16 April 2008


::image via flickr

There was an interesting article about Cairo's noise level in the New York Times recently.
"We’re not just talking typical city noise," the article says, "but what scientists here say is more like living inside a factory."
After five years of study, scientists concluded that the average noise in Cairo from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. is 85 decibels, a bit louder than a freight train only 15 feet away. But this 85 dB is only the average across the day and across the city. At several locations it is far worse. There the noise often reaches 95 decibels, which is only slightly quieter than standing next to a jackhammer.
::image via flickr
In general terms, the noise is a symptom of an increasingly unmanageable city, crowded far beyond its original capacity, officials at the National Research Center said. The main culprit is the two million cars, and drivers who jam the city roads every day.

But also, Egyptians like to live loud, preferring community to private space, mourning a death and celebrating a wedding with a good dose of noise. Muezzins call from loudspeakers in the minarets of thousands of mosques in the city...

The number of inhabitants is increasing, so are the honking horns and people which don't even realize that they were shouting not speaking...