By Nour El-Miligi
When people hit rock bottom, they search for any means of entertainment to pull themselves up from despair. After a long period of uncertainty, fear, sickness, and lockdown, Egyptians have been searching for new ways to find hope, and that’s when we started seeing kites illuminating Egypt’s skies again. As fun and cheerful it has been for us to watch the colorful kites, it turned out to have some potential risks within its package of entertainment.
Over the past two months, several tragic incidents have occurred because of kite flyers, including kids falling off buildings, bloody quarrels, or electrocutions. This pushed Egypt’s deputies to issue warnings against the potential risks of flying kites on national security as well as the Ministry of Interior who immediately issued fines and carried out investigations on manufacturers and kite holders.
Local authorities in Cairo as well as Alexandria governorates have thereby decided to halt the manufacture and possession of, or playing with, kites, for they have caused deaths and injuries of both children and adults. The Governor of Alexandria issued a ban three days ago prohibiting playing with kites in the coastal city, with a 300 pound fine for those who don’t comply with the new law. Violators might be charged up to 1000 pounds in case the violation is repeated. The ban was brought in only to ensure citizens’ safety and national security, Alexandria’s governorate stated through its Facebook page earlier this week.
The threat doesn’t only stop at citizen’s well being, but also that of the country. Last month, members of Parliament Defense and National Security, Khaled Abu Taleb, asked for the Prime Minister to provide a brief on the potential threats kites might impose on national security, claiming that surveillance cameras might be installed on the kites.
The kite prohibition decision was implemented right away, with police seizing more than 1500 kites in Cairo and about 300 in Alexandria over the past two days, destroying them all and fining several citizens.