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An Egyptian woman who left Canada and fights waste in Cairo

While searching for the best ways to fight garbage, Tayseer Abu Al-Nasr faced many difficulties and obstacles and went through many adventures.

Abu Al-Nasr was born in 1954. She graduated from the Electrical Department at the Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University in 1976, then worked as a teaching assistant at the same university for a year. After that, she traveled to Canada as a university professor and rose in scientific positions until she reached the position of Dean of the Faculty of Engineering in two universities there.

Stretch survival

Abu Al-Nasr told Sky News Arabia: “I returned to Egypt in late 2011 and my goal was to stay there for one year only, but I decided to continue in Egypt, and when I returned to Egypt I lived in an apartment that my mother had bought for me a long time ago on the Nile Corniche in Maadi, I expected that Maadi would be the most beautiful area, especially when I lived in an apartment on the Nile.”

And he continued, “But when I came back, I was surprised by the state of hygiene in Egypt. This was a big problem for me, to watch that people throw garbage in the streets and there are no rules to deal with this matter. I lived 35 years in Canada and there was no such talk, and then My brain couldn’t comprehend this.”

She said: “In the beginning, I used to drive my car and follow those who throw garbage from the windows of their cars in the street and I quarrel with them and blame them for this matter, and this put me in a lot of embarrassment, and many of them treated me as crazy, they do not imagine that whoever lives abroad has An image in his imagination of his country that is not the bad image he is living now and he does not imagine scattering garbage in the streets.

Tours and tours

Abu Al-Nasr explained: “After that, I started collecting garbage from the area around the tower in which I live and handing it over to the security men responsible for the area to urge them to pay attention to prevent those who throw garbage in the street after that, then I started buying tools to collect garbage from the streets, and I fought for That’s adventures, arrivals, and tours.”

The former dean of the College of Engineering in Canada said: “I agreed with the garbage collectors after that to collect them from the street near my residential area and bought trees to plant in the place of the garbage, and the surprise was that the trees were stolen the next day, then I bought large water bottles, the size of the gallon, and turned them into rubbish bins and hung them in Street lights were also stolen.

And she continued: “I made many attempts and failed, and I called upon our Lord and said that I would not be able to make a big change, until I thought of communicating with the administration of the Maadi neighborhood and dealt with 7 consecutive neighborhood heads who have changed since 2012 until now. They did nothing and others did a lot and did more than I gave up.”

She confirmed that one of the neighborhood heads was very cooperative with her and enthusiastic about what she was doing, and she began spending her own money with him on paving and decorating areas near her residence, painting walls in the streets and planting trees for decoration.

And she continued, “The neighborhood, during the era of this boss, hung garbage bins imported from abroad on the lighting poles, believing in my idea.

She went on to research the matter and found that these boxes are very expensive and greedy for theft, and they are not suitable for the Egyptian environment, and their design encourages sabotage or theft.

Anti-theft boxes

She said, “I began using my studies as an engineer to design garbage bins against theft, vandalism and destruction.” I stole it at the same time, and it is easy to empty and is against breakage and damage.”

She added that she then searched for someone who could design rubbish bins with these specifications, until she reached a workshop in Al-Marg, north of Cairo, and went to the technicians working in it and sat with them and said to them: “I am not crazy, but I am looking for a garbage bin design with certain specifications and I explained to them my demands, so they designed 5 boxes as an experiment.

And she continued: “After that I went to the neighborhood, and its cooperating boss had changed, so I handed them the boxes to be hung on the columns as an experiment. If it succeeded, it would be circulated, but unfortunately it was not hung on the columns until after a half year of strenuous attempts.

She said: “Now the bins have been suspended for more than 6 months and have already proven successful, and I feel very happy when I pass by them daily to check on them and find them in their place and people use them, and I hope that they will be circulated in all of Egypt to achieve my dream of an ideal garbage bin consistent with the Egyptian nature.”

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