The rooftops of Garbage City, taken from up where the St Sama’ans cave church is located.
Cairo is home to a millennia of history and culture, but it also houses an ingenious community that has made a living out of the Egyptian capital’s mountains of trash.
“Garbage City” in the Mokattam hills outside Cairo is not on the tourist map. A cramped slum of rubbish-strewn streets and low rise buildings, it is home to some 30,000 people who live here and work at sorting and recycling mountains of trash. Their unusual occupation is of interest to social development, health and environmental experts, and much has been written about the community from those points of view. But it still attracts the odd wanderer and groups of Christian pilgrims who come to see St Sama’ans, the cave church built into the cliffs above the slum. With a seating capacity of up 20,000 people, it is said to be largest church in the Middle East.
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