Nazlet El-Semman

It’s been announced in December of 2018, that Egypt will be slum-free by the end of 2019. The news was received positively by the majority of Egyptians. However, once the procedures began, people started having second thoughts.

With the start of 2019, it was announced that unauthorized buildings in the Nazlet El-Saman area will be removed. After the announcement, clashes erupted between the residents of Nazlet El-Saman and police as a result of the implementation of the slum-removal procedure in the area.

Security forces in Giza arrested 33 tour guides, bazaar owners and citizens accused of obstructing the process.

The authorities announced that only 4 unlicensed buildings are intended to be demolished, most of them being illegal hotel establishments. Among them is a motel with infringements worth 15 million LE.

Why are people split in opinions?

Whether you are supporting the removal of the buildings or not, let us agree that no one wants anyone to be homeless, nor jobless.

The issue remains that these buildings are built illegally, AND they profit out of them illegally as well. The idea out of profiting illegally is not just, well, illegal, but it also puts people’s lives in danger.

Most of the businesses there include motels and restaurants that host tourists. These businesses receive absolutely no supervision from the government; meaning that they might cause international health hazards without anyone knowing.

As for the touristic bazaars, we can all agree that they are nothing but a rip off for tourists. Their prices are always higher than what is legally approved, but given the fact that they have better locations than the legal bazaars, they are seen and used more by foreigners, who are unaware of their legal status.

 

Additionally, the businesses running illegally in the area ruin the historic venue, as well as the tourists’ experience.

What about legal residents?

They have nothing to worry about.

The governorate of Giza’s officials stressed their respect for the people of Nazlat al-Samman and denied the removal of the longstanding inhabited properties in the area.

General Alaa Badran, Giza governorate’s representative, pointed out that the properties involved were in fact constructed six months ago or less.

The future of the area?

It does look bright.

Shortly after the announcement of the removal of slums in Egypt, it was announced that the Supreme Council of Antiquities signed a contract with Orascom Investment Holding to provide Giza Pyramids’ with facilities at the Giza Plateau, under the supervision of the council.

What we can only assume is that instead of the illegal operations taking place, Orascom will make sure to replace them with legal facilities, which will provide a safer environment, as well as more ethical job opportunities.

Tourism in Egypt still has a long way to go, but this is an essential step towards the right direction. While there might be a very few who will suffer from the decision, the benefits are crucial for the country’s development.