Amid what local media is describing as a public outcry, authorities in Cairo have begun the removal and demolition of over 30 houseboats moored along the banks of the River Nile.
Video posted on Twitter by Omar Robert Hamilton shows some houseboats being towed away, one partly demolished already. Hamilton was recording from his family’s houseboat. He told Middle East Eye it would be “hard to imagine life without it.” He said the government had a “smash and grab attitude” to Cairo, aimed at squeezing profit “out of the place while they remain in power”.
Ayman Anwar, head of the Central Administration for the Protection of the Nile River in Greater Cairo, told local media that 32 residential houseboats would be removed to beautify the waterfront and make way for tourism.
Ahram Online said some residents were trying to raise awareness and overturn the removal decision, in order to preserve a part of the city’s heritage. “Houseboat residents say they are being forced out with little notice and no compensation,” the FT reported. Credit: Omar Robert Hamilton via Storyful