Strolling through Egypt's Little Syria with Leena
In this project I take a stroll through little Syria with the 15-year-old Leena. Since 2011, Syrians who have come to Egypt have changed the social fabric of the suburban neighborhood of 6th of October. Many were already part of the middle and upper middle classes in Syria, and with a few savings in hand; they came to Egypt with business plans. As the suburban 6th of October City grew in Egypt, Syrian shops and restaurants came to constitute a fundamental part of the city’s urban make up.
Given that 2013 was tough on many Syrians due to the state’ crackdown on refugees (among other people), hundreds have since left the country. This exodus came in the context of toughening residency procedures and governmental to decisions to not allow Syrians into Egypt without a visa, which became almost impossible to obtain.
Nonetheless, some people still prefer Egypt over other countries. Leena’s family, who lives in 6th of October city’s “Syrian neighborhood,” is one example. Her father owns a sweets shop in the Syrian street, and a café nearby. Her mother says she is comfortable living so close to the heart of the city, and has made many friends that she can always visit. She does add, however that while her family is here “officially” and their paperwork in order until now, not everyone is so lucky.