’s a different story. The rapid change of cities from green to grey in a race to invest in Realestate rather than put the effort in growing new life is the current state.

Whole streets now were only a few years ago vast farm lands, producing all sorts of crops every year. The banks of the nile that were once covered in green are now mostly residential towers. The Nile is a gift from God to the people living around it, it cuts though a tough desert, breathing life wherever it flows. The ever growing Egyptian population is in need of every ounce of food our green lands can produce.

I do not wish to mourn the fallen, but celebrate the living, show the strength of those who inspite of looking straight into the eyes of temptation, choose to sustain their heritage. Those that put in the effort regardless of the heat or cold, regardless of the seat and blood. Those with hands that are stained with silt of the Nile. These hands that are washed by water flowing to irrigate their crops. The people that wake up at before dawn every morning to work hard, harder than anyone else to grow food for the rest of us.

Those who have chosen the rural life, chosen to serve their land despite of the world changing around them. They refuse to sell out their ancestors trade for an easy profit. They are the warm smile of the Nile, they are the tanned faces of Egyptian, and the cracked dry hands of labour. I consider them to be my true family and truly worthy of being called Egyptian sons of the Nile.

I wish everyone could see the beauty and sacrifice in what they offer, and I pray for their well being. Learning what I’ve learned so far from traveling across Egypt has taught me to respect things I never truly understood until recently. I feel proud to be an Egyptian knowing that my fellow citizens are not the ones creating chaos or showing violence or lack of culture but rather hard working souls serving the community in their own magical way.


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