Child labor in Egypt

Avatar Brazilian, International Relations student, traveler and storyteller
Lorenzo Gontijo
Member since February 9, 2017
  • 3 Posts
  • Age 21

Siwa, Egypt. (October, 2016)

Siwa, Egypt. (October, 2016)

In Egypt child labor rates are high and it's very common to find children being forced or influenced to work in the various sectors of society (agriculture, industry and domestic work, such as transportation, garbage collection, and sales).

While there I met Hassem, 14, who is in the 9th grade in school and loves soccer. But he still has to work every day as a tuk-tuk driver to generate more money and help his family. A tuk-tuk is a small three-wheeled vehicle used for transportation that is very common in Egypt, especially in small towns with difficult access, like Siwa.

In this photo Hassem is driving his tuk-tuk near the banks of the salt lake that was crystallized, forming a solid surface with an incredible landscape, which allows everyone to walk upon it.

An interesting thing about this image is that after I took this picture I noticed that Hassem was wearing a Brazilian national team shirt under his white tunic, with “Kaka” written on the back. I was really surprised to see this and it made me really happy, so I took a small Brazilian flag that was tied to my backpack and gave it to him.

Certainly, that flag which looked more like a small scarf would be especially valuable to him. Mainly because there are not so many Brazilians in a remote place like Siwa. And then you are a 14-year-old Egyptian tuk-tuk driver, wearing a Brazilian national team shirt with "Kaka" on the back, under your traditional tunic and then you find a Brazilian person and then get a Brazilian flag as a gift.


It seems like it was something premeditated. The happiness on his face was contagious. Even being a simple and unimportant act to some, that smile that you open on someone's face is worth more than anything you can buy.

Source on child labor: https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/images/ilab/child-labor/Egypt.pdf





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