AfricaEgyptCairo

Zabbaleen, the Citadel, Al-Azhar park, clubbing

Cairo Travel Blog

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APE!
    we all met at amideast, ate delicious crossiants(chocolate, cheese and honey), whined about there being no toilet paper (get used to this before you come to egypt, or like we did STOCK UP), and practiced arabic. we loaded up onto the bus in the busy street and made our way across town. they told us we would be visiting a NGO, called APE.
    as we drew closer to the outskirts, passing the city of the dead, our bus climbed a steep dirt road, and as the road leveled our bus got stuck on an uneven rocky area. we all hopped out and within minutes thirty egyptian men had surrounded our bus, doing their best to help. we were in the zabbaleen, a poorer district of cairo. after 30 minutes of pushing and no success we decided to walk the remaining distance to the NGO.
precision

    our reasons for visiting this distract became apparent as we walked through the narrow dirt streets. Garbage. it was everywhere, pilled hill and extremely odorous in the heat. the brick and cement buildings all had little shops below, some with shisa and some with skinned animals hanging from the ceiling, and outside of the butchers would be piles of garbages, glimmering in the intense heat.
    we made it to the Association for the Protection of the Environment - which serves the families of Cairo's garbage collectors (zabaleen). the people of district collect one third of cairo's garbage, and then sort it. i read that 80-90% is later recycled or reused. some of the recyclable products are sent to the APE where a few hundred women, who would otherwise be unemployed, create beautiful new products such as quilts and paper.
at the park!
i bought an apron, a purse, paper, and a frame.
    it was really inspiring to see these women working so hard, and so appreciative of the work they can get. at the same time it was quite depressing. foreign companies are trying to monopolize the garbage collecting in cairo. they have offered the zabbaleen jobs, but  they would end up making less. on their own garbage collectors make 10 pounds a  day (2 dollars), but with a corporation they would make only 5 pounds (1 dollar) .  this was explained by a father of 8, who finds $8/day a living wage.
    after visitng the working women, we visited the preschool/kindergarten. the children were learning to read and write, but wer were able to distract them and play for some times.
the view of the citadel from the cafe
  the NGO provides these kids with that opportunity in hopes that they will be more likely to continue their education.  they really loved our digital cameras and playing chase. i gave one little girl who i  played with for quite some time my livestrong bracelet and some american money.
    we left the zabbaleen and  headed to the citadel  where we took in the gorgeous view of cairo and  ate lunch. we headed to the immaculate al-azhar park, which i TOTALLY reccomend.it's an oasis in the hot, dirty (but amazing) city. it's not the largest cultural event, but it's a sight to be seen. we drank hibiscus juice in a cafe inside the park , and debriefed on our first few days . the view was INCREDIBLE.
    we reutned to amideast, where an egyptian girl invited my roomate and myself to go dancing on the nile with her and her brother. we headed out to a restraunt thats second level was a club. not to my suprise it was many men and few women. the club played a mixture of american hip hop, techno, reggaeton, and salsa. as american girls we got a lot of attention, that was sometimes bad. it was loads of fun anyway. another long, but fun, day!!!
Maureenie says:
Mary loves her reggaeton...
Posted on: Feb 11, 2007
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APE!
APE!
precision
precision
at the park!
at the park!
the view of the citadel from the c…
the view of the citadel from the …
father and daughter
father and daughter
the streets of the zabbaleen
the streets of the zabbaleen
the bus in all its glory.
the bus in all its glory.
drew (I LOVE HIM) cools himself in…
drew (I LOVE HIM) cools himself i…
near where our bus got stuck
near where our bus got stuck
kids playing in some slate
kids playing in some slate
i love kids!!!!
i love kids!!!!
in the streets
in the streets
color
color
nice finding nemo shirt
nice finding nemo shirt
Cairo
photo by: vulindlela