A cultural cafe in a Cairo suburb has a "scream room" aimed at encouraging people to express their suppressed feelings inside a secluded place. Image Credit:

Cairo: Whether you are a resident of Egypt or a visitor, you have the chance to scream at the top of your voice and give vent to your bottled-up feelings without concerns about others’ reaction.

A cultural cafe in the October 6 suburb of Giza city near Cairo opened this month. It is believed to be the first scream room in the Arab world. The service is available for free.

“A friend suggested to me we should turn the soundproof studio in our institution into a scream room in order to allow people to express their stress and frustrations without being seen or heard by anybody else,” said Abdul Rahman Saad, a co-founder of Bab Al Donia, a cafe that also includes a bookstore and music halls.

“I liked the idea very much because it is crazy. Is there anyone of us who does not need to scream amid all this pressure of life?” Saad told Gulf News.

“All people are stressed whether from their work, school and even their families. It’s funny that a person can go inside a closed place where he can scream or even dance without bothering about others,” added the 24-year-old man.

“I think our scream room is the first of its kind in the Arab world. But, the idea is popular in Japan where people work hard and need to scream away their stress after work.”

The Egyptian-style scream room has drums that visitors can beat in order to let out their frustrations or as a way of enjoying pleasure by playing the percussion instruments on their own.

According to Saad, there are certain rules that users of the scream room have to observe.

“They are not allowed to take their mobile phones with them inside,” he said. “Only one person is allowed into the room at a time. His stay there should not exceed 10 minutes whatever the reason.”

Saad explained that these rules are necessary to lend the idea of the scream room a serious note and enhance the user’s feeling of privacy and seclusion. “The scream room is accessible to people of different ages and social classes. Nowadays, everyone is suffering from life pressures.”

Since the service started in early October, a dozen young people in their twenties used it, Saad disclosed.

“The feedback is positive. Most visitors see the idea as interesting. They showed up out of curiosity. But I am sure that the time will come when users of the room are those who really need to scream away from people.”

Saad believes that the scream room will indirectly help promote the activities of his self-financing institution whose name in Arabic means “Door of the World”.

“We started Bab Al Donia three years ago with the aim of presenting a comprehensive cultural forum that can finance itself through its activities that include concerts, a corner for reading and selling books,” he said. “Having drums inside the scream room can encourage users to attend the music courses arranged by our institution.”

Bab Al Donia plans to open a branch in the quarter of Shaikh Zayed on the western outskirts of Cairo.

Saad does not rule out the possibility of setting up more scream rooms. “Expansion will depend on turnout,” he said. “We’ll evaluate the experiment and determine how much interest it has generated and if we can impose a fee for the service. Anyway, all of us need to scream freely without being watched or reproached by others.”