A Closer Look at the Horse Crisis in Cairo, Egypt: Revealing the Harrowing Truth

Nestled amidst the world-renowned backdrop of Cairo's ancient pyramids, a less marvel-worthy sight awaits. Here, thousands of horses stand emaciated and beleaguered in what many refer to as the 'Gates of Hell'.

The Living Nightmare for Horses inside these 'Gates'

While tourists revel in the luxury of the Cairo skyline, a reality far removed from their tour packages lurks just around the corner. Horses, showcasing horrors like saddle sores and broken limbs, stand harnessed and ready for a tourist’s whim all day. Some lay dying by the roadside, having been discarded due to their horrific injuries.

"You never forget what you see here; it will haunt you forever,” says Tegan Joke Van der Post, a horse rescuer hailing from the Netherlands.

One Woman's Battle Against this Crisis

Van der Post, a lifetime horsewoman, initially supported Egyptian charities with both time and resources. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and essentials became sparse, she realized the crisis needed her direct intervention.

Selling all she had and investing her life savings, she relocated to Cairo and took charge of her rescue mission, setting up the 'Good Karma Sanctuary'. Today, the sanctuary boasts three full-time vets and is receptive to emergencies round the clock.

The UNSEEN Horror

Beyond the surface, terrifying stories unfold. Horses, despite conditions like colic or broken limbs, are forced to work. "If they can stand, they can work. I see it every day", states Van der Post.

The perceived innocence of tourism turns a harrowing contributor to the problem. The mass demand for horse riding and an apathetic disregard for animal welfare fuels the cycle of abuse and neglect.

How do we Break this Vicious Cycle?

Van der Post about change says, "if it hit them in the wallet," things could improve. If tourists insisted on healthier horses, the local industry would have to adjust, putting an end to the monstrous neglect.

Furthermore, raising awareness about the issue is paramount. Supporting charities like the Good Karma Sanctuary financially and verbally, sharing stories, and writing to the tourism ministry are small steps one can take to help alleviate the plight of these horses.

Final Thoughts

In an era where tourism needs to evolve into a more responsible and empathetic endeavor, the tourist horses of Cairo wait for respite. The realities they face are harsh and, unlike the majestic pyramids, far from the pages of history books.

The horse crisis in Cairo is a grim reminder of our collective failure as animal lovers, tourists, and authorities. However, as Van der Post's work highlights, we have both the power and the obligation to instigate change and strive for a better future for these magnificent creatures.

Let's remember, their wellbeing is in our hands. Let's turn this 'Gates of Hell' into a sanctuary of hope.

Source: Horse & Hound