Skip to main content

Egypt accommodates blind beachgoers

New roped-off space with trained lifeguards in Alexandria Governorate is one example of the nation's increasing attention to accommodating people with disabilities.
Egypt beach

Swimming with all their bodies submerged in the sea is considered a dream for many blind and visually impaired. On July 4, El-Mandara beach on Egypt's Mediterranean coast became the first beach in the region designed for blind and visually impaired people. 

An entryway surrounded by cork buoys allows the individual to move and swim in a restricted area, learning the paths of movement within safe depths and under close supervision of the lifeguard team. 

Gamal Rashad, head of the central administration for tourism and resorts in Alexandria Governorate, told Al-Monitor that the beach gives the blind and visually impaired "the chance to swim freely alone, to be confident and to enjoy the water like other people." Some swimmers were not comfortable alone, he said, and needed "a companion from their families to protect them from any collision, drowning or any other damage.”

The project was a collaboration with the Alexandrian Blind Society, Rashad said, "and it turned out to be a very successful, nice experience and they were able to swim happily. Everyone has a whistle around the neck to blow if he/she felt any danger, this is an extra safety measure. Also, the area they are swimming in is not deep at all.” 

He added that the tourism administration is “willing to implement this experience on other beaches and open the doors for more blind visually impaired and handicapped people to enjoy their summer.” 

Alexandria Governor Mohamed El Sherif opened a larger beach last summer which supports people with mobility disabilities, allowing them to go into the sea in wheelchairs through paths starting from the beach. Above these paths are water sprinklers that allow them to feel water more. The beach is free and it can accommodate 100 to 150 people with their families.

“I have been longing for years to swim on my own,” Ayman El-Sayed, Board Member in the Alexandrian Blind Society told Al-Monitor, and now he and others have the chance. "We have children in our society who never swam in the sea throughout all their lives. I even started telling my friends in other governorates to come to Alexandria this summer and experience this beach."

People with disabilities in Egypt are gradually getting more attention and funds. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi established a “Differently Abled Fund” in December 2021 in celebration of the International Day for Disabled People. 

In 2018, El-Sisi announced this year to be the year of people with disabilities. 

In May of this year, the Egyptian Senate discussed the law regulating the fund for supporting disabled citizens (Law 200/2020) to maintain better services for people with disabilities, including healthcare, sports, education, and other sectors.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Already a Member? Sign in

Free

The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.

Free

What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing
Expert

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial
What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

Text Alerts - Be the first to get breaking news, exclusives, and PRO content.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to pro.support@al-monitor.com and we'll onboard your team.

Already a Member? Sign in

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial