|Al-Ahram Weekly On-line
20 - 26 August 1998
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875||Current issue | Previous issue | Site map|
A bridge too far
There are often rumours of big projects being un-ertaken; then nothing is heard until the in-uguration, invariably attended by senior officials who give the impression that they are the people be-ind these projects. Following suit, the history books attribute these achievements to them. Carried away by the celebrations, we often forget the workers, whose back-breaking work is the real reason the projects are implemented. I have had a different sort of experience with Cairo's 6th of October Bridge during the construction of its new extension, which will take it to Salah Salem Street and Nasr City. Each day, on my way to work, I pass by the project at approximately 9.00am. So I have witnessed its growth as though I were watching a child grow up.
It was highly enjoyable to watch the great multitude of hard-hatted workers and engineers appearing every day, each putting aside his own personal problems to play his role as part of the whole. I realised that some people contribute to the development of this country even without knowing it, and without the theorising that intellectuals are fond of. They work at all times, even when it is unbearably hot. They put their backs but also their very souls into the job.
*This week's Soapbox speaker is director of the Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies.