I couldn’t see Cairo behind the smoke of burned garbage

I spent two days in Cairo a couple years back. They say living in Cairo is like inhaling 20 cigarettes a day. Two days there only set me back two packs worth of lung damage.

I remember standing on top of a hill, overlooking the city and the view was nothing less of post-apocalyptic. Smoke and smug everywhere. I left my hotel that morning with an emptish bottle of water. I ended up carrying the empty bottle of water with me all day because there was not a single trash can in sight. Cairo is one giant pile of garbage. That garbage doesn’t get picked up and removed, or pushed over to the neighbors like in Lynch’s “Waste Cacotopia” but it is burned. Every day, in 100 degree temperature. It truly is the city of garbage.

by Kasia

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2 Comments»

  lockbird wrote @

The common theme in most of this week’s readings, and the first word that came to mind, is this “post-apocalyptic” atmosphere. I really liked the way you described Cairo and I think “post-apocalyptic” is a very accurate but scary word that describes this unprecedented situation which has no “clean” future in sight.

  jen rhee wrote @

Yes, we haven’t really talked in class that much about air pollution as waste, but I think it’s an important topic. What do you do when waste is so pervasive, so inescapable, that you can’t get away from it? When the waste actually enters your body and affects your health in such a direct way? This seems to be a huge, huge issue in developing cities where infrastructures still lack environmental regulations.


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