Cairo police remove street vendors
Street vendors - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Street vendors downtown “unprecedentedly” removed their goods off the streets and pavements as per police order Tuesday, Youm7 reported.

Several departments in Cairo Security Directorate jointly began a campaign Monday evening to remove street vendors from several squares in the capital.

Targeted areas include Roxy in Heliopolis, Abbas el-Akkad in Nasr City, Shubra, and from Metro stations as well starting from Maadi.

The campaign aims primarily to remove vendors from crammed streets to ease traffic digestion and also as part of plans to maintain security downtown Cairo. It would also restore the civilized appearance of Cairo, head of Cairo security directorate Ali al-Demerdash told Youm7.

Head of Street Vendors Syndicate Ahmed Hussein told Youm7 that the authorities evacuated some street vendors in a “securitized manner” and clashes may erupt if the police continue with “security provocation.”

Street vendors are against the idea, since it is their job and their only source of income. “Hire me as a dustman, hire me as anything because if I am hungry I will steal to feed my children,” a street vendor told Youm7.

Another young street vendor questioned whether they should “sell in the middle of the street or sell hash and steal?”

A market allocated for Cairo’s street vendors will be established on Galaa Street in the Ramses district, director of the General Administration of Cairo Facilities police Ibrahim al-Zayyat told Al-Ahram Massai newspaper in March.

Zayyat told Vetogate in April that the market on Galaa Street will have two floors and will accommodate the 2,000 street vendors in downtown Cairo, Ataba, and Ramses.

The police recorded the removal of more than 21,000 of street vendors in January and February in 2014 but most return once the police leave, Zayyat said.

Cairo governor Galal Saeed ordered another market be established for street vendors in the large slum settlement of Manshiyat Nasser on the outskirts of Cairo. It would be part of a plan to develop the area in cooperation with the slum development fund, Al-Wafd newspaper reported April 4.

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