Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Weird Cities: Manshiyat Naser

Manshiyat Naser, also known as the City of Garbage and Garbage City, is located on the outskirts of Cairo. Its inhabitants, known as Zabbaleen, live on the collection and sorting out of garbage which is brought to the city by cart or truck. Their main work is to dig through a variety of garbage to retrieve what they can sell, recycle or use. It is estimated that about 80% is recycled and resold while organic waste is either processed into cattle food or burnt for fuel. A lot of families in Manshyiat Naser work as garbage collectors for several generations, so it is hard for them to support themselves by another job. Although the city has streets, shops and brick apartments, it has no running water or sewage and minimal electricity. The majority of the population in the city consist of Christians who have come from all over Egypt in waves of migration over the last 100 years. 

Yet, within the poverty, ugliness and garbage is located also the beautiful Monastery of St. Simon the Tanner, also known as the Cave Church, the largest church in the Middle East with capacity for seating 20,000 people. . .

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