Cario – We’re Back
As we peer out of the paperback sized windows of the plane, we can see the mountains popping up in the vast desert horizon. Our descent into Cairo is speckled with bite sized pyramids and clear skies for as far as the eye can see.
Once the plane touched down, we noticed a red carpet rolled out onto the runway leading to the “royal terminal”.
Instant anxiety hits as we enter the airport, as it always does. Cairo International Airport always seems to bring this on. The rush for the immigration line, the lack of communication from the airport officials, the carousel that keeps going around and around and still no sight of our luggage; it’s all part of the experience of being here.
Once we finally find the driver holding the sign with our name on it, we are ushered out through a sea of eager drivers and con-men. A security official totting a handgun stops our driver as we load the luggage into the truck which is nearly filled already due to the natural gas tank that crowds the tiny space.
Something must be going on here today.
As we swerve through the chaos that is the Cairo streets, we noticed hundreds of police and army men lining the sidewalks, each facing away from the road. Some are staring directly at brick walls as if they are waiting for a brick to step out of line so they can beat it back into place with their batons. A screaming homeless woman is dragged out of the grass by two uniformed men. Amidst the sputtering Fiats, the clattering Peugeots, and seemingly homemade vehicles, billboards of Hosni Mubarak glare down on every block like a scene from 1984.
That’s when it hit us. He was landing at the same time we were. The cab driver confirmed this and we were fully aware of the sort of fear and public control that comes with the arrival of the President.
We finally made it downtown and into our new apartment for the week. It is a beautiful place smack dab in the heart of the madness. With the clouds of exhaust and blaring horns outside, we somehow escape into a peaceful place that we will call “home” for the remainder of our trip.
Tomorrow morning we are back to work scheduling meetings, planning shoots, and executing the dream.
Just another week in the life of documentary filmmakers.