copy Excellent Adventures in Egypt

Enter here to share Joni's adventures living and working in Cairo courtesy of the U.S. Fulbright cultural exchange program. Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and test of our civilization. - Mahatma Ghandi


This is the building in which Eman's family has their flat. Like the Helmy's, many people in Egypt rent apartments on a virtually permanent basis, with relatively unbreakable leases (much like rent-controlled apartments in New York). This has contributed to the dire housing shortage in Egypt - some people hold on to empty apartments for years, until the time their children grow up and need a home of their own. (One well-informed person I spoke with here estimated the number kept out of the housing market due to this phenomenon as around 1 million units.) This quasi-ownership also seems to provide a disincentive for maintenance of common spaces: stairways and foyers often have broken windows, deteriorating flooring and walls with chunks of molding missing. If you are a landlord, why pay for maintenance if you can't raise the rent and you don't have to worry about attracting new tenants? Posted by Hello


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