30 images Created 5 Dec 2014
A community of illicit garbage recyclers known as the "zabaleen," or "garbage people," lives in a sprawling enclave atop Cairo's Moqqatam Cliffs. Locals call it Izbet az-Zabaleen, but to foreigners, it's known simpy as the Garbage City. Most of the zabaleen are Coptic Christians, and they trace their roots to Upper Egypt, in the country's south, where agricultural reforms forced them off of lush Nile land where they once worked as serfs. Though the Zabaleen live amid the refuse of one of the world's largest megacities, they have preserved a village ethos in the Garbage City, and they see themselves as entrepreneurs in control of their own destinies.