هنا القاهره – الاذاعه المصريه by merate barakat
Walking in downtown Cairo by merate barakat
Egypt’s Protests Day of Anger Riots 25 Jan 2011 by merate barakat
Every city has its own unique set of sounds. Historically, cities were built around a soundmark, for example the resonance of a church bell or the propagation of a calling for prayer. Any one that was living beyond the aural arena of this soundmark; meaning that they cannot hear it were not considered citizens of that town. Soundmarks can vary, for example, a modern day sound like the yogurt seller calling with the same tune (Zabaady) every day at 4 o’clock like clockwork, or the cotton candy seller’s horn. These people are sound marks of a whole range of communities within a city like Alexandria. With the introduction of technology, another set of soundmarks that are unique to Egypt is “Hona El Qahira” the standard radio sounds that could be heard from any cafe’ or taxi driving by.
People that live in the same area and are subjected to the same set of sounds, may they be rich or poor, old or young, or even of different religions ; all recognize these sounds as ‘home’. Studies have proven that with the right aural heritage, habitants of the region all feel a sense of belonging to a community, and national pride upon hearing these soundmarks. With the increase in population, rapid technology advances, and the attenuated roar of undesirable sounds (i.e. noise), our aural heritage has been over cast and now barely heard. My idea is to revive the sense of home and community, as well as, to enhance national pride through resurrecting our long lost aural heritage, and finding new soundmarks that are unique to Egypt. I intend to discuss the many ways to achieve this goal; whether it is through arts and architecture, technology, politics, and even religion.
During the time of discontinuity in our heritage, Egypt lost its unique and identifiable aural soundmarks, and with it the Egyptians lost their national pride. After January 25 2011, our national pride was resurrected but still the communal cohesion is still young. I believe there are many ways to remedy this and through amplifying aural heritage subconsciously the differences will dissipate, leaving the Egyptian main stream moving as steady and forward as the persistent Nile.