Spiderman gets tangled up in Cairo's daily life
Spiderman hails Cairo residents as the real superheroes. (Image: Hossam Atef Farouk and Antikka Photography)
Millions living in Egypt’s capital city - whose Arabic name is translated as ‘victorious’ at times and ‘vanquishing’ at others - push tiredly and silently every day through a struggle to carry out the routine of their daily lives.
But Hossam Atef, 20, a freelance photographer living in Cairo, decided to make the sad indifference stand out.
“We thought if Spiderman spent a normal day of an Egyptian’s life, what would happen?” Atef told Ahram Online.
“He became exhausted!” exclaimed 21-year-old chef Atef Saad, who plays Spiderman on the streets. “Even Spiderman could not take it in.”
For four days Spiderman has been shot on Cairo’s streets going about normal daily activities, with his photos going viral on social media.
"In fact, all Egyptians are superheroes for enduring these difficulties every day," Atef added.
Running on the street to catch the overcrowded bus (that usually does not wait and maybe another one will not come), trying to break up a street fight, squeezing into a metro carriage, sleeping on the street, working on a toktok for extra cash - the dust, the noise, the chaos.
Cairo was ranked 122 out of 140 cities around the world in the 2013 Global Livability Ranking conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
Spiderman has been to several working-class districts around Cairo including Boulaq El-Dakrour, Sayeda Zeinab and Talbeya.
As many Cairene neighbourhoods remain downrun with hardly any public space to accommodate children's activities, youngsters are Spiderman’s most excited audience.
In one instance tens of school children surrounded him and clung to him until he had to run away. Atef and Saad sought a traditional cafe in the neighbourhood where the owner seemed to give a special welcome.
“Seeing how the children loved us, he thought we were ‘[President] Sisi’s men’ and decided to offer us free drinks,” he said.