Egypt: Respecting Traffic Lights

What does people's attitudes towards crossing the road have to do with where their country stands in the world? Egyptian blogger Egyptian in the USA brings us the answer in this translation from Arabic.

Writing in Egyptian Wish, the blogger quotes part of an article published in, by Mohamed El Sayed Ahmed which says:

رغم احمرار اشارة عبور المشاه باحد ضواحي دبي الا ان الطريق كان سالك – فعبرت وبعض الهنود والافارقة – فيما ظلت فتاتين صينيتين ورجل اوروبي منتظرين حتى تفتح الاشارة – ففكرت في دلك واكتشفت ان هذا هو الفرق بين الصين واوروبا من جه وبين الدول الاخرى من جه اخرى – فاحترامهم للقواعد جعلتهم الاقوى – فقررت الالتزام باشارة المرور لعلي اصبح مثلهم – هذة هي الصين عملاق المستقبل
Despite the red traffic light on one of Dubai suburb’s streets, where the road was empty, I crossed the road with a few Indians and Africans, while two Chinese girls and a European man stood waiting until the traffic light turned green. I thought about this, and discovered that this is the difference between China and Europe on the one hand and other countries on the other. Their respect for rules made them stronger. So I decided to respect the traffic rules in order to be like them someday.
This is China, the giant of the future.


  • I think the matters are not so simple here. Of course the discipline (mainly the self-imposed one, that comes from education and not from the police’s batons) makes a big difference on the development of a people and their country. But if you just follow rules by the sake of following then, the whole thing may backfire.

    This is China, the “giant of the future”, but these are all the colonized countries that still think as colonies too… and follow, with dreamy eyes, all the rules and fashions of their metropoles…


  • jidiot

    I’ve been living in China for the last three years, and just wanted to express that Chinese in general do not respect man made laws at all when crossing the streets. I think it might be inaccurate to attribute success to obeying traffic laws. Here is a traffic story close to my heart. People say this is the Chinese century, perhaps this is the reason…
    In Hangzhou I hailed a taxi and asked the driver to take me to the train station. As we approached a highway traffic started getting congested, so the driver along with many others merged into the bicycle lane to get by. As we passed the freeway entrance there was a bus and sedan that had both tried to merge at the same time and had wedged each other into the walls of the ramp. Neither vehicle could extricate themselves from the mess. Since it was necessary for us to take the freeway my taxi driver drove ahead a little and did a u-turn. While I was expecting him to go back and get on a previous exit, what he did instead was take the exit ramp going the wrong way on the freeway. I was scared but all cars made way for him. Then he crossed a three lane highway still going the wrong way, drove on the shoulder for about 500 meters, and eventually merged onto the highway finally going the right way. I got to the station safe and sound, and in the end I was on-time.

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