A Conversation for The Zabbaleen - Cairo's Rubbish Collectors


Post 1


Around 1970, I (born 1951/Amsterdam) was a wandering boy for a while in Spain.
Especially the harbour place of Valencia.
I once wrote a story about it at hg.

- "Johnson the captain". (1970)


In 1995 I revisted that place and I did recognize here and there some buildings. It was very moving.

While standing there I saw some Rubbish/Paper Collectors coming my direction.

A man and a woman did pull an old cart full of paper. These people did not give me the impression of being pitiful. One could easily read the tough life they had on their faces, but they also showed an inner strenght.

I myself was these days thrown out of Spain because of "just wandering without money". But I had a Dutch passport and these people don't. So my situation is absolutely not comparable with theirs.

Their horizon will always be the same and that's the real pain. That's the pain of all "unknown".

Finally they were passing bye and I gave the woman about 25 dollars(different money/irrelevant) and she immediately gave it to the man beside of her.

I was glad they just walked on and that they remained in their inner strength.

But to see their faces for a few seconds, they surely had a big party that evening.
All of that, just for a few dollars and some empathy.

I surely have great respect for these people who carry on this way at the border of life and even start a family, with children, etc. etc.

I felt honoured to make them happy for a few hours.



Post 2


What a very interesting post. I will read your story with great interest. I think this is in many ways the most important aspect of h2g2. It can be seen as a repository of all knowledge, include anecdotes and human stories. So thank you! smiley - cheers

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