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While the great pyramids of Giza and Khufu in Egypt make interesting photography, the courtyards and homes of the Zabaleen community in Cairo make equally exhilarating and unbelievable picture. Every house in this locality has a story to tell.

Amazingly, pyramids of garbage/waste material, floor after floor, in each house speak of their success! The more garbage they get to segregate, the richer they get and more the floors they add to their homes. The entire family right from the youngest able member of the family is into this business of segregating waste.

Each member is assigned with the task of handling different products. Young boys have the discarded shampoo bottles and Pepsi cans to work on. These children who do not go to school are given education at the work place itself by an NGO consisting of young girls of the community. These girls are being trained by Ezat, the man behind the NGO and the improvement of the Zabaleen community. The segregation of used waste shampoo bottles has largely helped stop the misuse.

These shampoo bottles are segregated colour-wise, shredded/turned to pellets and supplied back to the market.

The men/women pull out the tin/metal sheet from garbage. These are washed thoroughly before being sold. Young girls have the rags to work on. They weave colourful material out of them, make handbags, mats, wall-hangings, carpets and cushion covers… Young artists treat waste paper, turn them into paper pulp, make colour papers, greeting cards and designer paper bags out of them.

Well, the kids too have a role in the garbage work. Bits and pieces of plastic and other materials in varied colours make a perfect child art on the walls of most of the Zabaleen homes.

This photo feature brings to you the glimpse of this community that live by the garbage. They have contributed to the clean city that Cairo is today.

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