the people of recycle city (a.k.a. garbage city)

There is an area of Cairo known to many foreigners as Garbage City. This area gets its name because, as you can probably guess, there is a lot of garbage there. Over the years, the people of this community bought many of the garbage routes in Cairo and found ways to recycle the garbage they collected. Nowadays, this resourceful community thrives by recycling 85% of what they collect.

I’ve been to this community twice now (once with coworkers from school and another time with my family), and it’s found a special place in my heart. Both times I have been there, the people have been extremely welcoming. My favorite place to go when I visit is the Children’s Club – a nursery and school for the children in the area.

For more information on this amazing place, please visit the website of the Association for the Protection of the Environment (APE - http://www.ape.org.eg). Some of the photos below are from this organization’s headquarters in this area. They train women to make things, such as quilts, rugs and paper, from recycled goods.

You will also see photos of the cave churches in this area and some graffiti that we passed in Tahrir Square on our way home.

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  • May 2, 2014 - 9:16 pm

    Melissa Stottmann - Wow, Heather! I’m in love with these images. They say so much and I’m almost transported there. Thanks so much for sharing on Clickin Moms!ReplyCancel

  • May 4, 2014 - 6:58 am

    Kirsty - How wonderful to capture the beauty in this place – Cairo really is so bustling and vibrant and I can feel it through these picturesReplyCancel

true friends

A few months ago (I’m a bit behind on my posts), a couple of my close friends and I spent the day together. We grilled out, laughed a lot and took some photos. These women hold a special place in my heart because they are my family away from home. They are all supportive, encouraging, beautiful, funny and amazing! I hope all of us will look back on these photos from time-to-time, and remember how special we are to one another.

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Felucca Rides on the Nile + Exploring the Market

After my family, Luke and I went to the Great Pyramids of Giza, we decided to take a relaxing felucca ride on the Nile River in an area of Cairo called Maadi. Even though it was very quiet and peaceful on the water, there was still a lot going on. There were families fishing in their boats, workers pulling sand and silt off the bottom of the river, and my personal favorite, a man in a boat on his cellphone while is young son (or grandson) relaxed laying on his stomach at the front of his boat.

After the felucca ride we went to Khan El Khalili market in search of a backgammon board for Luke – we were successful in finding it!

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Giza Pyramids + Tourism

My family (mom, dad and brother) recently came to visit us in Egypt over our spring break vacation. We’ve been living here for 6 months now and have gotten a pretty good lay of the land; however, there are still a lot of things we haven’t seen or done yet. Part of the reason we didn’t see things sooner was to wait for family and friends to come visit us. Fortunately for them (and unfortunately for Egypt), this is a great time for them to come. I just read an article from Daily News Egypt that said in the month of March, tourism is down almost 30% from last year. To be honest though, it seems like much more than that.

When my family, Luke and I went to see the Great Pyramids of Giza we were all shocked by the lack of tourists there. Before the revolution, there would have been buses lined up in tight rows next to each other and thousands of people walking around, but on the day we went, there were about 5 buses in total that we saw and we never once had to stand in a line. As we walked on a pathway towards the first pyramid, we were greeted with warm welcomes by several tour guides telling us about the amazing tour they could give us of the pyramids and men in their galabeyas selling small souvenirs. They would ask where we’re from and often thank us for visiting.

As we were walking around, I was thinking to myself how lucky we were to not have to stand in long lines to see and go inside these beautiful structures; however, I also thought about how hard it must be for all of the tour guides, bus drivers, souviner merchants, camel guides, horse guides, restaurant owners, hotel owners and anyone else in the tourism industry during these times of change and uncertainty in Egypt. My wish for Egypt is that stability will come sooner than later, so people will once again visit this wonderful country and see what it all has to offer.

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Garbage City | February 2014

In mid-February, I had the opportunity to visit Garbage City in Cairo, Egypt. The people who live in this area of Cairo collect trash, sort through it and recycle/resell the materials that they find to make a living. I was amazed by how happy and welcoming everyone was both at APE and while we were looking around. It was definitely an awesome experience. To learn more about Garbage City visit http://www.ape.org.eg.

Garbage City - Cairo

Dog at Garbage City

Downtown Cairo, Egypt
Flower in Garbage City
Downtown Cairo, Egypt

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