Egyptian economic and political analysts warned of the growing dangers of slum areas spreading across the country, especially what is commonly called the “explosive belt” around the capital Cairo.
According to official reports, Egypt is home to 1,000 slum areas, 58 of which are located around Cairo in addition to another 67 that are close to the capital. Only five percent of those slum areas have been developed, according to reports.
The dangerous impact of slum areas on security in Egypt, analysts argue, is mainly due to those places being a fertile soil for various forms of crime.
Slum areas, for example, are known for the arms trade, drug dealing and child labor. Prostitution and incest are also rampant in these areas, they add. In addition, they are not productive and therefore do not contribute to the economy.
According to sociologists and psychologists, the concentration of outlaws in slum areas and the remarkable rise in crime rates are partly attributed to slum dwellers’ isolation from the rest of society.
This, they explain, is mainly because they feel they are outcasts and believe they have been abandoned by society. This feeling of injustice finds an outlet in different types of crimes which they see as their way of retaliation against a government that treats them as non-existent.
Their anger at the government is intensified by the fact that most of them do not get any services, like electricity, sewage and potable water.
Experts add that this wide gap between residents of slum areas and the government gradually leads to loss of any sense of belonging to the country as they tend to create their own colonies and even come up with a language of their own.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)