- Life Style
Up until last Thursday, I had never been to Mansoura, the capital of Daqahlia Governorate.
Although my father is from a little town near by, we had never taken the trip out to see our distant relatives, still living in ‘al-balad’ (the country). But an event cropped up – a wedding – and we found ourselves barreling off into the Egyptian Delta.
The road to Mansoura presents the traveller with considerable variety, both in terms of environment and traffic safety. Taking a turn off the ring road, you will find yourself on the Alexandria Agricultural Road, surrounded by massive trucks and probably pretty happy someone else is driving. To get to Mansoura, you pass through Mit Ghamr, a town filled with farmers and factory workers. You pass the turning for Tanta and continue on to Daqahlia, at which point everything turns a lush and beautiful green.
The road through Daqahlia to Mansoura runs along a canal that is connected with the Nile. It's not your average Mansouriya canal, bordered by trash and decaying animals, but a large, fast-flowing, blue, mini-river, surrounded by lush greenery. On the other side of the road, you’ll find a patchwork of fields – corn, grapes, and bright green crops, adorned with the occasional scarecrow sporting a red galabeya.
The entrance of Mansoura is marred by farmland that is transforming into residential land; brownish green patches that are slowly transforming into highrise buildings. A little further into the city, you get a sense of the casualness of life in Mansoura; cafes are full, families lunch in little restaurants along the main road.
But it is perhaps Mansoura at night that holds the most magic. Along the several waterfronts, one finds a number of syndicate-related clubs connected to the policing, electricity and engineering communities, while the Mansoura residents gather for weddings, birthdays and other events.
In Mansoura, the air is clean and the streets on a Thursday night see more people on foot than in cars.