An Egyptian tour guide leads us through the neglected graves of al-Qarafa, where the living co-exist with the dead.
Filmmaker: Alessandro Molatore
Al-Qarafa, known as the ‘City of the Dead,’ is a four-mile-long cemetery from the northern to the southern part of Cairo, Egypt’s capital. It is the oldest Muslim cemetary in Egypt – a bustling grid of tombs and mausoleums where people live and work among their dead ancestors. Many residents live here to be near their loved ones, or because they were forced from more crowded areas in Cairo.
This documentary provides a glimpse into a veiled reality that even Egypt itself wants to ignore, preferring to glorify the past of the Pharaohs and their glamorous cemeteries rather than face the present of al-Qarafa with its dead and living inhabitants.
“We are not living a good life here. We are not alive, we struggle to survive. We want to have a proper house with water. We want to live normally. Because here we are not alive. We are living with the dead. All this dust comes from dead people. We are walking on top of them,” says one of the inhabitants.