Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The police are everywhere! We've been to five universities since we've arrived, and armed personnel and paddy wagons (anywhere from 1-3 vehicles) have been stationed at the main gates to all the public universities (higher education in Egypt is free – with the exception of AUC – where I saw the most guards). The one exception was the Future University – a for-profit private school established to serve the wealthy families of the New Cairo Developments. In contrast to the public universities, with their aging infrastructure, inadequate facilities and low-paid faculty (some universities have around ¼ million students) – the new private universities look like space age monstrosities: the one I visited was built in the shape of the Roman Coliseum, but with silver steel accents and blue tinted windows. In addition to the campus installations, there's lookout towers everywhere (although the windows are so dirty I don't see how they do much looking). There's also guards stationed along the expressways, up on perches that make them level with the road (they're in little white cubbies that remind me of something you'd find in the children's reading room at a library).
Posted by Bint Al-Beltway at 2:08 PM