Taking out the trash: Youth clean up Egypt after Mubarak

Jessica Winegar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Many of the middle-class youth wore surgical masks and gloves as they swept the streets of their thick layer of dust and pushed into piles the chunks of pavement that had broken under the weight of army tanks as well as the hammering of protesters making projectiles for self-defense. With large black plastic bags brought from home or purchased by largely youth-led NGOs, they collected food and drink containers, old newspapers, empty cigarette packages and other remnants of the tent city sit-in. During the Mubarak years, the amount of litter on the streets of Cairo increased exponentially, a development lamented not only by tourists and in the Western press, but also by citizens who had to live amidst the mounds of trash. There were several reasons for this trash pile-up, most having to do with the intensification of neoliberal policies, especially in the areas of urban development and waste management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMiddle East Report
Issue number259
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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