If you really want a heartwarming experience in Cairo with a side of fried chicken, go check out the deaf KFC over in the Dokki neighborhood of Cairo. This place has been there for at least a decade, and it’s right around the corner from my very first apartment in Cairo. It’s right off of Midan Galaa, just across the square from the Cairo Sheraton and right beside the Chicken Tikka and the new-ish Alfa Market.
When you go into this KFC, everything looks completely normal, and for the most part it is. But when you go up to the counter, you quickly realize that all of the staff are hearing impaired. This KFC specifically hires deaf Egyptians to work here, and it is outfitted in some special ways to accommodate them.
The workers communicate with each other through sign language, and they communicate with customers via a series of simple hand gestures and specially designed picture menus. There is a large menu at the ordering counter on which you can point to anything you want to order at the restaurant, including drinks, sizes, condiments, and sides. I’ve also noticed over the years that they’ve developed some extra gestures for things that aren’t on the printed picture menu, including waiving their hand in front of their mouth like they’re fanning the tongue after eating something hot to ask if you want your chicken spicy, and pointing toward the door and then down at the counter to ask if you want to eat it there or get it to go.
Life as a disabled person of any kind can’t be peachy in a country like Egypt, but it’s so nice to see some companies stepping up to try to help give them proper employment and a dignified livelihood. And the best part of it all is that this KFC runs just as quickly and smoothly as any other fast food restaurant anywhere. Two piece and a biscuit, please?