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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 September, 2004, 13:52 GMT 14:52 UK
Egyptian women: Jacqueline spoke to eight Egyptian girls about their everyday lives and hopes for a better future.

22, university student

22, unemployed

15, factory worker

16, student
20, unemployed

16, factory worker

18, university student

17, worker


My name is Jacqueline, I am 22 years old and I live in Old Cairo. I have a problem walking home up a very steep slope outside our house.

I have to go up and down this road to go on errands to buy daily provisions.

Jacqueline wants a cleaner environment to live in
Transport vehicles are crowded and broken down, and many accidents are caused by that slope.

Houses in our neighbourhood are not clean, and there is neither a waste bin nor a proper system for collecting rubbish.

Trash is often dumped near the houses. Everything is made worse by the growing birth rate, as the neighbours leave their offspring to play by the rubbish.

Naturally, people would like to live in a clean and quiet environment, without rubbish, bugs or noise.

As for my wishes for 2015, I wish that this place will be clean in less than 10years, and hope to see waste collecting points there.

I wish I lived in a clean place and that I could resume my studies because I dropped out of school and regret it.

Your comments on Jacqueline's views.

A few years ago I visited Cairo and drove through some of the poor areas of the city every day on the way to the work site. I was appalled at the conditions some of these people lived under. When Jacqueline says she hopes that there will be waste collection points soon I don't think we really understand what she is talking about. We probably have some idea of a little bit of rubbish floating around just as we can see in many inner city areas in the UK. But that is not what she is talking about. When I was there I saw literally mountains of rubbish piling up in the middle of the streets with children, old women, dogs and goats constantly turning it over in order to salvage anything that could be eaten or reused. The piles were occasionally cleared but immediately the piles started to build up again. The stench was appalling and I don't think anyone in the UK could even contemplate living in such a slum.
Egil Orndal, Manchester, UK

Do not regret the situation at your place, but rather try to come up with an organisation that will help you clear the rubbish around you.
Thandiwe Tembo, Lusaka-Zambia

I am heartbroken by Jacqueline's situation.
Ed Iskander, San Jose, California (USA)

Can you go back to school? Can you find work and living in a cleaner area? Listen to your heart and take advantage of any opportunity now while you are still young. If you find a way to remove yourself from the rubbish and ruin, then you can help others do the same.
Heidi, Washington DC



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