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Cairo students explain what they do after the bell rings

You might expect children to be upset that the new school year has begun, but some are far from it. Many take their studies very seriously while others say they prefer going to school over the holidays so they can hang out with their friends. We spoke to students at three Cairo schools to find out just how they pass their time when school gets out for the day.

Elementary students

Girls from Fatayat al-Maadi al-Azharey, an Islamic school on Road 4 in Maadi, have a quick chat with their friends outside school before going home and taking a nap so they can study some more.

Tarek Hani, 12

“During holidays, it’s boring. I don’t have brothers or sisters so school days are the best for me. Even though there are hard things like waking up early, we get used to it. On holidays, I might find different things to do but I can’t find my friends.” — Tarek Hani, 12

Ahmed Moatasem, 13 at Hadayek Al-Maadi Al-Qawmeya

“I really miss my friends during the holidays. If we finish classes early, we play football. Other times we might hang out to go to the cinema or play PlayStation.” Ahmed Moatasem, 13 at Hadayek al-Maadi al-Qawmeya.

Somaya Ahmed

Someya Ahmed, 12, brings together younger girls in a Peugeot that could probably fit a whole classroom. She takes a hard line toward socializing. “Hanging around with friends is something to do after exams.”

“We might have some people that start to annoy us so we might have a fight or start arguing. We just hang out and try to get to know new girls while we stand there and smoke some cigarettes.” — Amr, a final prepatory student at Qasr al-Dobara school, downtown.

Socialization after school

Just before 1 pm on Thursday, Ahmed and his friends wait for their rides to pick them up from school. He’s just entered his second year of preparatory school and is happy to be back.

This piece was originally published in Egypt Independent's weekly print edition.

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