Comment from: Diandra [Visitor]
Great comment, but what is the correct link for the article mentioned here? “Mohamed Elmeshad has written another article from the same neighborhood (Ezbet Abu Qarn): Cairo’s poorest residents help the less fortunate in Somalia – a powerful story about cosmopolitanism from below.”
Comment from: [Member]
Ah sorry, wrong link. Thanks for pointing that out, Diandra!
Here is the correct link to Cairo’s poorest residents help the less fortunate in Somalia
Comment from: [Member]
I really like the link about poor people understanding the plight of hunger. But I feel there is something missing here. Native’s point of view, ok, but that’s it? Isn’t there anything on how to make others understand the life in the slum. Or how to approach the fieldwork situation in the slums. Or what exactly anthropologists do wrong, what we can do better, and what others can do better… This article raises more questions than it presents any road to some sort of resolution.
Is it ok to live in the slums? Or is that statement a taboo. Is it all about money and food, or is there other aspects equally important? Or is that questioned muted in debates about the slum being a problem. Can the slum be a solution rather than a problem? Or is that a thought that is ignored by policy makers.
Relativism, the easiest way to think outside the box/be controversial in a more constructive manner.
Comment from: Safaa [Visitor]
@Robin Öberg: Thank you for your comment. Naming informal areas in Egypt varies from area to another based on different factors and forms of the venues, so to methodologically approach each of its residents varies as well because their problems differ, however, almost all of them are built without legal permission and many were built on agricultural land while the previous governments were allowing building them at night as many of the joiner or/and maybe higher ranks governmental persons in charge take bribes to turn their faces away while constructing them.
Therefore, one can argue that the previous government is an active agent in creating the phenomenon of informal areas in Egypt while in the same time detaching from engaging in constructing houses for the lower income Egyptian who consist the majority of the population. These people did not have except to build houses for example at insecure land geography such as building in dangerous mountains. Most of the informal areas lack public services, such as sewages system, electricity, schools, clean water, garbage collection service, transpiration service, health care, etc. These informal areas became a national dilemma because of the accumulated and continuous long-run neglect of considering them by the previous regime and the areas are greatly increasing in their numbers.
Yes, these areas became over the time a solution for the people who are seeking cheap or low cost houses. Therefore, in order to understand the life in slums by others, the residents of the slums along with social scientists should collaborate to bring to the wide public their problems as well as for the policy makers. This will help in creating a bridge of understanding of the different needs of these marginalized voices. The T.V program which I mentioned in my article shows that how one person in the Egyptian private media was keen to present the life in the various informal areas in Egypt and raise their voices and problems to the policy-makers and the public.
A smooth path forward resolution doesn’t exist out of sudden without doing pilot-studies in these varieties of fields/different types of informal areas along with collaboration with NGOs, the new Egyptian government, research centers, etc.
Living in slums is not a taboo but the real taboo is leaving a great number of marginalized voiceless of people who live in un-humanistic conditions without providing them with the basic needs of human dignity. Raising questions in the context of the locality of this topic is the first step to be controversial and constructive in an enlightening manner.