Dawid Zieliński

Dormant City

Teenage boys navigate through alleys of Coptic Cairo. Traffic in the city center can be mindnumbing.

One thousand people arrives to Cairo every single day, hoping for a better future, a new start, and easily turning Egypt's capital into sixth largest urban area in the world. But population pressure is not the city's only woe. Ever since the 2011 revolution Egyptians have been struggling. Declining economy, rising prices and high youth unemployment are all among serious challenges Cairo, much like the whole of Egipt, has been facing.


Even with political turbulence and economic uncertainty the Egyptians, once called „world's best protesters”, have remained surprisingly quiet. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who secured his second term only few months ago, rules the country with a firm hand. Incarceration of many activists, opposition members and journalists as well as heavy military and police presence justified by martial law and ongoing terrorist threat in Sinai are all acting as effective deterrents against any protests, making another revolution rather unlikely.

Ruins of the Blue Tomb in Cairo's islamic district. Historical monuments dating back to city's islamic era lose competition for visitors with pyramids and face neglect and slow decay.

Unused bathouse near Bab Zuweila gate in Cairo's old city. Historical monuments dating back to city's islamic era lose competition for visitors with pyramids and face neglect and slow decay.

An elderly caretaker walks down the courtyard of dilapidated palace, where some chambers have been converted to accomodate Cairo's archives.

Human traffic along Al Azhar road. As preparations for Ramadan are well underway people hit the streets for some last minute shopping.

A man attends to his daily Ramadan prayer in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Renovation in progress around the Pyramid of Cheops. Since 2011, and with martial law still in place, number of visitors has fallen dramatically. The future of Egypt's tourist industry, contributing more than 11% of country's GDP, remains uncertain.

Dr Reda Alkot stands on a rooftop overlooking an empty street in Madinat as-Sadis min Uktubar (6th of October City) located 30km from Cairo. The city was established in 1979 and is home to around 200,000 people even though and was expected to have 6 million inhabitants. But economic ails, political uncertainty and planning issues turn the city into a ghost town, with most houses uninhabited or abandoned.

Alkot family at a Ramadan picnic.

Power lines seen outside Cairo on May 18th, 2018. Overpopulation and intense heat strain existing infrastructure causing regular blackouts.


Street vendor fixing up his food stall as Cairo awaits the beginning of Ramadan.

A worker lays a fresh coat of gold paint on the entrance of The Pharaohs cruising restaurant.

Covered car on in one of Cairo's back alleys.

A family heading down the stairs from an overpass towards a bus stop.

Department of Geography at Cairo University the day before final exams.

A man interrupts his commute to enjoy his first Iftar (evening meal) on the banks of Nile river on the first day of Ramadan.

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