Things Fall Apart
"We are people who don’t do things unless someone is there to make us do it," said Essam Qassem, a cabdriver fighting his way along Hassan Sabry Street in the well-to-do area of Zamalek. "We don’t comply with rules on our own."The corrosive effect of different rules for the rich and well-connected....
But people here say drivers’ lawless nature is not without a reason. These same traffic police officers assigned to make traffic move are also ordered to make traffic stop. They close the streets so Mr. Important does not have to tolerate the indignity of traffic. That makes people mad.
That sense of injustice, felt by the common man stuck for hours in deadlocked traffic, fuels disregard for the law in general, people said.
"The problem of Egypt is not that the Egyptian people do not like order," said Salah Eissa, editor of Al Qahira, a weekly newspaper published by the Ministry of Culture. "It is the problem of making exceptions in enforcing this order -- and this applies to traffic. It is something that provokes Egyptians and pushes them to think that since it is all a question of bullying, then every man to himself and everyone becomes a bully."