Zabbaleen: Trash Town. A whole community in Egypt that lives on rubbish


Finding this place is never a problem Zabbaleen. The city of rubbish collectors is surrounded by an accurate smell that most people would find unbearable This is where waste from the whole of Cairo are brought No one ever saw police officer here People live by their own rules and also always happy to see stranger visiting The region populated mainly by Coptic Christian, Egypt minority religion Moslem lives here too, but there is no religious conflicts in Zabbaleen the dump guarantees interface peace is the only local provider of work and liveliness Kyrollos, and he is ten He spent all his child in the rubbish collecting city of Zabbaleen But he’s one of the lucky ones Unlike his peers Kyrollos hasn’t had to start doing any of the dirty work yet Gerges inherited this job from his father He was a refuse collector too They came to Zabbaleen 45 years ago and recycling techniques have barely changed in these years Gerges Saad family collects, sorts, and cleans several different types of rubbish all the time Typically, the men work with metal and plastic Collecting and cleaning rubbish is a family concern The women play their part too They sort the food waste Shekhata El-Mogaddis is one of the wealthiest people in Zabbaleen He calls himself mayor of the city of rubbish collectors but officially there is no such position also rumor has it, that Shekhata personally control the sale of all glass at the recycling facilities which they say generate fabulous profit for him There’s a villa with the luxurious pageant love very close to the dump entrance Shekhata never touches the rubbish himself He just manages the process He doesn’t even clean his own house He has a housekeeper for that Shekhata, He is my uncle because his father was rich since the beginning 90 percent of the community are poor who are the regular garbage collector who are relying on the garbage which they collect Sort and sell to the recycler There you see, family sorting paper compactor they are compacting using electrical compactor We have our own live We have groceries shop We have buchos coffee shop, as you see because men after collecting the garbage they are very …. and come to the coffee shop to drink tea or to smoke sisha any problem or conflict is happening between each other it’s solved internally The big leader of the family He will respect the all people So, once there is a problem all people have a round table “Oh, no.. , you should applogize to him, oh I’m sorry” All off problem has finished Never go to the police station Never invite a police We don’t like them by the way Because they come to make the problem more higher The cops claim to be among the worlds, earliest Christian They believe that their ancestors converted when Jesus still lived and since then they always try to resolve problem peacefully The Christian way Gerges has working day, begins at 3.30 every morning Avery Zabbaleen sign this a specific part of Egypt’s capital Collecting waste from a colleague territory is quickly taboo All rubbish collectors religiously observe the unspoken rules Look, each follow garbage is generating five daily jobs Two are collecting from door to door One is transporting and two are sorting So, it’s five as the beginning and as their saving indirect jobs, who are recycling paper, plastic, metal, glass each ton of garbage in Cairo is creating two well jobs everyday You see, this bag comes from the garbage It’s also make up This is something for massage You know what kind of massage is this? I don’t know. She knows (laugh) She told me, read it carefully you know, for ladies or men All this things are in the garbage So they sale such this stylee thing that people go to the market and she’s shouting This carries biggest Friday market It’s near the city of rubbish collectors People come to buy gifts for their nearest and dearest and anything else they might need at home No seriously Kyrollos, his parents don’t buy him toys He can find everything that interest him in the dump and that saves money Returning to see Gerges Saad, we meet the butcher shop owner Sameer Fatee It’s hard to imagine swine being kept in a Moslem country but the Cops are Christians and pork is a staple part of their diet Not long ago, pork was banned in Egypt The Muslim brotherhood parliamentary majority decided to have all the life stock in the country kelt Including the Christian pigs of Zabbaleen At that time, Zabbaleen started to sort the organic in downtown and keep it in the container of the multinational companies and the big street of Cairo, so Cairo is very bad smell and dirty This went for two years Then revolution on 21st of January and Egypt, Zabbaleen come back again animals out of the system of the brand minister He is debit your vice capitalism but in the garbage collector is away from Cairo no one care this thing Cairo will be dying Gerges Saad families meet with the pork or beef only once a week, on Sundays That’s meat such an expensive treat it can cost between 50 and 100 Egyptian pounds per kilo That’s 5 to 10 dollars There is a local school in Zabbaleen but not even that can guarantee Kyrollos education will allow him to do anything other than collect and sort rubbish Children study then they Mathematics but refuse all the lessons tend to out away all of the subjects Since the school open, 3 or 4 people have ever manage to escape from the dump every one else has had little choice but to stay, live, and work here There were farmers about 70 years ago left their plant and come here they don’t have any other jobs That so, I want to tell them Yeah, this is your heads They say no, we have our god immunity and so on No, we have health problems more than 42 percent of the community are infected of We have also a lot diseases We pay higher from our health, from our life the average age of mortality is not more than 55 years people are dying so young here

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