Cairo’s Garbage People - The Zabaleen - A photo essay presented by Zuma Press #Egypt

This was in my inbox today - from one of the many photo services that send out mass emails to photo-buyers.

Story Summary: Cairo’s trash-filled neighborhoods are the proud home of nearly 70,000 Coptic Christian Zabaleen people. For decades, they have earned a living collecting the trash in Cairo’s slums. In an average day, the Zabaleen collect almost 6,000 tons of trash, much of which is then recycled. Theirs is a system that is easy to criticize, from the pigs and the unsanitary living conditions to children hauling trash, with faces blackened and clothing stained. But it is how they eat and survive. And it is how they have remained independent of a government they do not trust. Facing possible forced relocation, these people living on the edge may see their only way of life wrenched away.

Photos ©zReportage/Zuma Press