Since the Six-day War of 1967 the mood of Egypt's capital, Cairo, has changed as the bustling tourist centre has had to adjust to varying economic military and governmental influences.
Since the Six-day War of 1967 the mood of Egypt's capital, Cairo, has changed as the bustling tourist centre has had to adjust to varying economic military and governmental influences. The closure of the Suez Canal seriously depressed the trading economies at a time when the country sought to increase development with the aid of Libyan capital. There has been a change of leadership, brought about by the death of President Nasser, and this together with a certain dependence on aid from countries such as the Soviet Union, has affected the city's outlook and appearance. There is evidence however of an industrial revival in Cairo, and of a desire to quicken the tempo once again.
On Tuesday (May 4) American Secretary of State William Rogers arrived in Cairo for crucial talks, with President Sadat, on terms for re-opening the Suez Canal and obtaining an overall peace settlement in the Middle-East. His visit could improve American's standing with Egypt which has not resumed diplomatic relations with America since the Six-day War. Mr Rogers is the first Secretary of State to visit Cairo since John Foster Dulls was there in 1953.
SYNOPSIS: During recent years this view of Cairo across the Nile River, which had been a popular front window for visiting thousands of tourists, revealed much greater evidence of military activity and troop emplacements than it does today. Elsewhere in the city there are other signs of a return to normality, and the prosperity known before the Six-day War of 1967. Although many air-raid shelters still exist there's further evidence of any additions to them. As well as more traditional forms of transport, there are more motor cars on the streets than ever before.
In Cairo's famous tourist area, like this bazaar, traders still feel acutely the closure of the Suez Canal, for when it was open many thousands of liner passengers arrived by sightseeing coaches and thronged the stalls. The traders still remember the large sums of money which changed hands in those days, and are anxious to see a return to this boom.
The aspirations of Egypt as laid down by the late President Nasser are, however, still constantly held before the city's people as the aims of the current regime. His aims were for Arab unity and the withdrawal of Israel from Arab lines. The army maintains a constant guard of honour outside Nasser's tomb. Spokesman for the army give constant assurances that its forces are stronger than ever before.
Many efforts are being made to bolster the country's self-confidence. With President Nasser's aims still so prominent in local thinking, any concessions for a Middle-East peace formula may be hard to win.