The first few years of a baby’s life are of course vital – stick with us for a second, this will all makes sense soon. A child’s perception of the world around him or her is something that is barely tangible, but can go on to shape the rest of life as they know it.
March 2013 marks the triumphant third anniversary of Cairo 360 and the similarities between us and a three year-old child aren’t that different. Like a toddler, we stumble across the world around us with little caution, slowly putting one foot in front of the other, ready to explore everything weird and wonderful. And not unlike a three year-old, we have spent much of your young lives putting inedible things in our mouths, throwing hissy fits and taking mid-afternoon naps.
Baby comparisons aside, Cairo 360 was founded on one principle: to make getting around Cairo easy and to inject fun into what is a notoriously unpredictable city. There’s so much to see and do, but flow of information can be erratic. This is where we come in. From the city’s eclectic restaurants, to the quintessential cafés and ahwas that recall a simpler time; we don’t leave one stone unturned. Think of us as a buffer, so to speak; we always strive to find the good, the bad and the downright bizarre and always encourage our readers to do the same.
But we can only feed off of what Cairo serves up and luckily for everyone involved, this is a city that doesn’t stop moving and evolving. The January 25th Revolution saw a huge boom in local arts and culture; a phenomenon that has served to form the best kind of symbiotic relationship between media and the arts. Just one look at the Cairo 360 events calendar tells you all you need to know. From the best young local artists, to Egypt’s established art pioneers – everyone is winning. Even our neighbours in the Middle East are finding renewed value in Egypt’s newly regained cultural identity.
It’s extended to music, too; no longer will Egypt be pegged for the banal Rotana-produced brand of pop. Local bands, taking influence from a range of both eastern and western inspirations, are in high demand and Cairo nightlife has been a perfect platform from which these hoards of talented musicians, singers and writers can reach an audience that can truly digest and absorb their artistic merits.
If there’s one thing you can say about the Egyptian people, it’s that they are go-getters, never resting on their laurels. Cairo’s shopping scene continues to sprout, from both inside and out. While we continue to see the world’s best brands land on these shores, local entrepreneurs have been just as impactful, often celebrating Egyptian heritage through everything from beauty products and home accessories to fashion and food products.
With this freshly found sense of worth, Cairenes have slowly welcomed alternative health and fitness to mainstream consciousness as well. Practitioners of yoga, Pilates and Zumba, for example, have increased tenfold and with that has come a whole new perspective; one that will continue to enrich Cairo’s residents and visitors alike.
Tourism has unfairly taken a knock or two over the last few years but the grace of Cairo's sights and travel remain intact. Some of Cairo’s museums and historical sites are in dire need of much attention and care, but for all the fear mongering, nothing can wash away the huge historical significance of Cairo’s antiquities and unique hospitality.
It all comes full-circle; a happy, active Cairo means a happy, active, slightly overworked, Cairo 360. As an online publication, we’ve never been more proud to carry the Cairo name and champion everything that the city has to offer. 2013 has already been a good year for Cairo 360. We launched into a bigger beast than before, with a new sleek, easy-to-use interface and hundreds of new features, additions and improvements.
The most essential building block of this is, of course, you, the Cairo 360 reader. Without the thousands of Cairenes who log on and keep coming back, who knows what would have become of Cairo 360 – so give yourselves a well-deserved pat on the back.
We’ve only clocked up three years and it’s been a hell of a ride, but we don’t rest on our laurels either. Cairo and Egypt are budding into something special and we’ll be here for a long time to come, reporting on everything this city and this country, has to offer.