Garbage City is a district in Cairo. The city is built on garbage and it is part of daily life for the people. The community collect garbage from all over Cairo and bring it back to sort, recycle and salvage. They are called the Zabaleen, and are considered the lowest of the lows. About 30 years ago, Christianity was strongly introduced and the people took to it quickly, and massive churches were built into the side of nearby rocks and caves. With a life of this nature, religion is bound to be ever so strong to help provide the people with hope.
I visited this area with a friend who I met and said he wanted to photograph it, and he wouldnt have gone by himself. So, we both set off one day to this uncommonly chartered area. What we were amazed with was the genuine friendliness and welcoming smiles we received - and it was an unforgettable experience to walk through streets of garbage, with everyone living around it without bothering them. Naturally health issues and diseases are a problem here, but the people have managed to stay in high spirits.
I have a series of photos I took here, and this one sets the atmosphere and the look of Garbage City.
Critiques | Translate
arvinnino (436) 2009-04-20 22:37
very natural, the lighting is great,
i like te way you played on the DOF,
nice POV as well.
mafegan (8624) 2009-04-20 22:50
I'm not so sure about this being a beautiful photo - but it is great to see places which are off the usual tourist route. Good that you had a lot of time to explore. I do like the effect you have created - full of detail but with the blurred background it makes their struggle seem harder. Good notes, Marlene
vagabondtravels (6507) 2009-04-21 0:16
An interesting scene you present here. Good job for exploring a unique area of Cairo. Well managed light. Great work.
judesta (1006) 2009-04-21 2:31
What an amazing story you tell in both words and photo. I applaud you for visiting such places and sharing them with us. Wonderful DOF and colour, nice sharp detail in the chosen subject. TFS
dareco (17134) 2009-04-21 7:14
I find this so sad for all of the obvious reasons, but also the poor little animals!!! :) They are working so hard. A really interesting capture, and one that packs a huge reality punch!!! Good work! TFS
jonathan_hart (21274) 2009-04-21 9:03
well managed light, well framed daily life scene,
indeed it looks dirty there
jmdias (56655) 2009-04-21 15:10
the photo is similar with an old paiting. despite the misery around the guys aren't so bad dressed. beautiful the structures around, they are like ruins. nice daily life scene. Perfect in each detail, personages nicely put in the image. a very usual scene in poor countries. I saw similar scenes everyday here, not so miserable, anyway..
rlrad (1845) 2009-04-21 20:01
Not only do I envy your ability to visit the unusual in Egypt, but also the photograph you captured here of those young men endeavoring to steer that donkey cart full of garbage through the muddy street. Very well shot, the people in the shot bring it to life, your description aids in perspective, as well. A total package, very well done. When I was there in Egypt, we could not go anywhere where we could not see the ship, in case we had to get underway quickly. Hence we were unable to see much culturally in Egypt.
Thanks for sharing!
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
mvdisco (17776) 2009-04-22 10:39
Beautiful picture at LeCaire in Egypte, great colors and sharpness, a well taken picture at the good moment of the dayly life in the garbage city,
nice scene and well composed..
Waylim (25362) 2009-04-22 18:53
Well I think we in the western world produce more garbage than most of these countries, we just don't see it, it all happen in the back alley somewhere tuck aways, out of sight, out of mind. for this countries like these, unless it is absolutely unusable, otherwise it would end up in the trash can. We throw away many things most of the people in poor country would be lucky to have. Good daily life image. Fit the TE spirit 100%.
flatwin (2181) 2009-04-30 22:43
tres bonne capture de ces hommes en pleine action. Nous pouvons apprécier le dur travail
alielghrabawy (0) 2009-05-10 12:19
Great Photos David but let me correct something, Christianity were not introduced 30 years ago to those people. They were born Christians and they are descendants of Christian ancestors since the time of Jesus himself !!!
Wandering_Dan (3449) 2009-06-01 14:52
Hi, David -
Technically, it's not perfect, but socially, it's an incredible photo. I think the bg should either have been in sharp focus or blurred more; it's at an odd in-between point here.
However, the positioning of the main subject is very well done, dominating the image without overflowing it nor crowding out everything else. And it is a strong action shot - looking at it, you can feel the strain on the people and the animals. A nice contribution to TE.
sandpiper (6788) 2009-07-31 5:04
Again well done, Cairo is a mess, too many people in such a small area. This is a part of the city I did not see, but curiously I would have liked to. My driver took me down many back streets, but when I wanted to stop he said "no not safe". TFS. Great PP.
- Copyright: David Lazar (dvlazar) (6644)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2009-01-21
- Categories: Daily Life
- Exposure: f/5.0, 1/100 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Eygpt Miffy O places to go [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2009-04-20 21:00
- Favorites: 2 [view]