Phnom Penh Hash House Harriers: Fwd: In the Spotlight – Egypt

Fwd: In the Spotlight – Egypt

In the Spotlight – Egypt
By Ed "Hazukashii" Howell
16 Mar 2020

Everyone knows that Egypt has those amazing Pyramids, tombs of many ancient kings including King Tut, the mouth of the Nile river, and the Sphynx.  Egypt has such a long history, trying to paraphrase it to a few key items would be a disservice.  There have also been a series of revolutions and attempted constitutional changes over recent decades, that also cannot be condensed into anything comprehensive enough to grasp the complexity, so let's just talk about hashing.  Despite the continued upheavals, the hash continues to give people in Cairo a chance to get away from it all and enjoy the good company of their fellow hashers. 

Located on the North-Eastern most point of the African Continent, Egypt has seen many hash clubs come and go.  According to the current GM, the first attempt to start a hash in Cairo in Feb 1980 lasted just about 2 months and fell over.  A few short months later, the same group got it going again when Adrian Hromiak organized the current and longstanding Cairo H3, running its first trail on 19 Oct 1980.  On my recent visit, the Cairo H3 enjoyed their 2089th consecutive trail in Egypt.  According to the hash genealogy, other hash clubs that have come and gone include the Alexandria H3 (a.k.a. the Delta H3), founded by Angus McComiskey on 27 Aug 1984; the Heliopolis Atomic Breakfast H3, founded by Stan "Organ-iza" Andrzejewski on 06 Feb 1998; and the second coming of the Delta H3, founded by Jimmy Riddel on 01 Mar 2009, who had previously been hashing in Dhaka. 

To get some more background on hashing in Egypt, I turned to my old friend Ra (and when I say old, I mean he is old . . . not me).  Ra lived in Cairo from 1989 to 1994, and stated he was the RA of the Cairo hash for about three years up until just before his departure.  Some of the highlights from Ra included the world's entirely first underwater hash held on 9 November 1990 at Sharm El Sheikh over near the Sinai. He stated that "in addition to a land-based hash that weekend, a fully underwater hash dead-hare trail was laid using fluorescent orange aluminum squares 1-inch on a side. 5 hares served as safety divers and leaders of groups of 4-5 scuba Hashers which set off with a delay so each group could break trail out of sight of the previous and succeeding groups. Fortunately, everyone (barely) survived."  Ra also pointed out that "on 22 March 1996, Cairo Hash held a Hash which left Africa and emerged in Asia, by running through a yet to be flooded irrigation tunnel under the Suez Canal. More than 100 people ran the trail which was around Port Said and finished with a run through the tunnel to arrive in Sinai." 

The Cairo hash currently runs every Friday, often meeting outside the Ace Club in Ma'Adi at 1300, before driving out to some place in the desert to run awesome trails.  Most people are probably aware that Egypt has an arid desert type environment.  Checking through the climactic history shows that Cairo experiences on average, just one inch of rain per year.  On Thursday of my recent visit, Cairo experienced a near biblical downpour of over 3 inches of rain that flooded out many parts of the city.  Water service was actually discontinued in parts of the city to reduce the flow into the backed-up sewage systems.  This torrential downpour also flooded the intended trail site, leaving some areas unpassable.  Despite all this, the hash goes on.  Changing gears, the hares reorganized a 5 Km city run that weaved its way through and around many flooded streets, leading to beer checks in their homes along the way.  The finish was at the GM's place of residence, where we got to witness the story he explained earlier on trail.  There on the street, was his vehicle with a tree tipped over on it, crushing the roof and hood (bonnet).  Right next to the vehicle, on the side walk, was a small one-man guard shack also partially crushed.  On the bright side, the guard who was sitting in the shack at the time the tree fell over, claims the car saved his life, as he certainly would have been crushed had it not broken the tree's fall.  Talk about having . . . a lucky day.

Anyway, making our way to the roof, we enjoyed a rousing circle alongside the rooftop pool.  After 30-40 minutes, and nearly finished anyway, oncoming rain broke up the circle, so we all hiked on back to the Ace Club for some dinner and a few more beers.  As you might expect, hash songs spontaneously broke out, and fueled by more beers, lasted for a good hour or more.  In the end, a grand time was had, and off we went back into the drizzle to find a hot shower and dry clothes.  Here's to the continued success to the Cairo H3, with many more awesome trails.

For many more articles like this on the history of hashing, check out . . .
On on!