The city of Cairo has its own unique version of poverty called Garbage City. Each morning at dawn some seven thousand garbage collectors on horse-carts leave for Cairo, where they collect the garbage left behind by the city’s seven million citizens. After their day’s work they return to Garbage City, bringing the trash back to their homes, sorting out what’s useful.
In Muslim countries there are certain religious restrictions on sifting through refuse, so the inhabitants of Garbage City are either nonreligious or from some Christian heritage. These are the poorest of the poor; outcasts among outcasts.
In 1972, a young Egyptian businessman lost his wristwatch, valued at roughly $11,000. As you can imagine, it would have been unthinkable to have a valuable timepiece returned by a member of Garbage City. Yet an old garbage man dressed in rags,