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Don’t quit your night job

Don’t quit your night job

Egypt turmoil hits Cairo nightlife as entertainers look for day jobs with work growing scarce even as party-goers ignore curfew to stay out all night

April 7, 2011 1:34 by

By 9 p.m. on a Wednesday night, she was the only woman at a nightclub in Cairo’s central Garden City neighbourhood.

“I’m telling people not to be scared,” she said. “There are many checkpoints where the army stops you on your way home, but all they ask for is your ID and they smile.”

Nightclubs in poorer areas were hit by vandals during the uprising, dealing a fatal blow to some. A row of cheap nightclubs and casinos on Haram (Pyramid) Street stands empty more than two months after they were ransacked.

Workers at El Leil (The Night) casino said thieves took 1.5 million Egyptian pounds ($251,900), kitchen appliances and one of its main doors.

Owners of the clubs have built a brick wall topped with shards of glass to protect the buildings, which stand empty.

“There are 500 workers here, all of them jobless now. Even belly dancers now work as house maids,” said casino security guard Abdel Rahim Shahata.

(By Sarah Mikhail, Editing by Tom Pfeiffer and Jeffrey Heller)

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