Egypt: Rags and Riches

Nov 7, 2023 | Culture, Environmental, People, Videos

Manshiet Nasser is a district in Cairo that faces the challenges of an ever-increasing amount of waste. Every day, nearly half of Cairo’s waste is brought to this ragpicker area, where a patchwork of cottage industries and small shops work tirelessly to ensure the city stays clean. The resourcefulness and innovation displayed by the people here is remarkable, as they are able to turn otherwise unusable trash into valuable materials that can be reused or sold.

At Manshiet Nasser, entire families are employed in this industry, as well as countless young men who have no other means of support. This unique environment has been documented in the documentary Waste Warriors, which gives viewers an up-close look at the lives and operations of these ragpickers. It provides insight into their struggles and triumphs while on this seemingly insurmountable journey towards a cleaner future for Cairo.

The Waste Warriors documentary follows several key figures within Manshiet Nasser: a father and son who have dedicated their lives to picking through trash; a female leader who strives to make her fellow workers’ lives easier; and a dynamic group of teenaged boys who continually push boundaries in order to make the most out of their limited resources. These individuals illustrate not only the courage but also the ingenuity that exists within this unique community.

Waste Warriors sheds light on an important issue affecting many parts of our world today – both urban and rural alike – but it also pays tribute to those whose resilience and creativity allow for progress and change even in the most trying of times. We invite you to join us in celebrating their efforts by watching Waste Warriors – an inspiring display of what can be achieved when humans come together for a common goal.

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David B