“One of my happiest moments, one that absolutely makes my day, is aback I can get out of a parking atom after the parking accessory [the sayes, plural soyas] acquainted me. Admitting it is abandoned LE5 or LE10 which I save, it makes me as blessed as if I had fabricated it through a robbery,” Ahmed Samir, a Cairo resident, told Al-Ahram Weekly.
Samir, a 38-year-old accountant, said he formed in the accommodation Mohandessin commune of Cairo in which he has to accord with a sayes on a circadian basis. “My assignment doesn’t acquire parking spaces, and so I pay about LE150 to LE200 per ages to the sayes to booty affliction of things for me, but bluntly it is not his appropriate to booty the money. He doesn’t deserve it because he does nothing, and anyhow it isn’t absolutely a job —it’s added a anatomy of blackmail,” Samir said.
Few Cairo drivers acquire not been psychologically or financially abused by a sayes, who — in the best of cases —directs them to a acceptable parking atom or assists them in accepting out of a parking atom in a awash street, or — in the affliction of cases — aloof stands there implying that he owns the artery through his agitated duke gestures.
Though the sayes abnormality has become a accustomed one in abounding of Cairo’s alive neighbourhoods, the fees he asks for are not the aforementioned from one commune to accession or sometimes according to the car the sayes takes allegation of. In some cases, they can beat LE30.
Islam Essam, a 35-year-old salesperson, deals with a sayes every day aback he drives his car. “I was already with my wife and her sister on a airing in the Al-Hussein breadth of Cairo breadth one rarely finds a parking spot. And out of boilerplate a sayes appeared and asked me to leave the car keys and pay LE30 in beforehand for his services. I banned to leave the keys and anchored the car myself and told him I would pay aback I came back,” Essam said.
Later, aback he came back, the sayes began to appearance some roughness, apparently absent to “make me abhorrence his blowing abnormally because I was accompanied by two women,” Essam said. “I told him I would abandoned pay LE10, which he didn’t acquire and began to blast berserk on the windshield of the car. I got out of the car and started a action with him and my wife rushed to alarm a adjacent policeman who let me go after advantageous a pound,” Essam added.
“They [the parking attendants] affirmation to be working, but in actuality they are unfairly demography our money. Some of them are little bigger than thugs,” he said.
Noha Ismail, 40, says she hardly anytime finds a parking atom in Cairo after seeing a sayes continuing aing to it. “They are proliferating, and their cardinal increases every day. They acquire become one of the best annoying appearance of Cairo’s streets. For me, they are not accouterment a account but abandoned authoritative me feel close aback parking my car. Their choir afflict me alike if they are declared to be giving me instructions to advice me park,” Ismail said.
Marwa Fouad, 27, said she abandoned pays the sayes to abstain his afflictive her. “He [the sayes] is useless,” Fouad said. “He not abandoned distracts me aback I am aggravating to esplanade the car, but he additionally frightens me. I debris to leave my car keys with an alien sayes, and I would abandoned do so to valets in assertive parking areas. I abandoned pay parking fees aback I accommodated a sayes to abstain aggravation and intimidation,” she said.
The disruption of the sayes is not a botheration for Mustafa Imam, 29, however, who said he can abstain such annoying guidance. “My botheration is aback I esplanade my car myself with no sayes, and again he appears from boilerplate in advanced of the car aback I am driving, adage ‘Happy New Year,’ which has no acceptation but is abandoned an adumbration that he is allurement for some money,” Imam said.
He added that he paid annihilation and aloof said “Happy New Year to you too.”
As a aftereffect of complaints about the growing abnormality of the sayes in the streets of the capital, the Ministry of Interior has afresh launched an action allurement bodies to abode any they see and not to pay a distinct pound. It has apprenticed bodies to alarm a hotline at 136 to abode such incidents and artlessly to airing abroad from them.
Although ambidextrous with a sayes can be mentally and financially backbreaking for about all drivers, some acquire they are useful. Sally, a 21-year-old university student, said that a sayes could be advantageous for new drivers. “I aloof got my active licence, and I depend on a sayes to esplanade the car,” Sally said. “I apperceive that he is annoying to some, but in my case he is advantageous and he deserves the money he asks for,” she said.
Amany Abdel-Halim, a 45-year-old employee, agreed about the account of her sayes. “I leave my car for eight hours every day during my work, and acknowledgment to the sayes it is kept safe. Sometimes I access at assignment aloof on time, and I acquire no time to chase for a parking atom so I leave the car and the key with him to let him esplanade it,” Abdel-Halim said.
Mohamed Yassin additionally said he anticipation a sayes could sometimes be advantageous because “he makes a parking atom abide from nowhere, blame and affairs added anchored cars.” This could be acutely useful, abnormally in blitz hours, Yassin said.
A SPREADING PHENOMENON
In a country breadth the cardinal of cartage accomplished about 10 actor — 2.5 actor in Cairo — by the end of 2017, according to the Axial Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS), award a parking atom has become a circadian attempt for many.
This could be allotment of the adventure abaft the advance of the sayes, according to specialists, admitting there are additionally amusing and bread-and-er affidavit abaft the phenomenon.
Samia Khedr, a folklore assistant at Ain Shams University in Cairo, said that one acumen abaft the abnormality was that “there is anarchy in Egypt’s streets.” “One of the characteristics of this anarchy was aback the administering of anniversary governorate accustomed landowners to annihilate villas and baby residential barrio and assemble residential architecture instead after abundant parking spaces to board such a cardinal of flats or people,” she said.
“The artery may acquire been hosting four cars accompanying to the villa, but that cardinal becomes at atomic 40 for a residential tower,” Khedr told the Weekly.
“There is no affair for accord and planning aback the governorate allows bartering activities to accessible in such residential towers, like shops, banks and cafes with no parking areas committed to them. From actuality comes congestion, with the accretion cardinal of cars arch artlessly to the actualization of accession who helps drivers to park. The closing again become accountable to accord with him [the sayes] to bouncer the car or assure them from cartage fines as a aftereffect of parking in banned spots,” she said.
Egypt’s unemployment bulk is currently 9.9 per cent and benightedness was about 25 per cent in 2017, according to CAPMAS. Rural benightedness ante angle at about 32.2 per cent, admitting in burghal areas they are 17.7 per cent.
Khedr said that added clearing from rural areas to the cities had aggravated the problem. “Residents of Upper Egypt and rural areas drift to Cairo in chase of work. Given that they are unemployed and the majority of them are uneducated, they can acquisition no bigger job than alive as a sayes,” she said, abacus that this could explain the access in numbers.
Mahmoud, 56, has been alive as a sayes for 25 years in city Cairo. “I acquire no added circadian income. I acquire four bedridden children. I don’t assignment to access my added assets because this is my abandoned antecedent of income,” Mahmoud told the Weekly.
Regarding complaints by drivers about ambidextrous with a sayes, with some anecdotic them as “thugs”, Mahmoud replied that “they [the drivers] could be right. A ample allotment are abrupt and greedy. They are not annoyed with LE5 and generally ask for more. I already was parking my motorcycle in the Attaba district, and the sayes there asked me to pay LE10,” Mahmoud said, abacus that he had banned to pay.
Amr Mohamed, 28, has been alive as a sayes back he was 16 years old. “I affiliated this profession from my father. I acquire three children, and I pay for my mother’s medical analysis because she has no alimony due to my father’s job. I am uneducated, and this is the abandoned assignment I can do,” Mohamed said.
He frowned aback faced by drivers’ complaints, adage that “I accommodate parking spots and parking guidance, and I assure cars. In return, I appeal a little money for my services,” he said. “How could I be a blackmailer aback I am attention their cars? Moreover, the badge apperceive absolutely who we are and acquire our IDs with them,” he added.
Mohamed, who works four or bristles hours and earns LE50 to LE60 per day, said that “I would accede to assignment at any added job, if one was available.”
Ismail, a 50-year-old sayes who works in Mohandessin, said that fees could be imposed for parking or alike acts of demolition in case of the abnegation of a driver. “Such abandoned acts acquire fabricated some drivers call us as thugs, but this does not represent us all,” Ismail said.
Said, 40, is from the Upper Egyptian governorate of Qena and originally migrated to Cairo with his ancestors to assignment in a aegis column but instead became a sayes in the Dokki district.
“Because I am amenable for a ancestors of four, I had to attending for assignment afterward the aegis company’s abnegation me. I aboriginal formed as a attendant in one of the Dokki residential barrio and again gradually began to ablution the cars in advanced of the architecture and organise parking. Again I began to bung a chicken anhydrate over my acquire and put a blare annular my close to become a sayes for bisected of the barrio in the street,” Said said, abacus that he becoming about LE80 per day.
Elsewhere in the Nasr City district, Gamal, 46, works as a sayes at night and a aegis bouncer in the morning in one of the adjacent companies. “In the ablaze of the poor bread-and-er altitude and the aerial bulk of living, I had to chase for added jobs to access my LE1,800 bacon as I acquire two children,” Gamal said.
In acknowledgment to questions about how he chose the breadth and who determines prices, Gamal said that “on my way to assignment every day I noticed a abode breadth a lot of cars were parked, and from there I got the idea, as nowadays there is a sayes in every corner. Artlessly because I acquainted as if I had no added choices, I didn’t alternate to be a sayes,” Gamal said.
“As for prices, anniversary artery in anniversary neighbourhood has its own sayes who controls it, and he determines the bulk of anniversary parking spot. In adjustment to abstain actuality appear to the police, I aboriginal acclimated to acquire any bulk of money, alike it was aloof LE1 or LE2, but now I don’t acquire beneath than LE5,” he said.
Due to the access in the cardinal of bodies alive as sayes with no law acclimation the profession, MPs acquire amorphous to abode the abnormality to put an end to any bullying.
In April, MP Mamdouh Maklad submitted a abstract law acclimation the assignment of the sayes, with this again actuality accustomed by parliament’s Bounded Administering Committee.
Maklad said that the abstract law aimed at organising parking lots in adjustment to put an end to acts of blowing in the streets. This afflicted the angel of Egypt, he said, and as a aftereffect the law had had to footfall in.
“Over contempo years, the sayes has become a annoyance that harms the Egyptian accompaniment as able-bodied as citizens and tourists, abnormally because the sayes works alfresco accompaniment control. He may alike backpack out acts of thuggery, and accordingly the new law has become a necessity,” Maklad told the Weekly.
“The abstract law was submitted beforehand this year, and the Bounded Administering Board accustomed it in April. Now it is awaiting final approval. Afterward the approval of the board the abstract was declared to be discussed by the General Board of the parliament, but because there were added burning laws it was adjourned to the new aldermanic affair that starts in October,” Maklad said.
The new law obliges the accompaniment to adapt parking spaces and the timing and appraisement of fees. Maklad said it would crave the arising of alive licences through tenders for clandestine aegis companies operating in anniversary neighbourhood.
“It will advance to a win-win situation. The accompaniment will financially account from the tenders. The aborigine will account from the new organisation of parking spots and alienated the blowing of the sayes because his assignment will now be supervised. And assuredly the sayes himself will account from the legalisation of his work, and he will additionally adore a abiding assets and amusing insurance,” Maklad said.
The law establishes a board in anniversary governorate to adapt the profession of the sayes and parking areas. A sayes charge not be adolescent than 21 years of age, charge apperceive how to apprehend and write, and charge acquire a accurate driver’s licence in adjustment to access the profession. In addition, he charge acquire a bloom affidavit issued by the argumentative or axial laboratories of the Ministry of Health, advertence that he has not been application analgesic drugs, and he charge acquire a apple-pie bent record.
The abstract law is a ray of achievement for the sayes, about all of whom acquire accustomed the abstract as it will let them assignment in a safer atmosphere. “I accede to assignment beneath the law provided that it will not let others assignment in my parking area,” Mohamed, a sayes in city Cairo, said. “My antecedent of assets is threatened because I don’t assignment with a licence. The law will accommodate me with a acknowledged identity,” Gamal said.
However, Khedr believes that the law abandoned will not break the phenomenon. “It is a circuitous botheration with abounding affidavit abaft it, and relying on the law abandoned will abode the furnishings of the botheration not its causes. We charge await on added than one solution,” the folklore assistant said.
“We should focus on greater burghal planning and harmony. The bounded administrations should not accord architecture licences for residential architecture after abundant parking spaces, and the aforementioned should be the case for shops, banks and cafés in residential neighbourhoods.”
“There should be added efforts fabricated to acquisition applied solutions to abate the unemployment ante in added governorates and appropriately abate clearing rates. There should additionally be a greater acquaintance of the problems of citizenry growth,” Khedr said.
*A adaptation of this commodity appears in book in the 25 October, 2018 copy of Al-Ahram Weekly beneath the headline: Alienated dictators of the streets
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