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Marina of the Zabbaleen


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Marína of the Zabbaleen is a cinematic documentary feature film that premiered at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival, where festival Artistic Director, Peter Scarlet, was quoted as calling the film "one of my favorite films of the festival." Among its other accolades, Marína won a Muhr Award at the Dubai International Film Festival.

The film explores the world of seven-year-old Marína in the Muqqattam recycling village in Cairo, Egypt. An impressionistic portrait of childhood and family, the film also tells the story the resourceful Zabbaleen, a Coptic Christian community of recyclers whose entrepreneurial waste management system produces one of the highest recycling rates in the world.

As reported in The New York Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere in May 2009, in reaction to the outbreak of Swine Influenza, the Egyptian government ordered the eradication of the country’s pig population. For almost a century, the Zabbaleen had raised pigs to consume the thousands of tons of organic waste generated daily by Cairo’s residents.

No people has felt the ramifications of the Swine Influenza pandemic more acutely than these Coptic Christians, whose way of life was devastated by the government-ordered eradication of the country’s pig population in 2009.

Film by: Engi Wassef, and a Blue Nile Productions.

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