Al Jazeera World

The Unregistered

What happens to millions of Egyptians who are unaccounted for by the state?

It is thought that as many as seven million Egyptians do not exist in the eyes of the authorities or according to official records.

Their births, marriages, and deaths exist outside the bounds of the state, unrecognised and unaccounted for by their country.

They are bureaucratically invisible, not even appearing in the national census. If not resolved, this non-existence is often inherited by their children, resulting in several generations trapped in a cycle of poverty.

Children without parents, people who are illiterate, and people married without state certification, are often among those who fall into a blackhole of non-registration. These “unregistered” Egyptians often have difficulty accessing health-care and education; they also have no right to vote.

This film features the stories of four Egyptians disenfranchised in this way, and follows one in particular who tries to gain registration and in turn, his self-esteem.

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