The blue and white homely Mit Okba hosts Tersana, being the Arabic equivalent for Arsenal. The term ‘arsenal’ connotes was military activities. Tersana were originally founded by those working in the shipbuilding industry in Cairo. Some of those ships might have been built for military purposes and hence the association with the name Arsenal.
The blue and white colours are related to marine activity and, voila, also the ship’s anchor in the club’s emblem is accounted for. For some obscure and undisclosed reason it is not appreciated to take a photograph of the club’s emblem.
Interesting of note is that earlier, in the 12th century, the district of Rhoda in Cairo had a major shipbuilding yard, like there was a major shipbuilding yard in Cairo in the Boulaq district in the 18th, 19th and early 20th century. There was also a shipping yard opposite to what is now known as Mahatet Masr, the Egypt’s Railway Station in Ramses Square, during the Fatimids era around the 10th century, as the Nile River used to reach this area before changing course by time.
Tersana’s nickname is “shawakeesh” which is a slang plural for “shakoosh” or “hammer”, so essentially they are nicknamed “The Hammers”, which is another connotation to the manual labour of the founders.
Mit Okba is set in a carefully nursed botanical dream; a secluded asylum in a colourful arboretum.
The elevated main stand and its uncovered neighbouring stands in this blue and white heaven are being distinguished from Zamalek’s Helmi Zamora by its modest roof structure and bright blue colours.
The only other structure at this venue, holding approximately 10,000, can be found opposite the main stand. Peculiarly enough the ground is void of floodlights and the home team are destined to play away from Mit Okba when they meet other teams for evening kick-offs.
Irrespective of the absence of end stands Mit Okba is a delightful small ground, almost idyllic. One intriguing part of the ground has been closed for safety reasons and its this section that calls for a picknick on a lazing sunny afternoon. Please switch your mobile off when entering Mit Okba and appreciate the sound of humming birds, far from the maddening crowd. Mit Okba, the delicate silence of a screaming day.