STREET SENSE

Business monthly (Egypt) - - IN BRIEF -

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

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