Donkeys and Kids

Greater Cairo is home to 13 million people, many of whom live in shantytowns or are homeless. The population in Egypt is exploding and will continue on this ominous trend for the next few decades. From 56 million (1994) to a projected 94 million (2025). Six out of ten Egyptians today are under the age of twenty.

A donkeys life: beatings, hay, and standing still.

As the struggle for existing resources intensifies, and other problems such as parasites, reduction in agricultural output, and rising sea levels amplify, the children of Egypt are going to inherit a plethora of problems as they come of age. The double whammy is the way kids are taught to view tourists visiting their country. Not very nicely.

Still in the age of innocence, but not for very long.

One time I was taking a photo of a young child when an adult came running out and demanded I pay the boy "baksheesh," or a donation. I refused and an argument ensued. The child was bewildered with the harsh exchange of words, and received his first lesson to equate foreigners with begging. Not much in the way of learning a new skill. Anyhow, Egyptians will learn the hard way that you can only bite so hard on the hand that feeds you before it withdraws forever.

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