This social documentary photography was submitted to Edge of Humanity Magazine by Documentary Photographer Walter Rothwell.
Click on any image to see Walter’s portfolio of projects and photographs.
From project “Pyramids Of Giza” by Walter Rothwell.
As International Governments react to the recent events in Egypt with yet more travel bans, the Bedouin working at the Pyramids of Giza face another chapter of uncertainty, they depend on tourism for their livelihoods, their animals depend on it for their very lives.
Generations of Bedouin have plied their trade at the pyramids, taking tourists around the site on camels and horses, making a good living over the years but their way of life was coming to an end.
In 2007, when I began this documentary, the Egyptian government was initiating a plan to expel them from the pyramids. It started with the construction of an 18 km security wall to restrict access, then the installation of 200 CCTV cameras.
The final stage was under way, building a concrete road for electric trains to shuttle the tourists around, when the plan was completed, all the Bedouin and their animals would be excluded from the pyramids. As the heavy construction machinery rumbled across the plateau, they watched daily as the road lengthened until it eventually reached the base of the pyramids in 2011, then, the Arab Spring revolution began and all construction was abandoned.
The bedouin had been granted a last minute reprieve but it was double edged, post revolution chaos erupted and tourism collapsed in Egypt.
For the Bedouin and their families, the Arab Spring has turned into an endless, barren, summer. The Cruise ships sail past, tour companies stay away, at the pyramids only the locals and the dust remain, leaving hundreds of owners and thousands of animals with no living. They hoped the new military government would bring stability and the return of mass tourism, not terrorism and more travel bans.
By Walter Rothwell