July 10, 2009

The Street Is Not A Landfill

This dumpster is on our way. Why people dump stuff beside it, I have no idea!

Litter in the streets of Egypt is a common site. I mean really common, like everywhere. There are many places that could be mistaken for a landfill. It's a real problem and my top gripe about Egypt. Why can't people have enough sense or pride in their country to keep it clean? For one thing it's not clean to begin with. When there are food wrappers and bottles on the floor all around you why not just throw it on the ground? What difference is your can or wrapper going to make?

This is the lesson I'm trying to teach my kids. They know how I feel about litter and I always remind them to throw things in the bin or hold on to it till we see one or go home.

Even this guy can do it, and he doesn't even have a neck, feet or hands!

The other day, we all had something to drink on the way back from swimming and when I saw Dawood with no juice box in his hands I asked him where it was. "I drank it" he said. "Where is the box?" I asked. He motioned throwing it. I gave him a glare and we stood there till he went back about a block to find his discarded juice box. He sulked but I hope it taught them all a lesson. I mean there was a dumpster just ahead but throwing trash on the floor is so normal here that he didn't even think of it.

I explained to the kids that yes, there is trash on the floor and while we aren't going to clean up all the streets ourselves, the least we can do is not add to it. I really wish something could be done to clean up the streets here. I'd like to think things can change for Egypt but I don't see that happening with this mentality. I hope I am wrong.


  1. i wish egypt had something like "clean up egypt" day just like australia's got "clean up australia" day. the nile won't be as suffocated of god knows what in there. there'll be no more streams of cats, dogs near garbage moutains trying to get even a mere morsel of food, coz there's so many of them there. the air would be somewhat cleaner...i wish!

  2. I totally agree. U cant go ANYWHERE in this country without seeing such piles. It is a disgrace. I think if I saw my kid do that, Id beat him! Ha! J/k of course. Good for you though! That'll teach him!

    (Nooooow how to teach a jillion other ppl???)

  3. That is one of the things that really shocked me when I went to Egypt. It was especially bad along the train tracks coming into Cairo from the south.
    For some reason people keep their houses very clean, yet will throw a bag of trash right off their patio and onto the sidewalk. I think you're starting in the right place though by teaching your kids a better way.

  4. nur, I know, it's really a shame. I've seen a facebook group about it but it needs to be a government thing.

    UmmTravis, I wonder how Egyptians feel about it.

    Stacy, Yea, people sweep out the door and sweep in front of their shops into the street. UGH.

  5. Good for you for making your son go back and pick up his juice box. That'll be a lesson he remembers for a long time, insha'Allah! When we were in Egypt, too, Iman started littering and I was shocked to see her do it because she wouldn't even dream of doing that here. It is so, so sad. I saw a little logo on a box of cheese or something that said, "Keep Your Country Clean." I was happy to see that. Someone in Egypt gets it.

  6. it happens all the time here. dickheads outting rubbish next to the bin instead of in it

  7. Umm Omar, Yea I've seen the keep your country clean or your city clean thing too. I wish people would do that.

    Ange, that's bad. I would have thought it wouldn't happen much in Oz.

  8. My mom taught me that lesson a looong time ago. It's true though....keep your country clean! :)

  9. Abid, good on your mom.

  10. You rock sista! We need to respect this home we've been blessed with. Cleanliness is half our deen and it's about time we stared applying this principle towards caring for our environment!

  11. Sabrina, You are absolutely right, it's a real shame that Muslims act this way.


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