They’re called the Zabaleen (Garbage people), and they live in what is known as Manshiyat Naser, or Garbage City, the world's largest garbage district, a settlement of 70,000 Coptic Christians situated at the base of Mokattam Hill on the outskirts of Cairo. Its economy revolves around the collection and recycling of the city's garbage, the system is classified as the informal sector. Until recently, Cairo had no organized trash collection so the Egyptian government has been attempting to replace the Zabaleen with private trash companies including the Roman “Ama”, but the Zabaleen are fiercely protective of their trash empire and, according to locals, are significantly more efficient at recycling and sorting the garbage than private enterprises are. Finally they did an agreement of collaboration with private enterprises. This agreement has damaged them further after that in 2009 the Egyptian government, in response to the worldwide threat of swine flu, embarked on a massive program to cull the herds of pigs which was fed edible pieces of garbage and marketed across Cairo to Coptic Christian establishments.
To make matters worse the government is planning to relocate some ministries in this area.
The reportage tells mainly the story of two Zabaleen brothers and the world around them.