What should be done about the
I think that in the long run, relocation will work. The new projects have water, roads and safe, functional housing. My problem is with how the government is forcing people to move. Will it actually make people's lives better? The government should hold orientation sessions where they explain the benefits to people so that they don’t see it as a forced relocation. Kamal Salem, 60, shop owner
We as residents of really want the government to come in and solve our problems where we live instead of moving us. We have built our lives around the neighborhood; it has all the facilities, transportation, kiosks and markets we need. If you relocate us, we have to start new lives all over again from scratch, which is a lot of pressure when people are working two or three jobs and then have to worry about things like how to get to work and where to buy food. Yassin Abdel Rahman, 56, kiosk operator
residents should have their own government representation. The state is making a mistake by trying to relocate them. It’s a waste of time—people who have lived in these places their whole lives are not going to just leave everything behind. What’s more, they don’t trust the government, since it’s never done anything good for them, so of course they won’t want to move. They need to take their fate in their own hands.
Sarah Zien, 29, economic researcher
I think the people living there need to take matters into their own hands to improve their living conditions. The government can’t get rid of slums by moving people or forcing them to make improvements. The only thing they can do is support the residents by giving them licenses to organize for, say, garbage collection and other general improvements. Then the people could act based on their own priorities and move at their own pace.
Rashid Hamed, 46, lawyer
I think the government should give money to improving these communities and help them develop a better standard of living. No one wants to live in a falling-down house on a small dirty street without any lighting. The government needs to take aggressive steps toward making these slums better places to live. I unequivocally reject the idea of relocation.
Habiba Qassem, 23, marketing executive
The new government housing may have all the facilities, but people will still reject it. These new complexes are nothing more than apartment buildings, with no services or access to public transportation. When they tried to move the Ramses street vendors to the new site, the vendors rejected it because it didn’t have enough foot traffic, and the vendors couldn’t make a living. It will be the same story here. Ismail Wael, 29, parking attendant
Nothing. I live in Nahya, and I have everything that I need nearby. My dad built my home, and I’ve lived there my whole life. We are used to our life. Sure, we could do with better garbage collection and better roads, but that ’s about it. No one—not the government, or NGOs or anyone else—has ever done anything to help us, and we don’t need their help now.
Abdel Tawab Taha, 41, office boy