Against the Odds, Young Egyptians Push for Climate Action

May 1, 2013 5:45 AM ET

By Clarissa Pharr 

In this fast-growing city of 6.7 million people, roads littered with garbage are a common sight. Cairo’s poor drainage systems produce contaminated pools of stagnant water, and the main thoroughfares are jammed with cars emitting thick, black clouds of diesel exhaust.

The Egyptian capital even has a slum nicknamed Manshiyat Naser(Garbage City), located at its highest point, in the suburb of Moqattam. Here, impoverished residents build their homes atop waste, and recycle rubbish to earn a living.

Even as concern over the environment and climate change mounts at a global level, many Egyptians feel they face more pressing political woes.

For the past two years, they have been preoccupied with the political turmoil sparked by the 2011 overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak and his repressive government.

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