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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Guest Post: Cairo Pet Owners by

Hello Cairo Pet Owners!

It's a sunny day in Zamalek and I'm working on my pets website,

I'm a journalist and (bad) playwright from New York living in Cairo.  I have one fabulous dog that I brought with me. She's lived in NYC, New Orleans, Dublin and now Cairo. Lulu is better traveled than many people I know? I also have two cats that my partner and I adopted from the mean streets of Maadi.

Dogs, Cats, Horses and More in Cairo

Having lived here over a year, I've struggled a bit to find good vets, pet shops, kennels and other services for my dog and cats. To fill the need, I've created a website that aims to put all the info on one handy site; cats, dogs, birds, horses and others.  There are forums for pet-owners to talk to each other, extensive listings for vets and pet shops, kennels, plus a place to review the services that you have used.  Everyone wants to find a good vet - it is great to see how others before you have fared with a certain practice.

Animal Welfare and Volunteering in Cairo

Animal welfare issues are high on my list of priorities too. Using my experience as a volunteer coordinator, I have created a volunteer program at S.P.A.R.E., a local animal shelter. There are opportunities to travel with a group out to the location and spend some time at the clinic, doing some chores and playing with the animals. S.P.A.R.E. is a fantastic organization and with a bit of help could become a great resource for helping animals.

As our program grows, I hope to include camels, donkeys and other animals in the project. I am aiming to raise awareness about the needs of all animals in Egypt.

There are lots of resources out there, it is just a matter of finding them! I also hope to roll out a few new services in the next six months: Ordering supplies online, homemade dog and cat food and a few other features.

Cat and Dog Services

The other pet problem in Cairo? People who offer services have a hard time telling people about what they offer. has an inexpensive classified ads section where dog walkers, dog sitters, cat sitters and others can let owners know that they are available for hire.

Creating was an act of love by a person who loves animals. I am hopeful that it will make it just a little bit easier to care for a pet in this great city. If you have a listing that we don't have, let us know and we'll put it up. Please email me with feedback or any questions. We'll be happy to find the answer for you!

A few comments on Cairo at the moment (late March 2011)

If you are in Cairo **right now** (29th March - 1st April inc), there's a free exhibition of photographs from the revolution - only open until (and including) Friday 1st April at the small gallery at the Opera House - just round the corner from the ticket office. Nearest metro "Opera" - walkable from Tahrir.  Opening times 10am - 2pm and 430pm - 830pm.

Yesterday (March 28th), I was out and about with 2 female visitors from different European countries. We travelled on buses, microbuses, the metro. We visited Tahrir, City Stars and the Opera House grounds.  We experienced almost no 'tourist' hassle (just a bit of 'see our tours' 'where you from' type stuff), and no harassment, unpleasantness of any kind. People were welcoming, helpful and polite.

Things to note:

Ramses railway station (main station in central Cairo) is undergoing a lot of building work.  It is open, but is a little chaotic.  If you are meeting people there or travelling from there, allow extra time to find your way into the station - you will have to navigate around the construction sites.  Also note that we could not find any toilets or any sit-down cafes (though plenty of refreshments for sale on the platform where trains to Luxor leave from) on the station, so do bear this in mind.

The Railway Museum is currently closed, we were told for around 2 months from now.

The Egyptian Museum appears to be open but we were just walking past, not attempting to go in.

The central Tahrir area where the peace camp was has been cleared (which happened on March 9th) and various potted plants have been placed around there.

The Museum of Modern Art and Palace of Arts are both closed.  We were told Palace of Arts should be reopening on Sunday 3rd April. Don't know about the Museum.

Not sure whether there is a program operating at the Opera House at the moment, didn't see any posters up and the ticket office was closed by the time we arrived. There is a schedule online

As at 4th April 2011, the following were also still shut:

Abdeen Palace
Islamic Museum of Art
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