This article about fitness in Cairo amused me. When I visited Egypt pre- revolution in 2008, I managed some runs along the Nile, which seemed like a perfectly obvious thing to do. I run everywhere I travel. But it's true that everyone I passed stared at me as if perhaps I had just shoplifted.
There are other major cities where outdoor fitness pursuits still seem relatively uncommon, like Paris. But the scene there is changing too. I'm just surprised it has taken this long.