Ma’adi is Cairo’s Bronxville. Or St. John’s Wood, Chevy Chase or Neuilly. A leafy suburb. Twenty-five years ago it was villas, on numbered roads. Well it still has the numbered roads, which now go up to 280+. I haven’t figured out the rationale behind the numerical organization of the streets and so I am useless at figuring out how, say, Road 251 relates to Road 9 or Road 200. Many of the lovely villas of the 1920s have been torn down, replaced with low-rise and high-rise apartment blocks.
We live in one of these newish apartment buildings in a floor-through apartment, or at least that’s what I think New Yorkers call it. Like everywhere in Cairo, there is dirt and dust. And noise and pollution. Ma’adi gets off as lightly as anywhere and we are above most of the street noise.
In springtime Ma’adi comes into its own with flowering trees lining the streets. I think these are a variety of the Flame Tree, in Latin Delonix regia, but here in Cairo they are called Flamboyant. They certainly are.