Egyptians complain: African colony in «Ard-Lewa» district

Note: this content is a translation of an article posted on: http://www.dostor.org/1569538 in Arabic (https://africamonitors.org/2017/07/03/egypt-fears-of-major-attacks-against-eritrean-refugees-in-cairo/) on the 30th of September 2017. It is to be noted Africa Monitors had posted an article on the complaints lodged to the Egyptian authorities by local residents in Ard- Lewa in Egypt complaining about the behaviours and presence of the refugees. This shows the negative attitude of the residents towards refugees with the potential to develop to hostilities.

The full translation of the article follows.

Signs in a strange language with unknown alphabets hanging on the doors of shops and cafes, and approaching more to the doors to hear the strange language which it its meaning is not known or proceeded or followed by a translation of the Arabic language and often you find a boy with a brown skin and who can only communicate with his peers.

This is the case in the “Ard-lewa” section of the Agouza area in the governorate of Giza, as soon as you descend from the stairs, “Elyze” you see people of different ages with dark skin and of African origins, who roam the streets and shops and stand in front of public cafes, as if you are in a southern African state.

The nationalities of those people, most of whom are refugees from African or Arab countries, which are characterized by disturbances and problems that threaten them to continue living in their home countries.

The most prominent of these countries are Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan, most of whose people do not speak Arabic. The Arabs came from Yemen and Syria after their countries were devastated.

Four years ago, these people came to Egypt, under the auspices of the United Nations and the UNHCR, and given their financial straits by the organization, because of the living difficulties they face. Families receive material support of $ 900 a month.

Two reasons made the area of ​​” Ard-lewa” a destination for those nationalities, the first is its proximity to “Almuhandeseen “area and the street of Arab league, not far away from the downtown and the Tahrir Complex, which is the center that specialize in dealing with the status of their situation in Egypt, and another reason is the low standard of living in the area.

 

In the beginning, the residents coexisted with the refugees, but over time they suffered a lot of problems.

Mohammed Abdul Kader, a young man from the residents what he most suffers from their presence is the high prices of real estate, whether to buy or lease, they have the ability to lease in large numbers, which makes owners to give them priority, because of the bidding by foreigners and their ability to pay rent up to three thousand Pounds and buy up to 600 thousand pounds worth [houses], which is more than what is paid in the area.

Abdel Nabi Mohammed, the owner of a men’s hairdresser shop, suffers from their presence, because of the high rent of commercial shops.

But, the increasing incidence of harassment, crime and drug and alcohol abuse in the region prompted residents to write complaints and collect signatures to submit to the neighborhood to monitor the situation and solve the problems.

Alhaj Ramadan, owner of the cafe said that the big problem is the mismatch of customs and traditions. The girls wear clothes that are not commensurate with the society and the young people go out at night like bats. They go to the cafes that are confined only to them. They drink alcohol the whole night and get out of it in the morning while drunk.

Ramadan lives in an apartment building in which three families from Eritrea live. They suffer from concerts that take place until sunrise, and garbage that does not disappear from the entrance of the building, but due to the Egyptians’ repeated complaints to the owner, he was forced to expel the two families.

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