This sense of harmony unusual in a city like Cairo was nevertheless overshadowed in mid-June when the ever-suspicious Egyptian authorities launched a surreal campaign against kites for reasons of “security” and as a “threat against the National security”.
In June, a deputy and member of the Parliament’s defense and national security committee even went so far as to assure to the mockery of social networks that the kites could be equipped with cameras to photograph and record sensitive facilities in the country.
The offensive by the authorities came after some tragic incidents involving kites had occurred in the previous weeks, such as falling buildings, electrocutions, drowning and lethal brawls that resonated in the local press.
Despite being isolated accidents, some deputies demanded measures to face the danger that this pastime represents in their eyes.
In a matter of days police came to requisition and destroy more than 1,500 kites in Cairo alone, and about 300 in Alexandria as reported by the Arab BBC at the time.
Now, those who dare to play where they should not also risk fines of between 300 and 1,000 pounds (16 and 55 euros), a figure by no means insignificant in a country where the average annual family income is around 3,200 euros.
On the same bridge at the University, another 22-year-old Mohamed says that he has been playing with kites for a decade, but admits that he does so more often with the coronavirus.