It is a world of shocking odors and off-putting sights. But it is their world, the world of the zabaleen, hundreds of thousands of people who have made lives and a community by collecting Cairo’s trash and transforming it into a commodity.
It is their very identity, and they are afraid the government is going to take it away. “It is not a job, it is a life,” said Isat Naim Gindy, grandson of one of Cairo’s original zabaleen, who now runs a nonprofit organization to help educate the children of garbage collectors. MORE IN THE NYT.