Bulldozed to oblivion, Al-Ahram Weekly, 7-13 June 2007
Families made homeless by a fire and forced demolitions in the Qalaat Al-Kabsh area of Sayeda Zeinab are determined that their voices be heard
Some 150 families of Qalaat Al-Kabsh remain homeless.
Complaints were filed last Thursday with the attorney-general by 150 residents of Qalaat Al-Kabsh who claim the government has reneged on promises to provide them with alternative housing after a fire destroyed their homes in the district of Sayeda Zeinab more than two months ago, reports Reem Leila. They have also demanded the attorney-general investigate incidents of corruption that accompanied the process of allocating flats to families made homeless by the fire, as well as the police brutality to which they say their families have been subjected. Out of 350 families that say their homes were destroyed in the flames, 200 have been provided with alternative houses.
The remaining 150 families protested in front of parliament on 30 May, demanding to be relocated, but were prevented by security forces from entering parliament and meeting Fathi Sorour, parliament speaker and MP for the constituency of Sayeda Zeinab. Sherif Faris Mohamed, a resident of Qalaat Al-Kabsh, says the security forces beat people indiscriminately, and many had to be rushed to hospital.
Cairo governorate official Tareq Abdel-Karim Radwan insists that all those who requested rehousing have now been relocated in Al-Nahda and Al-Salam cities.
Sorour visited the area last Saturday and reportedly promised that those remaining would have their complaints resolved quickly. The People?s Assembly?s Local Administration Committee is discussing the latest developments in Qalaat Al-Kabsh. According to Maher El-Derby, head of the committee, members have already met governorate officials and discussed with them the possibility of rehousing the remaining 150 families. The