Istabl Antar: when NGO work can make a difference

November 25, 2009 at 9:56 am (Weekly Posts) (, , , , )

For my photography class, I have a minimum requirement of being on 2 field trips. The last one I have been on was to a place called “Istabl Antar” which translates to “Antar’s stable”. No it is not the place where horses are kept. It is the second poorest area in Cairo, that is mounted on a hill near Moqattam area.

So, we had a tour in the area as a group. It wasn’t any different from any other slum area in Cairo. The streets are full of garbage, children running and playing barefoot, and women are a little aggressive, especially when I tried to take one photo of one woman’s kid rolling a tire in the street as a way of having fun. So, that was not new to me; I have been to so many slum areas and witnessed the same reaction with some exception of nice treatment in other areas.

The nice part was when we headed to the NGO we had on the schedule,Twasol or “Bonding”. And I was impressed, again, for I have been there before on another trip. They collect and gather the children who dropped out of school and have them learn a craft or attend classes in this NGO. And I could see a difference in the kids. One instance is that when we stepped into one of the classes, we found the kids stood up as a sign of respect to the visitors they have in the class. I was moved and happy.

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