The past few years weren't very kind to Egypt. Recovering from the economic turmoil that preceded the revolution of 2011 made things a lot difficult across the country. For a country of this scale and population count, the growth rates at this phase in any similar case should be way higher. While Cairo, being the capital of Egypt, has had its fair share of major improvements in terms of infrastructure, new roads, and foreign investments, other cities aren't as fortunate and don't get as much funding, with some exceptions.
Apparently the city of Ismailia, one of the main cities on the coast of Suez Canal, is on a different league. It has evolved significantly in the past 5 years with a completely new road network and a renovated existing one. Major commercial projects have appeared around the considerably small city, including shopping malls, hotels, and number of smaller businesses. In all my previous visits to Ismailia, it never seemed any special or different from other Egyptian cities, except for it being a laid back and mellow city.
Yet, it has evolved a lot while keeping its slow pace, peace of mind and relaxing nature. It’s also quite a green city with trees and vegetation almost everywhere you go. The streets are well maintained with older buildings maintaining their essence and newer ones respecting the city's skyline.
For me, the main attraction is their housing compounds, specially the one named "number 6". It offers a simple design with the space and greenery only seen in elite compounds at upscale neighborhoods in Cairo. The residential Villas dating back to the 1920s don't show their age, only class and authenticity, and simply walking along those streets is enough to put any weary mind to rest.
Im stunned by what Ismailia has become maintaining everything that makes a great city and developing the aspects that transform it into a monument amongst its peers. By far Ismailia is the least crowded Egyptian city I have seen so far, feels as if not enough people are occupying its space. The cleanliness, air quality, and picturesque nature make it a delight to live in Ismailia and be part of its greatness.
In the past I would always say to myself, if I could choose to live anywhere in Egypt it would never be Ismailia, but now after witnessing first hand what this city is capable of, I would definitely choose to live here, grateful for what this city has to offer.