Thursday, January 23, 2014

Life in the City of the Dead by Virginie Nguyen | PANORAMA

Life in the City of the Dead by Virginie Nguyen | PANORAMA

"The City of the Dead lies below the Moqattam Hills, in the Arafa
necropolis, on the southeastern edge of Cairo. The cemetery stretches
for more than six kilometers. As many as half a million people live
within its tombs and mausoleums. It is considered a slum.

"Some of the residents have chosen to live here so they can be near
their ancestors. But most of the people who call the City of the Dead
home moved here when the cost of living in central Cairo became too
expensive. Others migrated from rural areas, in search of a job and the
cheapest place to stay in Cairo.

"This story is about the hardships faced by two families living in the City of the Dead.

"Fathi, 31, is a gravedigger and tomb keeper. He has worked in the
City of the Dead for 15 years. He lives alongside two tombs in a room
with his wife and two-year-old daughter.

"Sherifa, 36, suffers from breast cancer. She lives in the City of
Dead for financial reasons. It’s where she can afford to pay rent. She
lives with her husband and her two children in a single room."

This story was produced for the World Press Photo ’Reporting Change’ training program.


  1. Posted for Sonja Bedford:
    This is incredibly interesting. Thank you for the link Marie.

  2. For Jane Thomson:
    WOW, Marie - those photos of the cemetery-dwellers were powerful! George's Scottish aunt often said "it's an ill-divided world"...and so it is.


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