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Karen Saad 900112421 Rhet 201 Section 8 Summer 2012 Dr Michael Gibson


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Table of contents Cover Letter page 3 Journals

page 4-19

Draft 1

page 20-43

Draft 2

page 44-67

Draft 3

page 68-92

Final Draft

page 93-118

Presentation slides

page 119-125


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Cover Letter This is my Rhet 201 portfolio; this course took place during the summer session of 2012 in the American University of Cairo. I organized this portfolio according to the sequence we had in class. First of all I started with the journals to give the reader a brief introduction of what was done during the first few weeks and the process of how the paper was organized. When I look at the first journal and then at the final paper I see great progress; I mean from how I was searching for a topic and then reaching the idea of “Street Children” and then developing and dividing those ideas into a whole I-search paper. So I just wanted the reader to see how my simple ideas started and then how they were developed to form a research paper. That’s why I started with the journals and then with the drafts and the final paper came afterwards. The presentation slides were inserted at the end of the portfolio to sum up the whole research paper. The I-search paper idea was a new daunting idea for me, yet very interesting since the passion inside of me of my topic thrived day after day. I was nervous at the beginning and I wondered how come will I be able to reach five pages in the paper; however, everything turned out to disagree with my expectations. I was fascinated by the topic so I looked for many sources, conducted a survey and interviewed some people. The I-search paper turned from a daunting idea to a fruitful paper full of new information that I wasn’t aware of. When I was writing the paper I didn’t focus on counting the pages but surprisingly I liked the concept of learning more and more about the topic. I agree with what Dr Mike said before: “It’s not about the quantity its all about the quality”. I loved the topic and I honestly loved working on that I-search paper. This course was the best and most beneficial course I took up till now.


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JOURNALS


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Karen Saad 900112421 RHET 201 Dr. Michael Gibson June 10, 2012 Journal 1

Here we go, the first day of summer course and we need to think of a research topic. Let me think, which topic that suits me the most. I need to think of something that will be first of all interesting to spend my time searching for. I love sports and how it affects students in a positive way. And how it makes life more enjoyable and how it teaches many life lessons to the person doing it. I don’t know why this topic but I’m just very passionate about sports especially that I just came back from Roland Garros, one of the best tennis grand slams in the world. Moreover the Euro cup started two days ago and the Olympics, which is taking, place in London. However, I need to find something else. Poverty, I just love this topic. I’ve always liked to know how do poor people live and how other well standard people help them. What she we do to help them and I guess that poor people took a great part in the Egyptian revolution. I just wish that they could live in better conditions. Last but not least. I could search about the psychology of the human mind. Maybe how sports effects people psychologically. How it for example take you away from depression. I’m into psychology but I guess I need to make more researches about psychology. The topic that catches me the most from the above choices I guess is poverty. But I can’t just make a research on poverty it must be a little bit narrowed. So I’ll go with “ Street


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children in Egypt”. I just feel good when I treat one of them well in the streets of Cairo. Most of them appreciate every penny they take even though I’m against how they earn that money (by Begging). Thus Street children will be my topic for the research. I’m very excited though and looking forward to work on that topic. And I’m hoping for a challenging course that will stimulate my critical thinking.


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Karen Saad 900112421 RHET 201 Dr. Michael Gibson June 11, 2012 Journal 2

Second day of class we went to the library to find some sources to support our topics. I finally agreed on "Street children in Cairo" since I’m involved to work with some street children on the weekends. I usually go to a place, I could call it a shelter not an orphanage since most of their parents are alive but they just left them. So I want to know the causes of the negligence of their parents or if there any other reasons that enabled them to live on the streets. I want to know more about the life style of these kids. So I looked up some sources and I’ll take about the child labor. I found some statistics about the percentage of child labor in Cairo. And other information about the forms of forced labor such as trafficking and some girls are forced into prostitution. And other information about child abuse. Also I found information about a movie called Antwone fisher, which focuses on a problem that society should address that is child abuse. Moreover, I found that Child abuse definitely have consequences on the street children. These are just some information and they are all from articles from 6 different sources. Furthermore, I would like to search about regulations and laws that the government could take to help these kids. And what if everyone cared and lends a hand to them. I thought also about asking some professional people on how to treat these kids since I work with them. I only go and help by giving them Maths or Arabic lessons, and preparing some


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games to them to help develop their personalities in a good way. I really want to know more about them so I could be able to treat them well and make them maybe better people in the future.


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Karen Saad 900112421 RHET 201 Dr. Michael Gibson June 12, 2012 Journal 2 revision

Second day of class we went to the library to find some sources to support our topics. I finally agreed on "Street children in Cairo" since I’m involved to work with some street children on the weekends. I usually go to a place, I could call it a shelter not an orphanage since most of their parents are alive but they just left them. So I want to know the causes of the negligence of their parents or if there any other reasons that enabled them to live on the streets. I want to know more about the life style of these street kids. So I looked up some sources carefully this time since now I understand the assignment well (My Apologies again :D) and I found an article called “The Street Children of Cairo”, by Alasdair Soussi. The highlight of the article was the number of homeless children estimated by the UN children’s funds, which was 1 million. That number is rising very fast in the two main cities of Egypt, Cairo and Alexandria. That article also talks about how the former President Mohamed Hosny Mubarak knew about these street children; however, he didn’t do anything since all he cared about was the safety of the country and the political affairs. Another thing that is mentioned in that article is a story about a kid from Sayeda Zeinab called Mohamed who left his house when his grandfather died and his uncle started to beat him up. He thought that the streets were a better place for him, but it turned out to be a place full of darkness since the older


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street children beats the younger kids up and they sexually abuse them. Unfortunately Adel another kid was one of these kids who was raped many times. Drugs were often offered to him, but being raped is the worst thing that happened. He continued that when he became older everyone feared him and no one dared to do such thing to him. The article also gives some reasons for these children heading to the streets after mentioning some other stories like that of Mohamed and Adel’s. Parent’s problems, such as divorce and unemployment, and parents abuse are two main reasons for that case. These poor kids face many health problems and some studies of the UNICEF found out that 86% of the children are exposed to violence while 50% of them are subjected to sexual abuse. And other information about the forms of forced labor such as trafficking and some girls are forced into prostitution yes that unfortunately happen in Egypt. Girls who are being forced into prostitution is a phenomenon that many people can’t imagine. They simply can’t believe that such thing happen in Egypt. As Dr Gibson said today in class that he couldn’t picture these things happening here since Egyptians are very concerned about religion. The second article I found was by Meriah Doty. It talked about a movie called “ The real Anwone Fisher” which focuses on a problem that society should address that is child abuse. Maybe I could talk some ideas from that movie since it was based on true events. I found that Child abuse definitely have consequences on the street children. The third source was an article which headline was “58.7 percent of street children are in Cairo, says study” from the Daily News Egypt published on the 21st of July 2009. That article illustrated some statistics such the name of the article and that for example 28% didn’t receive any education. 35 % of the children take their income to support their


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families, and 4 % of them are using drugs. These are some statistics not all of them; they are studies from the survey conducted by the Ministry of Family and population. Also Dr Moshira Khatab, the minister of family and population suggested some strategies to deal with the problem such as Egyptian family bonds and higher levels of education could help in decreasing these numbers. The fourth source I found was an article, “Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect” by Child Welfare Information Gateway, that talks about the effects of child abuse. Physical health problems, psychological, and some behavioral problems are the consequences. It talks in details about each one. The fifth source, “In Cairo, hordes of street kids, but no longer ignored”, is an article by Jill Carroll that stated that some of these street children finally got help. A story of two boys called Karim and Mustapha who were found by a Man who looks for these kids at night and take him to a shelter. He worked for a non-profitable organization and he helped the two boys. The article also mentioned some groups such as “Home village society” which tries to help the street children. These groups aim to give the street children a normal life; they try to help them as much as they can. These non-profitable groups are like the one I work with which I mentioned earlier. Last but no least I found a book called Beyond the Victim: The Politics and Ethics of Empowering Cairo's Street Children by Kamal Fahmy, a sociologist who portrays the lives of street children after 8 years of field work. Furthermore, I would like to search about regulations and laws that the government could take to help these kids. And what if everyone cared and lend a hand to them. I thought


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also about asking some professional people on how to treat these kids since I work with them. I only go and help by giving them Maths or Arabic lessons, and preparing some games to them to help develop their personalities in a good way. I really want to know more about them so I could be able to treat them well and make them feel good about themselves so they could become better people in the future.


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Karen Saad 900112421 RHET 201 Dr. Michael Gibson June 13, 2012 Journal 3

The fourth day of classes and we had to find four more sources in addition to our previous 6 sources. And we had to think about the research question. I think my research question will be “What’s the secret behind the spread of street children in Cairo?” Moreover there will be sub questions and some ideas in the middle of the research such as -How a religious country such as Egypt neglects the street children? -Though Egyptians are known for their strong family bonds we could still see a rising number of children in the streets of Cairo, that is due to what? - Are they all come from poor families?? Or are there some other reasons for being neglected? -Why they are neglected by most of the people and especially the government" First source I found was a book called Child Protection Policies in Egypt: A RightsBased Approach by Azer, Adel Mehanna, Sohair al-Sharmani, Mulki. This very useful book analyzes policies regarding the child protection, health and education. A very


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interesting information that was illustrated in that book was that the law to be employed prohibits children less than 14 years; however, this law is not enforced and it is being neglected. Also some family background for the working children is mentioned, which indicated some studies. One of these studies is that working children income is 19 % of the family’s income. Actually there were some shocking statistics such that children start working from the age of 9 to 11. Moreover there were some suggested legislations that would enable the protection of the children but honestly they are too complicated and I need to take a more deep look to see whether I’ll use them or not.

Second source I found a research done by some students from Princeton University. I’m not sure right now if it credible but I’ll ask Dr Gibson tomorrow if I can rely on what I found or not. The research’s title was the “Behavioral Survey among Street Children in Greater Cairo and Alexandria” By
 Khaled Nadai, El Daw Sulimanii, Nadia Zibaniiii. The statistics were like for example the reasons for engaging children to the streets, 65.2 % were due to family problems, 29% for earning money to themselves and for their families. 22.8% forced to leave the house. 28% of the street boys had sex with other boys. Actually I’m not shocked by that percentage since the place I go to had similar issues. Smoking and buying drugs are common bad habits in the lives of the streets. All of these statistics come from a study sample, which is consisted of 463 (373 boys and 90 girls) and 394 (354 boys and 40 girls) completed interviews with street children in Greater Cairo and Alexandria, respectively. Third source was an article with the name of “Street children: issues and impact” from the UNICEF website. The impacts of the life of streets are showed; some were Health


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problems, such as cholera and anemia. The kids are exposed to toxic substances in the environment around them and also in their food. Then the UNICEF is working with some groups to help the street children such as Caritas. These groups try to educate and empower the boys and the girls of the streets. They provide centers to do such things and the UNICEF supports by training the workers and the children themselves. The article also mentioned the launch of the National Strategy for the Protection and Rehabilitation of Street Children, which is supposed to give the street children better lives and to ensure them access to the things they are deprived from. But honestly, do any of us see that as efficient as it should be? No since the number of street children is rising not decreasing. Fourth source I found was http://www.nccm-egypt.org/e7/index_eng.html . It’s the official cite of the National Council of childhood and motherhood. Placing the children best interest as the highest priority is the first legislative regarding the protection of the child’s right. Healthcare, social, and educational services are supposed to be provided by the Child’s law. How come there is a law concerning the child’s right and there is a huge percentage of children are living on the streets buying, begging, and committing bad habits? The only story that I know, as an answer concerning this question “Are they all come from poor families?? Or are there some other reasons for being neglected?” is that some of the street children come from well off parents. I’m going to ask about why such people just go and throw their children away while they could afford having them in their lives.


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Karen Saad 900112421 RHET 201 Dr. Michael Gibson June 26, 2012 Journal 4 Of course in any research paper there should be primary research where we go interview people or distribute surveys. That is the most interesting part where we are exploring our topics. My topic as I mentioned in the earlier journals is “ Street Children in Cairo”. I conducted a survey to see the responses of various people. I wrote the questions and then asked Dr Gibson if these questions needed anything less or more. Then he gave me some comments and I made some changes of course. After that I used Survey Monkey for my questionnaire. I designed the survey and sent it through social media, Twitter and Facebook. Actually I was quite surprised with some responses, which I’ll analyze later in the results, a part in the research paper. Also I sent the survey to Dr Gibson and he gave me a small feedback then I made some quick changes again. I printed out some surveys and distributed them to some people in road 9 in Maadi in front of TBS, Cilantro, and maybe two. Moreover, I took the emails of my colleagues to send them the survey today in class. Until now I collected 94 responses and I’m hoping for 6 more to reach the 100 responses. During I was distributing the survey in road 9, I found Ali, a young boy who helps in parking cars or sometimes beg. I asked him some questions regarding his life on


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the streets. He answered most of my questions, some I believed and some maybe he created to make me feel sympathized for him. I usually see him when I go there; he comes to help me park the car and he always comes and says hi. Even though the bad conditions he’s living in, he has that smile which shines his face I’ll never forget. I also interviewed Amy Iskander, a Marriage and Family Therapist, and I asked her some questions concerning the treatment of street children within an organization. How could we as young adults who have no experience react in various situations with these kids? She answered my questions and she told me some overall messages that could be used in several situations. I hope that I could interview anyone in charge in the organization I go help in. But unfortunately the situation in Egypt and the circumstances around aren’t very helpful. I’m hoping that I could reach any of them so that the curiosity and the questions I have would be answered and by that I’ll be satisfied.


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Karen Saad 900112421 RHET 201 Dr. Michael Gibson July 2, 2012 Journal 5 Our forth week started and we are still working on our papers; actually I think that we are almost done. The first draft, which was submitted on Wednesday morning, took a lot of time and effort. Everything I’ve done in the last few weeks was combined together to create draft one. The introduction was written from scratch, the results of the conducted survey were collected, the interviews were finally written, and the previous annotated bibliography of mine was re-arranged to form the literature review. They survey results were quiet impressive. After a lot of work done on the paper with no sleep, it was time for the conference for draft 1 with Mr. Mike. Thank God, he gave me positive comments, which lifted my spirit up and made me think that it was worth all the effort that was done. He gave me a feedback and I went back home and made the required changes which means that draft 2 is done. Yesterday was the peer review and Mariam was supposed to read the paper and give me comments. Working on this peer review feedback and making changes will lead me to draft 3 which will be probably be done by tonight or maximum by tomorrow. Even though I’m still not done with the conclusion, I must make a presentation on what I have. I’m not sure of the style of the presentation, but


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I have some ideas such as a video, a PowerPoint, and even maybe some pictures of street children around in my district; I’m still searching and looking. After the presentation I think that I’ll start with draft number 4 that will include the conclusion (I still need to ask Mr. Mike about it) and the final changes and who knows maybe that will be the last draft. I’m impressed by the work I’ve accomplished until now in the past few weeks and I can’t imagine that we are almost done. This class is one of the best classes I’ve ever had and that I’ll never forget. When the atmosphere is good around me, I believe that this will encourage me to work and produce more since there is neither any pressure nor any stress.


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DRAFTS Draft 1


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Karen Saad RHET 201 Dr. Michael Gibson I-Search Paper Draft 1 26 JUNE 2012 Street Children in Cairo For over than four months now and I have been spending some time every week with some street children in an organization called Ana El Masry-“ I-the-Egyptian”. The first time I went there, I was deeply touched by the way they welcomed me. And I asked myself how come that these children welcome me in that way and it’s just the first time they see my face. I decided to keep going every week with a group of people at my age, yet I was not sure of the way of help I could offer to these kids. The thing that I was able to do, with the help of my friends, was organizing a day full of games that maybe could teach them some values and make them happy, but still that didn’t satisfy me. Seeing the innocent smiles on their faces and how they accept the people around them made me wonder about the reasons that left them on the streets. Only a few number of them were lucky to be found by such organizations but what about the rest? Being homeless and living on the streets of Cairo might have been caused by many reasons and that’s why this topic intrigued me. I wanted to know more about these children that’s the reason for my choice. Primary and secondary research will be conducted to find out the reasons behind the spread of the children in the streets of Cairo. This topic is very important, not


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only to me, but for the entire country since this phenomenon is increasing day by day. Knowing the reasons behind this problem might lead to finding answers and solving it. My research question for this research is: What is the secret behind the spread of street children in Cairo? After conducting primary research in addition to secondary research, I might be able to answer this question and maybe reach a solution for this problem. I just want to know why are they neglected. When conducting the research, I was faced with many limitations; security was one of these limitations since in the last few months Egypt was going through a difficult time, and the streets were not the safest place to be especially if you are a girl. Also the people were having a difficult time trusting anyone going up to them and asking them questions. Another limitation was time restriction since the time allowed for the research was not that enough with a lot of lost days and hours because of the conditions in Egypt. What I found:

I found some sources and books about “The Street Children of Cairo” which enabled me to understand more about their lives on the streets. First of all I found a book called Beyond the Victim written by Kamal Fahmi, a sociologist, who portrays the lives of street children after eight years of fieldwork. Fahmi asks a question which is “Who is a Street Child”? Then he starts asking and observing the kids on the streets. Some of them start to tell him their sorrowful stories. He also talks about the length of time they spend on the streets, nature of ties with their families of origin and patterns of working in the streets. He discusses also some changes brought about eight years of research and observation.


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Another article I found was called "The Street Children of Cairo", an article published in the Jerusalem post. The highlight of the article is the number of homeless children estimated by the UN children’s funds, which is 1 million. That number is rising very fast in the two main cities of Egypt, Cairo and Alexandria. Another thing that is mentioned in that article is a story about a kid from Sayeda Zeinab called Mohamed, who left his house when his grandfather died and his uncle started to beat him up. He thought that the streets were a better place for him, but it turned out to be a place full of darkness since the older street children beats the younger kids up and they sexually abuse them. Unfortunately Adel another kid was one of these kids who was raped many times. Drugs were often offered to him, but being raped is the worst thing that happened. He continued that when he became older everyone feared him and no one dared to do such thing to him. (Alasdair, 2008.) The article also gives some reasons for these children heading to the streets after mentioning some other stories like that of Mohamed and Adel’s. Parent’s problems, such as divorce and unemployment, and parents abuse are two main reasons for that case. These poor kids face many health problems and some studies of the UNICEF found out that 86% of the children are exposed to violence while 50% of them are subjected to sexual abuse. And another information about the forms of forced labor such as trafficking and some girls are forced into prostitution yes that unfortunately happen in Egypt. Girls who are being forced into prostitution is a phenomenon that many people can’t imagine. They simply can’t believe that such thing happen in Egypt. As Dr. Gibson said in class that he couldn’t picture these things happening here since Egyptians are very concerned about religion. (Alasdair, 2008)


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A very interesting piece of information I found is a survey called "Behavioral Survey among Street Children in Greater Cairo and Alexandria.”, a survey conducted by Nada Khaled, Suliman el Daw, and Nadia Zibani. The statistics from this research gives reasons for the phenomenon of street children: 65.2 % were due to family problems, 29% were there to earn money for themselves and their families; 22.8% were forced to leave the house. Another statistic illustrated that 28% of the street boys had sex with other boy and smoking and buying drugs are common habits in the lives of the street children. All of these statistics come from a study sample, which consisted of 463 children in Cairo (373 boys and 90 girls) and 394 children in Alexandria (354 boys and 40 girls). Sadly, child abuse and sexual abuse are being practiced on the poor street kids; these horrifying behaviors appear to be an issue in our society that cannot be neglected. Many movies discussed the child abuse phenomenon; maybe the most famous movie that focuses on a problem a society should address, which is child abuse, is called “ The Real Antwone Fisher”. That film was inspired from a true story; Fisher’s earliest memories are of being sexually abused, beaten, tied up and left in a basement for hours, sometimes days. "I thought that there were no good people in the world, especially adults," he says. Maybe I could discuss some ideas from that movie since it was based on true events. I found that Child abuse definitely has consequences on the street children and being addressed by a worldwide movie might light up the hearts of the people and make them think about this serious issue. (Dotty, 2010) Of course child abuse has negative consequences that I wanted to know. I searched many sources but the most adequate one is an article with the title "Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect." This article talks about the effects of child


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abuse, including physical health problems as well as psychological/behavioral problems, detailing each one. Studies showed that people who experienced child abuse or neglect are more likely to suffer from allergies, athma, and high blood pressure. Also the emotional effects of neglect and abuse could cause fear, low self-esteem, and depression. Child abuse could also cause personality disorders, and violent behavior. (Gateway, 2008) It is very obvious that child abuse is becoming very prevalent in our stressful and violent society and this may be extremely dangerous and there should be laws protecting the rights of these children. The official cite of the National Council of Childhood and Motherhood in Egypt deliberated placing the children’s best interest as the highest priority is to be the first law regarding the protection of the child’s right. Healthcare, social, and educational services are supposed to be provided by the Child’s law. (Child Rights/Legislation.) I found another book called “Child Protection Policies in Egypt: A Rights-Based Approach” written by Adel Azer. This very useful book analyzes policies regarding child protection, health and education. A very interesting piece of information that’s illustrated in that book is that the law to be employed prohibits children less than 14 years; however, this law is not enforced and it is being neglected. Also some family background for the working children is mentioned, which indicated some studies. One of these studies is that working children income is 19 % of the family’s income. Actually there are some shocking statistics such that children start working from the age of 9 to 11. Moreover there are some suggested legislations that would enable the protection of the children. But honestly do you think that this is applicable in our society? Does these laws protect the children of the streets? I don’t see these legislations as valid as they seems since it


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doesn’t protect the street kids; moreover, it doesn’t appear to be significant in guarding these kids. Then how could we help these kids? Having various organizations in our society could be one step of many in helping these kids. UNICEF is working with some groups such as Caritas to help the street children. These groups try to educate and empower the boys and the girls of the streets. They provide centers to do such things and the UNICEF supports by training the workers and the children themselves. The article also mentions the launch of the National Strategy for the Protection and Rehabilitation of Street Children, which is supposed to give the street children better lives and to ensure them access to the things they are deprived from. (UNICEF Egypt.) Another interesting article called "In Cairo, Hordes of Street Kids, but no Longer Ignored" states that some of these street children finally got help. There is a story mentioned of a man who looks for street children at night and take them to a shelter. He worked for a non-profit organization where he helped the boys he finds. The article also mentions some groups such as “Home village society” which tries to help the street children. (Carroll, 2008) These groups aim to give the street children a normal life; they try to help them as much as they can. These non-profit groups are like the one I work with which I mentioned earlier. The number of these kids is increasing and according to statistics: 28% of street children didn’t receive any education, 35 % take their income to support their families, and 4 % are using drugs. These are some statistics, not all of them; they come from studies conducted by the Ministry of Family and Population in Egypt. Also, Dr. Moshira Khatab, the Minister of Family and Population suggested some strategies to deal with the


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problem such as strengthening Egyptian family bonds and improving education. (Daily news, 2009) Methodology Of course in any research paper there should be primary research where we go interview people or distribute surveys. That is the most interesting part where we are exploring our topics more and more. I conducted a survey to see the responses of various people. I wrote the questions and then asked Dr. Gibson if these questions needed anything less or more. Then he gave me some comments and I made some changes of course. After that I used Survey Monkey for my questionnaire. I designed the survey and sent it through social media, Twitter and Facebook. Actually I was quite surprised with some responses, which I’ll analyze later in the results. Also I sent the survey to Dr. Gibson and he gave me a small feedback then I made some quick changes again. I printed out some surveys and distributed them to some people in road 9 in Maadi. Moreover, I took the emails of my colleagues to send them the survey in class. Until now I collected 100 responses. During I was distributing the survey in road 9, I found Ali, a young boy who helps in parking cars or sometimes beg. I asked him some questions regarding his life on the streets. He answered most of my questions, some I believed and some maybe he created to make me feel sympathized for him. I usually see him when I go there; he comes to help me park the car and he always comes and says hi. Even though the bad conditions he’s living in, he has that smile which shines his face I’ll never forget. I also interviewed Amy Iskander, a Marriage and Family Therapist, and I asked her some questions concerning the treatment of street children within an organization. How could we as young adults who have no experience react in various situations with these kids?


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She answered my questions and she told me some overall messages that could be used in several situations. Both interviews’ questions could be referred to in Appendix B. Results of the survey I conducted a survey about street children in Cairo and I distributed it on 100 people and here are the responses of the questions. 97% of the people were aware of the problem of “ Street children”. Just 3% said no they are not aware. 87% said yes they have had an experience with a street child and 16% said no. 52% said yes they bothered them, 39% said no, and 9% said neither. 77.1 % said they tend to help them. Most of them said by money, some said by giving them food, and clothes, while others said they could help by talking to them as normal people, giving them advices, and drawing a smile on their faces. On the other hand 24% said that they don’t tend to help. 70.7% said that yes they give them money and 30.3% said no. 95% of the people answered that street children come from below average families, 4% answered with average families, and just 1% answered that they come from normal families. 93.9% said that they think that phenomenon is increasing, and 6.1% said that it’s decreasing. 96.9% said yes they have sympathy for them, and 5.1% said no. I asked another question in the survey, which was “ Are you aware of any organization?” 71.4% answered with a no, and 32.7% answered yes they are aware of organizations such as, Resala, Caritas, Ana el Masry, El Amal, El Sawy culture wheel, and Orman. 79.3% of the people said that they would like to take part in such organizations, and 20.7 said no. Who is mainly responsible was another question that 59.3% answered the government is responsible, 54.2% said that the parents are responsible, 5.1% said that the children themselves are the ones responsible, and 33.9% said that the people are the ones responsible. I also asked this question “In your


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opinion, why do you think these children are on the streets?” I actually received various kinds of answers; some people said that their parents can’t afford the daily life expenses, some said that the main reason was the government, some said that parents want to have lots of kids, not putting into consideration how to take care of them, some said that its due the divorce and neglect of some parents, some said that these kids cant or don’t have a home, some said that the reason was poverty, and others said that they run away because they didn’t receive love and care and they are exposed to different kinds of child abuse. Another question was “What do you think is the best solution for this problem?” Most of the people agreed that educating them and raising awareness are good solutions. Others agreed that the government should help these children and there should be more organizations providing shelter and teaching them life lessons. “And whom do you think is the most equipped to help these kids?” was my last question. I got answers such as the government, businessmen, the whole country, the youth, and different organizations. You could refer to all questions in Appendix A. My first interview was with Ali, an 11 years old street child, who spends most of his time on a well-known street in Maadi where he collects money. Are your parents alive? My dad is not, and my mom is sick and does not work. Are you receiving any sorts of education? No I wasn’t able to go to any school since I’m on the streets all day long looking for money and food to return to my mother.


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Do you have any siblings? If yes, do they go to school or work with you? Yes, two sisters- one older and one younger than me - and one brother who is older than me by two years. My oldest sister goes to a governmental school and the other two help me search for money. How much do you make a day? It all depends on luck, but around 50-60 LE and it is barely enough for the five of us, but we are managing thank God. What is your life long dream Ali? A professional soccer player is my dream since I was a little boy. I don’t want to be stuck in a situation like mine, yet what can I do? It’s Gods will and its just life! Do you play soccer just for fun at least? Yes, I have a soccer ball that I play with after midnight when my family is asleep. It’s just the night, the ball, and me. Peaceful, for a brief moment in time, I forget about life and just focus on the ball. My second interview was with Amy Iskander, MS, LAMFT Marriage & Family Therapist in Maadi Psychology Center. That interview is mainly about how we could deal with orphaned and street children inside an organization. By “ we” I mean us, young adults who have no experience, who are able to go and help these street children and maybe volunteer in such organizations.


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How could we react to a difficult disclosure: “my mom has abandoned me.” First of all never be shocked! Validate feelings, do not minimize or rationalize like you can say, “that must have been hard”, “you sound/seem...” “You must be feeling...”, “it seems that you have a difficult time with...”. Do not be afraid to get emotional with them. You also need to find out what meaning they are attaching to the experience. Try to reframe (help them see things in a new light), do not advice. Another important thing you should consider is that you don’t need to assume understanding, ask more questions. You need to lay aside your own preconceptions about their condition, how they feel about it, their need). Do not hesitate to love. No matter what you say or do, it will communicate love more than they have ever received before. How could we discipline these kids while they never had any kind of self-control before? It’s equally our role to discipline. The strongest influence of discipline is when it is intermingled with love. You need to help them know their limits before they misbehave. Behavior modification must be used like rewarding and punishing to teach them selfcontrol. All kids like attention, but you should give most attention when they are behaving well. Stay detached and try as much as you can to not show strong emotions as a result of their misbehavior. Don’t hesitate to allow some control. Also you can encourage sharing of negative emotions, do not punish them for it. Punishing misbehavior often means to them that I cannot be upset, hurt, etc. Help them differentiate negative emotions from the resulting negative behavior.


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After talking to them, what actions should be taken from us to help or in other words how could we initiate help? You need to focus on connecting with the kids, rather than trying to change them. - Do not approach them as inferiors because you would be surprised how much these kids have to teach you about life, joy, etc. Being curious is a good thing in such situations: Ask how and what questions. You need to listen, more than to speak. You can even ask 3 silly and 1 serious question. Actually sharing personal stories always have good results. Watch the kids, seek to understand and help them take ownership – creating things such as a kiosk. Help them dream big and ask their helpers about their primary needs and trust that they understand these children well. When we are allowed to report if someone of these kids said something serious such as “ I have drugs” or “ I’m planning to escape, and how? Do not report readily because that will harm the trust and openness that the kids have developed with you. Be empathetic, do not judge, and try to not focus on evaluating the moral of what they are saying or doing, but show understanding. - For e.g. “yeah I sometimes want to run away from home myself.” Avoid guilt inflicting statements. And don’t push in the opposite direction since they’ll hold tighter onto their misbehavior. Just try to help them “count the cost” of change and the consequences of the misbehavior.


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Do you have any tips or overall messages to communicate with them when they say for e.g. “I cannot be loved”, “ I cannot feel”, and “I can’t dream because I’m not in control of my life”? Of course you can usually say, “It’s not your fault”, “You are loved no matter what you do or who you are, you deserve to be loved and not abandoned”, and “You are important that is why I am here”. Show them that it’s okay to feel something or grieve about something. Teach them about anger - it is a masking emotion that hides one of three other more vulnerable emotions (hurt, sadness, fear). Always offer sense of control and hope like “I can’t change my past, but I do have a say into the person I can become in the future.”


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Work Cited Alasdair, Soussi. "The Street Children of Cairo." The Jerusalem Post. N.p., 18 Aug. 2008. Web. Azer, Adel, and Inc ebrary. Child Protection Policies in Egypt: A Rights-Based Approach. 30, no. 1, spring 2007. Vol. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2010. Print. "Child Protection." UNICEF Egypt. N.p., n.d. Web. "Child Rights/Legislation." Child Rights/Legislation. N.p., n.d. Web. Dotty, Meriah. "The Real Antwone Fisher."CNN, 10 Jan. 2010. Fahmi, Kamal, and Inc ebrary. Beyond the Victim: The Politics and Ethics of Empowering Cairo's Street Children. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2007. Print. Jill Carroll. "In Cairo, Hordes of Street Kids, but no Longer Ignored." The Christian Science Monitor: 1. Print. 2008. Khaled, Nada, Suliman El Daw, and Nadia Zibani. "Behavioral Survey among Street Children in Greater Cairo and Alexandria." N.p., n.d. Web.


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"Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect." Child Welfare Information Gateway. N.p., 2008. "58.7 Percent of Street Children are in Cairo, Says Study." Daily News EgyptPrint. 2009.


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Annotated Bibliography Alasdair, Soussi. "The Street Children of Cairo." The Jerusalem Post. N.p., 18 Aug. 2008. Web. The highlight of the article is the number of homeless children estimated by the UN children’s funds, which is 1 million. That number is rising very fast in the two main cities of Egypt, Cairo and Alexandria. This article mentions some stories of several children; it also mentions that the older kids beat the younger kids up and they sexually abuse them. Moreover, drugs are often offered to these poor kids. The article also gives some reasons for these children heading to the streets such as divorce and unemployment, and parents abuse. These poor kids face many health problems and some studies of the UNICEF found out that 86% of the children are exposed to violence while 50% of them are subjected to sexual abuse. And another information about the forms of forced labor such as trafficking and some girls are forced into prostitution yes that unfortunately happen in Egypt. Girls who are being forced into prostitution became a phenomenon that many people can’t imagine. They simply can’t believe that such thing happen in Egypt. As Dr. Gibson said in class that he couldn’t picture these things happening here since Egyptians are very concerned about religion.


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Azer, Adel, and Inc ebrary. Child Protection Policies in Egypt: A Rights-Based Approach. 30, no. 1, spring 2007. Vol. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2010. Print. This very useful book analyzes policies regarding child protection, health and education. A very interesting piece of information that’s illustrated in that book is that the law to be employed prohibits children less than 14 years; however, this law is not enforced and it is being neglected. Also some family background for the working children is mentioned, which indicated some studies. One of these studies is that working children income is 19 % of the family’s income. Actually there are some shocking statistics such that children start working from the age of 9 to 11. Moreover there are some suggested legislations that would enable the protection of the children. "Child Protection." UNICEF Egypt. N.p., n.d. Web. “Street children: issues and impact” from the UNICEF website. The impacts of the life of streets are shown, some of which were Health problems such as cholera and anemia. These kids are exposed to toxic substances in the environment around them and also in their food. UNICEF is also working with some groups such as Caritas to help the street children. These groups try to educate and empower the boys and the girls of the streets. They provide centers to do such things and the UNICEF supports by training the workers and the children themselves. The article also mentions the launch of the National Strategy for the Protection and Rehabilitation of Street Children, which is supposed to give the street children better lives and to ensure them access to the things they are deprived from.


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"Child Rights/Legislation." Child Rights/Legislation. N.p., n.d. Web. This is the official cite of the National Council of Childhood and Motherhood in Egypt. Placing the children’s best interest as the highest priority is the first law regarding the protection of the child’s right. Healthcare, social, and educational services are supposed to be provided by the Child’s law. Dotty, Meriah. "The Real Antwone Fisher."CNN, 10 Jan. 2010. This article by Meriah Doty talked about a movie called The Real Antwone Fisher, which focuses on a problem that society should address that is child abuse. Fisher’s earliest memories are of being sexually abused, beaten, tied up and left in a basement for hours, sometimes days. "I thought that there were no good people in the world, especially adults," he says. Maybe I could discuss some ideas from that movie since it was based on true events. I found that Child abuse definitely has consequences on the street children and being addressed by a worldwide movie might light up the hearts of the people and make them think about this serious issue. Fahmi, Kamal, and Inc ebrary. Beyond the Victim: The Politics and Ethics of Empowering Cairo's Street Children. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2007. Print. Fahmi, a sociologist, portrays the lives of street children after eight years of fieldwork in his book Beyond the Victim. Fahmi asks a question which is “Who is a Street Child”? Then he starts asking and observing the kids on the streets. Some of them start to tell him their stories. He also talks about the length of time they spend on the streets, nature of ties


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with their families of origin and patterns of working in the streets. He discusses also some changes brought about eight years of research and observation. Jill Carroll. "In Cairo, Hordes of Street Kids, but no Longer Ignored." The Christian Science Monitor: 1. Print. 2008. This article stated that some of these street children finally got help. There is a story mentioned of a man who looks for street children at night and take them to a shelter. He worked for a non-profit organization where he helped the boys he finds. The article also mentions some groups such as “Home village society� which tries to help the street children. These groups aim to give the street children a normal life; they try to help them as much as they can. These non-profit groups are like the one I work with which I mentioned earlier. Khaled, Nada, Suliman El Daw, and Nadia Zibani. "Behavioral Survey among Street Children in Greater Cairo and Alexandria." N.p., n.d. Web. The statistics from this research gives reasons for the phenomenon of street children: 65.2 % were due to family problems, 29% were there to earn money for themselves and their families; 22.8% were forced to leave the house. Another statistic illustrated that 28% of the street boys had sex with other boy and smoking and buying drugs are common habits in the lives of the street children. All of these statistics come from a study sample which consisted of 463 children in Cairo (373 boys and 90 girls) and 394 children in Alexandria (354 boys and 40 girls).


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"Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect." Child Welfare Information Gateway. N.p., 2008. This article talks about the effects of child abuse, including physical health problems as well as psychological/behavioral problems, detailing each one. Studies showed that people who experienced child abuse or neglect are more likely to suffer from allergies, athma, and high blood pressure. Also the emotional effects of neglect and abuse could cause fear, low self-esteem, and depression. Child abuse could also cause personality disorders, and violent behavior. "58.7 Percent of Street Children are in Cairo, Says Study." Daily News EgyptPrint. 2009. This article illustrated some statistics; hence the name of the article. For example, 28% of street children didn’t receive any education, 35 % take their income to support their families, and 4 % are using drugs. These are some statistics, not all of them; they come from studies conducted by the Ministry of Family and Population in Egypt. Also, Dr. Moshira Khatab, the Minister of Family and Population suggested some strategies to deal with the problem such as strengthening Egyptian family bonds and improving education.


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Appendix A Are you aware of the problem of “Street Children”? Yes No Did you ever have an experience with a street child? Yes No If yes, did you get bothered? Yes No Neither Do you tend to help them? Yes No If yes, how…….. Do you give them money? Yes No

Do you think that they come from .... Below average families Average families Normal families Above average families


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Do you think that phenomenon is... Increasing Decreasing Do you feel sympathy for them? Yes No Are you aware of any organizations that help such phenomenon? Yes No If yes, please specify Would you like to take part in such organizations? Yes No Neither Who is mainly responsible in your opinion? The government The parents The children The people In your opinion, why do you think these children are on the streets? What do you think is the best solution for this problem? And whom do you think is the most equipped to help these kids?


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Appendix B Interview Questions with Ali Are your parents alive? Are you receiving any sorts of education? Do you have any siblings? If yes, do they go to school or work with you? How much do you make a day? What is your life long dream Ali? Do you play soccer just for fun at least?

Interview Questions with Amy Iskander How could we react to a difficult disclosure: “my mom has abandoned me.” How could we discipline these kids while they never had any kind of self-control before? After talking to them, what actions should be taken from us to help or in other words how could we initiate help? When we are allowed to report if someone of these kids said something serious such as “ I have drugs” or “ I’m planning to escape, and how? Do you have any tips or overall messages to communicate with them when they say for e.g. “I cannot be loved”, “ I cannot feel”, and “I can’t dream because I’m not in control of my life”?


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Draft 2


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Karen Saad RHET 201 Dr. Michael Gibson I-Search Paper Draft 2 28 JUNE 2012 Street Children in Cairo For over four months now, I have been spending some time every week with some street children in an organization called Ana El Masry-“ I-the-Egyptian”. The first time I went there, I was deeply touched by the way they welcomed me. And I asked myself how come that these children welcome me in that way and it’s just the first time they see my face. I decided to keep going every week with a group of people at my age, yet I was not sure of the way of help I could offer to these kids. The thing that I was able to do, with the help of my friends, was organizing a day full of games that maybe could teach them some values and make them happy, but still that didn’t satisfy me. Seeing the innocent smiles on their faces and how they accept the people around them made me wonder about the reasons that left them on the streets. Only a few number of them were lucky to be found by such organizations but what about the rest? Being homeless and living on the streets of Cairo might have been caused by many reasons and that’s why this topic intrigued me. I wanted to know more about these children that’s the reason for my choice. Primary and secondary researches were conducted to find out the reasons behind the spread of the children in the streets of Cairo. This topic is very important, not


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only to me, but probably for many people in the country since this phenomenon is increasing day by day. Knowing the reasons behind this problem might lead to finding answers and solving it. My research question for this research is: What is the secret behind the spread of street children in Cairo? After conducting primary research in addition to secondary research, I might be able to answer this question and maybe reach a solution for this problem. I just want to know why are they neglected. When conducting the research, I was faced with many limitations; security was one of these limitations since in the last few months Egypt was going through a difficult time, and the streets were not the safest place to be especially if you are a girl. Also the people were having a difficult time trusting anyone going up to them and asking them questions. Another limitation was time restriction since the time allowed for the research was not that enough with a lot of lost days and hours because of the conditions in Egypt. What I found: Both primary and secondary researches were conducted to find out the reasons behind the spread of the children in the streets of Cairo. I began reviewing literature on that topic and I found some sources and books about “The Street Children of Cairo” which enabled me to understand more about their lives on the streets. First of all I found a book called Beyond the Victim written by Kamal Fahmi, a sociologist, who portrays the lives of street children after eight years of fieldwork. Fahmi asks a question which is “Who is a Street Child”? Then he starts asking and observing the kids on the streets. Some of them start to tell him their sorrowful stories. He also talks about the length of time they spend on the streets, nature of ties with their families of origin and patterns of


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working in the streets. He discusses also some changes brought about eight years of research and observation. Another article I found was called "The Street Children of Cairo", an article published in the Jerusalem post. The highlight of the article is the number of homeless children estimated by the UN children’s funds, which is 1 million. That number is rising very fast in the two main cities of Egypt, Cairo and Alexandria. Another thing that is mentioned in that article is a story about a kid from Sayeda Zeinab called Mohamed, who left his house when his grandfather died and his uncle started to beat him up. He thought that the streets were a better place for him, but it turned out to be a place full of darkness since the older street children beats the younger kids up and they sexually abuse them. Unfortunately Adel another kid was one of these kids who was raped many times. Drugs were often offered to him, but being raped is the worst thing that happened. He continued that when he became older everyone feared him and no one dared to do such thing to him. (Alasdair, 2008.) The article also gives some reasons for these children heading to the streets after mentioning some other stories like that of Mohamed and Adel’s. Parent’s problems, such as divorce and unemployment, and parents abuse are two main reasons for that case. These poor kids face many health problems and some studies of the UNICEF found out that 86% of the children are exposed to violence while 50% of them are subjected to sexual abuse. And another information about the forms of forced labor such as trafficking and some girls are forced into prostitution yes that unfortunately happen in Egypt. Girls who are being forced into prostitution is a phenomenon that many people can’t imagine. They simply can’t believe that such thing happen in Egypt. As Dr. Gibson said in class


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that he couldn’t picture these things happening here since Egyptians are very concerned about religion. (Alasdair, 2008) A very interesting piece of information I found is a survey called "Behavioral Survey among Street Children in Greater Cairo and Alexandria.”, a survey conducted by Nada Khaled, Suliman el Daw, and Nadia Zibani. The statistics from this research gives reasons for the phenomenon of street children: 65.2 % were due to family problems, 29% were there to earn money for themselves and their families; 22.8% were forced to leave the house. Another statistic illustrated that 28% of the street boys had sex with other boy and smoking and buying drugs are common habits in the lives of the street children. All of these statistics come from a study sample, which consisted of 463 children in Cairo (373 boys and 90 girls) and 394 children in Alexandria (354 boys and 40 girls). Sadly, child abuse and sexual abuse are being practiced on the poor street kids; these horrifying behaviors appear to be an issue in our society that cannot be neglected. Many movies discussed the child abuse phenomenon; maybe the most famous movie that focuses on a problem a society should address, which is child abuse, is called “ The Real Antwone Fisher”. That film was inspired from a true story; Fisher’s earliest memories are of being sexually abused, beaten, tied up and left in a basement for hours, sometimes days. "I thought that there were no good people in the world, especially adults," he says. Maybe I could discuss some ideas from that movie since it was based on true events. I found that Child abuse definitely has consequences on the street children and being addressed by a worldwide movie might light up the hearts of the people and make them think about this serious issue. (Dotty, 2010)


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Of course child abuse has negative consequences that I wanted to know. I searched many sources but the most adequate one is an article with the title "Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect." This article talks about the effects of child abuse, including physical health problems as well as psychological/behavioral problems, detailing each one. Studies showed that people who experienced child abuse or neglect are more likely to suffer from allergies, athma, and high blood pressure. Also the emotional effects of neglect and abuse could cause fear, low self-esteem, and depression. Child abuse could also cause personality disorders, and violent behavior. (Gateway, 2008) It is very obvious that child abuse is becoming very prevalent in our stressful and violent society and this may be extremely dangerous and there should be laws protecting the rights of these children. The official cite of the National Council of Childhood and Motherhood in Egypt deliberated placing the children’s best interest as the highest priority is to be the first law regarding the protection of the child’s right. Healthcare, social, and educational services are supposed to be provided by the Child’s law. (Child Rights/Legislation.) I found another book called “Child Protection Policies in Egypt: A Rights-Based Approach” written by Adel Azer. This very useful book analyzes policies regarding child protection, health and education. A very interesting piece of information that’s illustrated in that book is that the law to be employed prohibits children less than 14 years; however, this law is not enforced and it is being neglected. Also some family background for the working children is mentioned, which indicated some studies. One of these studies is that working children income is 19 % of the family’s income. Actually there are some shocking statistics such that children start working from the age of 9 to 11. Moreover


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there are some suggested legislations that would enable the protection of the children. But honestly do you think that this is applicable in our society? Does these laws protect the children of the streets? I don’t see these legislations as valid as they seems since it doesn’t protect the street kids; moreover, it doesn’t appear to be significant in guarding these kids. Then how could we help these kids? Having various organizations in our society could be one step of many in helping these kids. UNICEF is working with some groups such as Caritas to help the street children. These groups try to educate and empower the boys and the girls of the streets. They provide centers to do such things and the UNICEF supports by training the workers and the children themselves. The article also mentions the launch of the National Strategy for the Protection and Rehabilitation of Street Children, which is supposed to give the street children better lives and to ensure them access to the things they are deprived from. (UNICEF Egypt.) Another interesting article called "In Cairo, Hordes of Street Kids, but no Longer Ignored" states that some of these street children finally got help. There is a story mentioned of a man who looks for street children at night and take them to a shelter. He worked for a non-profit organization where he helped the boys he finds. The article also mentions some groups such as “Home village society” which tries to help the street children. (Carroll, 2008) These groups aim to give the street children a normal life; they try to help them as much as they can. These non-profit groups are like the one I work with which I mentioned earlier. The number of these kids is increasing and according to statistics: 28% of street children didn’t receive any education, 35 % take their income to support their families, and 4 % are using drugs. These are some statistics, not all of them; they come from


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studies conducted by the Ministry of Family and Population in Egypt. Also, Dr. Moshira Khatab, the Minister of Family and Population suggested some strategies to deal with the problem such as strengthening Egyptian family bonds and improving education. ("58.7 Percent of Street Children are in Cairo, Says Study.", 2009) Methodology After reviewing the literature, I conducted a survey and several interviews. That is the most interesting part where we are exploring our topics more and getting evidences to be kind of satisfied of what we found. I conducted a survey to see the responses of various people. I wrote the questions and then asked Mr. Gibson, my rhetoric instructor, if these questions needed anything less or more. Then he gave me some comments and I made some changes of course. After that I used Survey Monkey for my questionnaire. I designed the survey and sent it through social media, Twitter and Facebook. Actually I was quite surprised with some responses, which I’ll analyze later in the results. Also I sent the survey to Dr. Gibson and he gave me a small feedback then I made some quick changes again. I printed out some surveys and distributed them to some people on road 9 a suburb of Maadi. Moreover, I took the emails of my colleagues to send them the survey in class. Until now I collected 100 responses. During I was distributing the survey on road 9, I found Ali, a young boy who helps in parking cars or sometimes beg. I asked him some questions regarding his life on the streets. He answered most of my questions, some I believed and some maybe he created to make me feel sympathized for him. I usually see him when I go there; he comes to help me park the car and he always comes and says hi. Even though the bad conditions he’s living in, he has that smile which shines his face I’ll never forget. I also interviewed Amy Iskander, a Marriage and Family Therapist, and I


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asked her some questions concerning the treatment of street children within an organization. How could we as young adults who have no experience react in various situations with these kids? She answered my questions and she told me some overall messages that could be used in several situations. Both interviews’ questions could be referred to in Appendix B. Results of the survey I conducted a survey about street children in Cairo and I distributed it on 100 people and here are the responses of the questions. 97% of the people were aware of the problem of “ Street children”. Just 3% said no they are not aware. 87% said yes they have had an experience with a street child and 16% said no. 52% said yes they bothered them, 39% said no, and 9% said neither. 77.1 % said they tend to help them. Most of them said by money, some said by giving them food, and clothes, while others said they could help by talking to them as normal people, giving them advices, and drawing a smile on their faces. On the other hand 24% said that they don’t tend to help. 70.7% said that yes they give them money and 30.3% said no. 95% of the people answered that street children come from below average families, 4% answered with average families, and just 1% answered that they come from normal families. 93.9% said that they think that phenomenon is increasing, and 6.1% said that it’s decreasing. 96.9% said yes they have sympathy for them, and 5.1% said no. I asked another question in the survey, which was “ Are you aware of any organization?” 71.4% answered with a no, and 32.7% answered yes they are aware of organizations such as, Resala, Caritas, Ana el Masry, El Amal, El Sawy culture wheel, and Orman. 79.3% of the people said that they would like to take part in such organizations, and 20.7 said no. Who is mainly responsible was another


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question that 59.3% answered the government is responsible, 54.2% said that the parents are responsible, 5.1% said that the children themselves are the ones responsible, and 33.9% said that the people are the ones responsible. I also asked this question “In your opinion, why do you think these children are on the streets?” I actually received various kinds of answers; some people said that their parents can’t afford the daily life expenses, some said that the main reason was the government, some said that parents want to have lots of kids, not putting into consideration how to take care of them, some said that its due the divorce and neglect of some parents, some said that these kids cant or don’t have a home, some said that the reason was poverty, and others said that they run away because they didn’t receive love and care and they are exposed to different kinds of child abuse. Another question was “What do you think is the best solution for this problem?” Most of the people agreed that educating them and raising awareness are good solutions. Others agreed that the government should help these children and there should be more organizations providing shelter and teaching them life lessons. “And whom do you think is the most equipped to help these kids?” was my last question. I got answers such as the government, businessmen, the whole country, the youth, and different organizations. “ To see questions, refer to Appendix A. In addition to the survey, I interviewed Ali, an 11-year- old street child, who spends most of his time on a well-known street in Maadi where he collects money. -Are your parents alive? My dad is not, and my mom is sick and does not work.


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-Are you receiving any sorts of education? No I wasn’t able to go to any school since I’m on the streets all day long looking for money and food to return to my mother. -Do you have any siblings? If yes, do they go to school or work with you? Yes, two sisters- one older and one younger than me - and one brother who is older than me by two years. My oldest sister goes to a governmental school and the other two help me search for money. -How much do you make a day? It all depends on luck, but around 50-60 LE and it is barely enough for the five of us, but we are managing thank God. -What is your life long dream Ali? A professional soccer player is my dream since I was a little boy. I don’t want to be stuck in a situation like mine, yet what can I do? It’s Gods will and its just life! -Do you play soccer just for fun at least? Yes, I have a soccer ball that I play with after midnight when my family is asleep. It’s just the night, the ball, and me. Peaceful, for a brief moment in time, I forget about life and just focus on the ball. My second interview was with Amy Iskander, MS, LAMFT Marriage & Family Therapist in Maadi Psychology Center.


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That interview is mainly about how we could deal with orphaned and street children inside an organization. By “ we” I mean us, young adults who have no experience, who are able to go and help these street children and maybe volunteer in such organizations. -How could we react to a difficult disclosure: “my mom has abandoned me.” First of all never be shocked! Validate feelings, do not minimize or rationalize like you can say, “that must have been hard”, “you sound/seem...” “You must be feeling...”, “it seems that you have a difficult time with...”. Do not be afraid to get emotional with them. You also need to find out what meaning they are attaching to the experience. Try to reframe (help them see things in a new light); do not advise. Another important thing you should consider is that you don’t need to assume understanding, ask more questions. You need to lay aside your own preconceptions about their condition, how they feel about it, their need). Do not hesitate to love. No matter what you say or do, it will communicate love more than they have ever received before. -How could we discipline these kids while they never had any kind of self-control before? It’s equally our role to discipline. The strongest influence of discipline is when it is intermingled with love. You need to help them know their limits before they misbehave. Behavior modification must be used like rewarding and punishing to teach them selfcontrol. All kids like attention, but you should give most attention when they are behaving well. Stay detached and try as much as you can to not show strong emotions as a result of their misbehavior. Don’t hesitate to allow some control. Also you can encourage sharing of negative emotions, do not punish them for it. Punishing misbehavior often means to


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them that I cannot be upset, hurt, etc. Help them differentiate negative emotions from the resulting negative behavior. -After talking to them, what actions should be taken from us to help or in other words how could we initiate help? You need to focus on connecting with the kids, rather than trying to change them. - Do not approach them as inferiors because you would be surprised how much these kids have to teach you about life, joy, etc. Being curious is a good thing in such situations: Ask how and what questions. You need to listen, more than to speak. You can even ask three silly and one serious question. Actually sharing personal stories always have good results. Watch the kids, seek to understand and help them take ownership – creating things such as a kiosk. Help them dream big and ask their helpers about their primary needs and trust that they understand these children well. -When we are allowed to report if someone of these kids said something serious such as “ I have drugs” or “ I’m planning to escape, and how? Do not report readily because that will harm the trust and openness that the kids have developed with you. Be empathetic, do not judge, and try to not focus on evaluating the moral of what they are saying or doing, but show understanding. - e.g. “yeah I sometimes want to run away from home myself.” Avoid guilt inflicting statements. And don’t push in the opposite direction since they’ll hold tighter onto their misbehavior. Just try to help them “count the cost” of change and the consequences of the misbehavior.


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-Do you have any tips or overall messages to communicate with them when they say for example “I cannot be loved”, “ I cannot feel”, and “I can’t dream because I’m not in control of my life”? Of course you can usually say, “It’s not your fault”, “You are loved no matter what you do or who you are, you deserve to be loved and not abandoned”, and “You are important that is why I am here”. Show them that it’s okay to feel something or grieve about something. Teach them about anger - it is a masking emotion that hides one of three other more vulnerable emotions (hurt, sadness, fear). Always offer sense of control and hope like “I can’t change my past, but I do have a say into the person I can become in the future.”


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Work Cited "58.7 Percent of Street Children are in Cairo, Says Study." Daily News EgyptPrint. 2009. Alasdair, Soussi. "The Street Children of Cairo." The Jerusalem Post. N.p., 18 Aug. 2008. Web. Azer, Adel, and Inc ebrary. Child Protection Policies in Egypt: A Rights-Based Approach. 30, no. 1, spring 2007. Vol. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2010. Print. "Child Protection." UNICEF Egypt. N.p., n.d. Web. "Child Rights/Legislation." Child Rights/Legislation. N.p., n.d. Web. Dotty, Meriah. "The Real Antwone Fisher."CNN, 10 Jan. 2010. Fahmi, Kamal, and Inc ebrary. Beyond the Victim: The Politics and Ethics of Empowering Cairo's Street Children. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2007. Print. Jill Carroll. "In Cairo, Hordes of Street Kids, but no Longer Ignored." The Christian Science Monitor: 1. Print. 2008.


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Khaled, Nada, Suliman El Daw, and Nadia Zibani. "Behavioral Survey among Street Children in Greater Cairo and Alexandria." N.p., n.d. Web. "Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect." Child Welfare Information Gateway. N.p., 2008.


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Annotated Bibliography "58.7 Percent of Street Children are in Cairo, Says Study." Daily News EgyptPrint. 2009. This article illustrated some statistics; hence the name of the article. For example, 28% of street children didn’t receive any education, 35 % take their income to support their families, and 4 % are using drugs. These are some statistics, not all of them; they come from studies conducted by the Ministry of Family and Population in Egypt. Also, Dr. Moshira Khatab, the Minister of Family and Population suggested some strategies to deal with the problem such as strengthening Egyptian family bonds and improving education. Alasdair, Soussi. "The Street Children of Cairo." The Jerusalem Post. N.p., 18 Aug. 2008. Web. The highlight of the article is the number of homeless children estimated by the UN children’s funds, which is 1 million. That number is rising very fast in the two main cities of Egypt, Cairo and Alexandria. This article mentions some stories of several children; it also mentions that the older kids beat the younger kids up and they sexually abuse them. Moreover, drugs are often offered to these poor kids. The article also gives some reasons for these children heading to the streets such as divorce and unemployment, and parents abuse. These poor kids face many health problems and some studies of the UNICEF found out that 86% of the children are exposed to violence while 50% of them are subjected to sexual abuse. And another information about the forms of forced labor such


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as trafficking and some girls are forced into prostitution yes that unfortunately happen in Egypt. Girls who are being forced into prostitution became a phenomenon that many people can’t imagine. They simply can’t believe that such thing happen in Egypt. As Dr. Gibson said in class that he couldn’t picture these things happening here since Egyptians are very concerned about religion. Azer, Adel, and Inc ebrary. Child Protection Policies in Egypt: A Rights-Based Approach. 30, no. 1, spring 2007. Vol. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2010. Print. This very useful book analyzes policies regarding child protection, health and education. A very interesting piece of information that’s illustrated in that book is that the law to be employed prohibits children less than 14 years; however, this law is not enforced and it is being neglected. Also some family background for the working children is mentioned, which indicated some studies. One of these studies is that working children income is 19 % of the family’s income. Actually there are some shocking statistics such that children start working from the age of 9 to 11. Moreover there are some suggested legislations that would enable the protection of the children. "Child Protection." UNICEF Egypt. N.p., n.d. Web. “Street children: issues and impact” from the UNICEF website. The impacts of the life of streets are shown, some of which were Health problems such as cholera and anemia. These kids are exposed to toxic substances in the environment around them and also in their food. UNICEF is also working with some groups such as Caritas to help the street


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children. These groups try to educate and empower the boys and the girls of the streets. They provide centers to do such things and the UNICEF supports by training the workers and the children themselves. The article also mentions the launch of the National Strategy for the Protection and Rehabilitation of Street Children, which is supposed to give the street children better lives and to ensure them access to the things they are deprived from. "Child Rights/Legislation." Child Rights/Legislation. N.p., n.d. Web. This is the official cite of the National Council of Childhood and Motherhood in Egypt. Placing the children’s best interest as the highest priority is the first law regarding the protection of the child’s right. Healthcare, social, and educational services are supposed to be provided by the Child’s law. Dotty, Meriah. "The Real Antwone Fisher."CNN, 10 Jan. 2010. This article by Meriah Doty talked about a movie called The Real Antwone Fisher, which focuses on a problem that society should address that is child abuse. Fisher’s earliest memories are of being sexually abused, beaten, tied up and left in a basement for hours, sometimes days. "I thought that there were no good people in the world, especially adults," he says. Maybe I could discuss some ideas from that movie since it was based on true events. I found that Child abuse definitely has consequences on the street children and being addressed by a worldwide movie might light up the hearts of the people and make them think about this serious issue.


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Fahmi, Kamal, and Inc ebrary. Beyond the Victim: The Politics and Ethics of Empowering Cairo's Street Children. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2007. Print. Fahmi, a sociologist, portrays the lives of street children after eight years of fieldwork in his book Beyond the Victim. Fahmi asks a question which is “Who is a Street Child”? Then he starts asking and observing the kids on the streets. Some of them start to tell him their stories. He also talks about the length of time they spend on the streets, nature of ties with their families of origin and patterns of working in the streets. He discusses also some changes brought about eight years of research and observation. Jill Carroll. "In Cairo, Hordes of Street Kids, but no Longer Ignored." The Christian Science Monitor: 1. Print. 2008. This article stated that some of these street children finally got help. There is a story mentioned of a man who looks for street children at night and take them to a shelter. He worked for a non-profit organization where he helped the boys he finds. The article also mentions some groups such as “Home village society” which tries to help the street children. These groups aim to give the street children a normal life; they try to help them as much as they can. These non-profit groups are like the one I work with which I mentioned earlier.


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Khaled, Nada, Suliman El Daw, and Nadia Zibani. "Behavioral Survey among Street Children in Greater Cairo and Alexandria." N.p., n.d. Web. The statistics from this research gives reasons for the phenomenon of street children: 65.2 % were due to family problems, 29% were there to earn money for themselves and their families; 22.8% were forced to leave the house. Another statistic illustrated that 28% of the street boys had sex with other boy and smoking and buying drugs are common habits in the lives of the street children. All of these statistics come from a study sample which consisted of 463 children in Cairo (373 boys and 90 girls) and 394 children in Alexandria (354 boys and 40 girls). "Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect." Child Welfare Information Gateway. N.p., 2008. This article talks about the effects of child abuse, including physical health problems as well as psychological/behavioral problems, detailing each one. Studies showed that people who experienced child abuse or neglect are more likely to suffer from allergies, athma, and high blood pressure. Also the emotional effects of neglect and abuse could cause fear, low self-esteem, and depression. Child abuse could also cause personality disorders, and violent behavior.


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Appendix A Are you aware of the problem of “Street Children”? Yes No Did you ever have an experience with a street child? Yes No If yes, did you get bothered? Yes No Neither Do you tend to help them? Yes No If yes, how…….. Do you give them money? Yes No

Do you think that they come from .... Below average families Average families Normal families Above average families


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Do you think that phenomenon is... Increasing Decreasing Do you feel sympathy for them? Yes No Are you aware of any organizations that help such phenomenon? Yes No If yes, please specify Would you like to take part in such organizations? Yes No Neither Who is mainly responsible in your opinion? The government The parents The children The people In your opinion, why do you think these children are on the streets? What do you think is the best solution for this problem? And whom do you think is the most equipped to help these kids?


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Appendix B Interview Questions with Ali Are your parents alive? Are you receiving any sorts of education? Do you have any siblings? If yes, do they go to school or work with you? How much do you make a day? What is your life long dream Ali? Do you play soccer just for fun at least? Interview Questions with Amy Iskander How could we react to a difficult disclosure: “my mom has abandoned me.” How could we discipline these kids while they never had any kind of self-control before? After talking to them, what actions should be taken from us to help or in other words how could we initiate help? When we are allowed to report if someone of these kids said something serious such as “ I have drugs” or “ I’m planning to escape, and how? Do you have any tips or overall messages to communicate with them when they say for e.g. “I cannot be loved”, “ I cannot feel”, and “I can’t dream because I’m not in control of my life”?


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Draft 3


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Karen Saad RHET 201 Dr. Michael Gibson I-Search Paper Draft 3 7 July 2012 Street Children in Cairo For over four months now, I have been spending some time every week with some street children in an organization called Ana El Masry-“I-the-Egyptian”. The first time I went there I was deeply touched by the way these children welcomed me although it’s their first time to meet me. Later on, a group of people my age and I decided to keep going on a regular basis. I wasn’t yet sure of what I could offer to these kids, but one of the ideas that popped up into my head was organizing a day full of games that maybe could teach them some values and make them happy. Still, that didn’t satisfy me. Seeing the innocent smiles on their faces and how they accept the people around them made me wonder about the reasons behind leaving these kids on the streets. Only a few number of them were lucky to be found by such organizations. But, what about the rest? Where are their rights to live a healthy, fruitful life? Being homeless and living on the streets of Cairo might have been caused by many reasons and that’s why this topic intrigued me. Primary and secondary research were conducted to find out the reasons behind the spread of the children in the streets of Cairo. Lately and since this phenomenon is taking over day by day, this topic became very essential to me to an extent that it grabs my attention


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as well as many other people’s. That’s why it was very important to find the main reasons behind this problem as long as we are seeking solutions and answers for it. My research question then became: What is the secret behind the spread of street children in Cairo? I wanted to know why they are neglected. I was certain that after conducting both types of research, I would be able to find some of the answers. While conducting the research, I was faced with many limitations; security was one of the issues since in the last few months Egypt was going through a critical time, and the streets of Cairo weren’t the safest place where girls could walk to gather information. It is sad how many days I stayed doing nothing at home, although I knew how big this topic was and how much information was needed. I blame it on my parents who care too much about me and didn’t allow me to leave the house most of the time because of the country’s conditions. Moreover, people were having a difficult time trusting anyone going up to them and asking them questions. Another limitation was time restriction as this was done during a six-week summer course. In order to begin the search I had to head towards the library first to look for some books and sources to gather the information I needed for both types of research. What I found: Both primary and secondary researches were conducted to find out the reasons behind the spread of the children in the streets of Cairo. I began reviewing literature on that topic and I found some sources and books about “The Street Children of Cairo” which enabled me to understand more about their lives on the streets. First of all I found a book called Beyond the Victim written by Kamal Fahmi, a sociologist, who portrays the lives of street children after eight years of fieldwork. Fahmi asks a question which is


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“Who is a Street Child”? He argues that, far from being victims, these children are capable of actively defining situations in their own terms. He starts asking and observing the kids on the streets. And some of them start to tell him their sorrowful stories. He also talks about the length of time they spend on the street varies a great deal among street children. Nature of ties with their families of origin; most of the children he met came from divorced parents. Each parent gets married and the child is alternated between both new families where of course there is often conflictual relationship with stepparents. These children come from two different categories, which are differentiated according to patterns of income generating activities. The first category includes those who are runaways and engaged regularly in income-generating activities. Work for this kind of kids is not an obligation but usually a choice made by the child. On the other hand, income-generating activities are a daily and regular part of the second category of children. They don’t arrive as runaways, but they were forced to work on the streets by their parents in order to increase the family’s income. These were the relevant information I got from that book and above all of that at the end of the book Fahmi highlights the need to acknowledge and respect the agency street children display in changing their own lives. Another article I found was called "The Street Children of Cairo", an article published in the Jerusalem post. The highlight of the article is the number of homeless children estimated by the UN children’s funds, which is 1 million. That number is rising very fast in the two main cities of Egypt, Cairo and Alexandria. Another thing that is mentioned in that article is a story about a kid from Sayeda Zeinab called Mohamed, who left his house when his grandfather died and his uncle started to beat him up. He thought


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that the streets were a better place for him, but it turned out to be a place full of darkness since the older street children beats the younger kids up and they sexually abuse them. Unfortunately Adel another kid was one of these kids who was raped many times. Drugs were often offered to him, but being raped is the worst thing that happened. He continued that when he became older everyone feared him and no one dared to do such thing to him. (Alasdair, 2008.) The article also gives some reasons for these children heading to the streets after mentioning some other stories like that of Mohamed and Adel’s. Parent’s problems, such as divorce and unemployment, and parents abuse are two main reasons for that case. These poor kids face many health problems and some studies of the UNICEF found out that 86% of the children are exposed to violence while 50% of them are subjected to sexual abuse. And another information about the forms of forced labor such as trafficking and some girls are forced into prostitution yes that unfortunately happen in Egypt. Girls who are being forced into prostitution is a phenomenon that many people can’t imagine. They simply can’t believe that such thing happen in Egypt. As Mr. Gibson said in class that he couldn’t picture these things happening here since Egyptians are very concerned about religion. (Alasdair, 2008) A very interesting piece of information I found is a survey called "Behavioral Survey among Street Children in Greater Cairo and Alexandria.”, a survey conducted by Nada Khaled, Suliman el Daw, and Nadia Zibani. The statistics from this research gives reasons for the phenomenon of street children: 65.2 % were due to family problems, 29% were there to earn money for themselves and their families; 22.8% were forced to leave the house. Another statistic illustrated that 28% of the street boys had sex with other boy


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and smoking and buying drugs are common habits in the lives of the street children. All of these statistics come from a study sample, which consisted of 463 children in Cairo (373 boys and 90 girls) and 394 children in Alexandria (354 boys and 40 girls). Sadly, child abuse and sexual abuse are being practiced on the poor street kids; these horrifying behaviors appear to be an issue in our society that cannot be neglected. Many movies discussed the child abuse phenomenon; maybe the most famous movie that focuses on a problem a society should address, which is child abuse, is called “ The Real Antwone Fisher�. That film was inspired from a true story; Fisher’s earliest memories are of being sexually abused, beaten, tied up and left in a basement for hours, sometimes days. "I thought that there were no good people in the world, especially adults," he says. Maybe I could discuss some ideas from that movie since it was based on true events. I found that Child abuse definitely has consequences on the street children and being addressed by a worldwide movie might light up the hearts of the people and make them think about this serious issue. (Dotty, 2010) Of course child abuse has negative consequences that I wanted to know. I searched many sources but the most adequate one is an article with the title "Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect." This article talks about the effects of child abuse, including physical health problems as well as psychological/behavioral problems, detailing each one. Studies showed that people who experienced child abuse or neglect are more likely to suffer from allergies, asthma, and high blood pressure. Also the emotional effects of neglect and abuse could cause fear, low self-esteem, and depression. Child abuse could also cause personality disorders, and violent behavior. (Gateway, 2008) It is very obvious that child abuse is becoming very prevalent in our stressful and


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violent society and this may be extremely dangerous and there should be laws protecting the rights of these children. The official cite of the National Council of Childhood and Motherhood in Egypt deliberated placing the children’s best interest as the highest priority is to be the first law regarding the protection of the child’s right. Healthcare, social, and educational services are supposed to be provided by the Child’s law. (Child Rights/Legislation.) I found another book called “Child Protection Policies in Egypt: A Rights-Based Approach” written by Adel Azer. This very useful book analyzes policies regarding child protection, health and education. A very interesting piece of information that’s illustrated in that book is that the law to be employed prohibits children less than 14 years; however, this law is not enforced and it is being neglected. Also some family background for the working children is mentioned, which indicated some studies. One of these studies is that working children income is 19 % of the family’s income. Actually there are some shocking statistics such that children start working from the age of 9 to 11. Moreover there are some suggested legislations that would enable the protection of the children. But honestly do you think that this is applicable in our society? Does these laws protect the children of the streets? I don’t see these legislations as valid as they seems since it doesn’t protect the street kids; moreover, it doesn’t appear to be significant in guarding these kids. Then how could we help these kids? Having various organizations in our society could be one step of many in helping these kids. UNICEF is working with some groups such as Caritas to help the street children. These groups try to educate and empower the boys and the girls of the streets. They provide centers to do such things and the UNICEF supports by training the workers


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and the children themselves. The article also mentions the launch of the National Strategy for the Protection and Rehabilitation of Street Children, which is supposed to give the street children better lives and to ensure them access to the things they are deprived from. (UNICEF Egypt.) Another interesting article called "In Cairo, Hordes of Street Kids, but no Longer Ignored" states that some of these street children finally got help. There is a story mentioned of a man who looks for street children at night and take them to a shelter. He worked for a non-profit organization where he helped the boys he finds. The article also mentions some groups such as “Home village society� which tries to help the street children. (Carroll, 2008) These groups aim to give the street children a normal life; they try to help them as much as they can. These non-profit groups are like the one I work with which I mentioned earlier. The number of these kids is increasing and according to statistics: 28% of street children didn’t receive any education, 35 % take their income to support their families, and 4 % are using drugs. These are some statistics, not all of them; they come from studies conducted by the Ministry of Family and Population in Egypt. Also, Dr. Moshira Khatab, the Minister of Family and Population suggested some strategies to deal with the problem such as strengthening Egyptian family bonds and improving education. ("58.7 Percent of Street Children are in Cairo, Says Study.", 2009) Methodology After reviewing the literature, I conducted a survey and several interviews. That is the most interesting part where we are exploring our topics more and getting evidences to be kind of satisfied of what we found. I conducted a survey to see the responses of various people. I wrote the questions and then asked Mr. Gibson, my rhetoric instructor,


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if these questions needed anything less or more. Then he gave me some comments and I made some changes of course. After that I used Survey Monkey for my questionnaire. I designed the survey and sent it through social media, Twitter and Facebook. Actually I was quite surprised with some responses, which I’ll analyze later in the results. Also I sent the survey to Dr. Gibson and he gave me a small feedback then I made some quick changes again. I printed out some surveys and distributed them to some people on road 9 a suburb of Maadi. Moreover, I took the emails of my colleagues to send them the survey in class. Until now I collected 100 responses. During I was distributing the survey on road 9, I found Ali, a young boy who helps in parking cars or sometimes beg. I asked him some questions regarding his life on the streets. He answered most of my questions, some I believed and some maybe he created to make me feel sympathized for him. I usually see him when I go there; he comes to help me park the car and he always comes and says hi. Even though the bad conditions he’s living in, he has that smile which shines his face I’ll never forget. I also interviewed Amy Iskander, a Marriage and Family Therapist, and I asked her some questions concerning the treatment of street children within an organization. How could we as young adults who have no experience react in various situations with these kids? She answered my questions and she told me some overall messages that could be used in several situations. Both interviews’ questions could be referred to in Appendix B. Results of the survey I conducted a survey about street children in Cairo and I distributed it on 100 people and here are the responses of the questions. 97% of the people were aware of the problem of “ Street children”. Just 3% said no they are not aware. 87% said yes they


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have had an experience with a street child and 16% said no. 52% said yes they bothered them, 39% said no, and 9% said neither. 77.1 % said they tend to help them. Most of them said by money, some said by giving them food, and clothes, while others said they could help by talking to them as normal people, giving them advices, and drawing a smile on their faces. On the other hand 24% said that they don’t tend to help. 70.7% said that yes they give them money and 30.3% said no. 95% of the people answered that street children come from below average families, 4% answered with average families, and just 1% answered that they come from normal families. 93.9% said that they think that phenomenon is increasing, and 6.1% said that it’s decreasing. 96.9% said yes they have sympathy for them, and 5.1% said no. I asked another question in the survey, which was “ Are you aware of any organization?” 71.4% answered with a no, and 32.7% answered yes they are aware of organizations such as, Resala, Caritas, Ana el Masry, El Amal, El Sawy culture wheel, and Orman. 79.3% of the people said that they would like to take part in such organizations, and 20.7 said no. Who is mainly responsible was another question that 59.3% answered the government is responsible, 54.2% said that the parents are responsible, 5.1% said that the children themselves are the ones responsible, and 33.9% said that the people are the ones responsible. I also asked this question “In your opinion, why do you think these children are on the streets?” I actually received various kinds of answers; some people said that their parents can’t afford the daily life expenses, some said that the main reason was the government, some said that parents want to have lots of kids, not putting into consideration how to take care of them, some said that its due the divorce and neglect of some parents, some said that these kids cant or don’t have a home, some said that the reason was poverty, and others said that they run away


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because they didn’t receive love and care and they are exposed to different kinds of child abuse. Another question was “What do you think is the best solution for this problem?” Most of the people agreed that educating them and raising awareness are good solutions. Others agreed that the government should help these children and there should be more organizations providing shelter and teaching them life lessons. “And whom do you think is the most equipped to help these kids?” was my last question. I got answers such as the government, businessmen, the whole country, the youth, and different organizations. “ To see questions, refer to Appendix A. In addition to the survey, I interviewed Ali, an 11-year- old street child, who spends most of his time on a well-known street in Maadi where he collects money. -Are your parents alive? My dad is not, and my mom is sick and does not work.

-Are you receiving any sorts of education? No I wasn’t able to go to any school since I’m on the streets all day long looking for money and food to return to my mother. -Do you have any siblings? If yes, do they go to school or work with you? Yes, two sisters- one older and one younger than me - and one brother who is older than me by two years. My oldest sister goes to a governmental school and the other two help me search for money.


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-How much do you make a day? It all depends on luck, but around 50-60 LE and it is barely enough for the five of us, but we are managing thank God. -What is your life long dream Ali? A professional soccer player is my dream since I was a little boy. I don’t want to be stuck in a situation like mine, yet what can I do? It’s Gods will and its just life! -Do you play soccer just for fun at least? Yes, I have a soccer ball that I play with after midnight when my family is asleep. It’s just the night, the ball, and me. Peaceful, for a brief moment in time, I forget about life and just focus on the ball. My second interview was with Amy Iskander, MS, LAMFT Marriage & Family Therapist in Maadi Psychology Center. That interview is mainly about how we could deal with orphaned and street children inside an organization. By “ we” I mean us, young adults who have no experience, who are able to go and help these street children and maybe volunteer in such organizations. -How could we react to a difficult disclosure: “my mom has abandoned me.” First of all never be shocked! Validate feelings, do not minimize or rationalize like you can say, “that must have been hard”, “you sound/seem...” “You must be feeling...”, “it seems that you have a difficult time with...”. Do not be afraid to get emotional with them. You also need to find out what meaning they are attaching to the experience. Try to


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reframe (help them see things in a new light); do not advise. Another important thing you should consider is that you don’t need to assume understanding, ask more questions. You need to lay aside your own preconceptions about their condition, how they feel about it, their need). Do not hesitate to love. No matter what you say or do, it will communicate love more than they have ever received before. -How could we discipline these kids while they never had any kind of self-control before? It’s equally our role to discipline. The strongest influence of discipline is when it is intermingled with love. You need to help them know their limits before they misbehave. Behavior modification must be used like rewarding and punishing to teach them selfcontrol. All kids like attention, but you should give most attention when they are behaving well. Stay detached and try as much as you can to not show strong emotions as a result of their misbehavior. Don’t hesitate to allow some control. Also you can encourage sharing of negative emotions, do not punish them for it. Punishing misbehavior often means to them that I cannot be upset, hurt, etc. Help them differentiate negative emotions from the resulting negative behavior. -After talking to them, what actions should be taken from us to help or in other words how could we initiate help? You need to focus on connecting with the kids, rather than trying to change them. - Do not approach them as inferiors because you would be surprised how much these kids have to teach you about life, joy, etc. Being curious is a good thing in such situations: Ask how and what questions. You need to listen, more than to speak. You can even ask


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three silly and one serious question. Actually sharing personal stories always have good results. Watch the kids, seek to understand and help them take ownership – creating things such as a kiosk. Help them dream big and ask their helpers about their primary needs and trust that they understand these children well. -When we are allowed to report if someone of these kids said something serious such as “ I have drugs” or “ I’m planning to escape, and how? Do not report readily because that will harm the trust and openness that the kids have developed with you. Be empathetic, do not judge, and try to not focus on evaluating the moral of what they are saying or doing, but show understanding. - e.g. “yeah I sometimes want to run away from home myself.” Avoid guilt inflicting statements. And don’t push in the opposite direction since they’ll hold tighter onto their misbehavior. Just try to help them “count the cost” of change and the consequences of the misbehavior.

-Do you have any tips or overall messages to communicate with them when they say for example “I cannot be loved”, “ I cannot feel”, and “I can’t dream because I’m not in control of my life”? Of course you can usually say, “It’s not your fault”, “You are loved no matter what you do or who you are, you deserve to be loved and not abandoned”, and “You are important that is why I am here”. Show them that it’s okay to feel something or grieve about something. Teach them about anger - it is a masking emotion that hides one of three other more vulnerable emotions (hurt, sadness, fear). Always offer sense of control and hope


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like “I can’t change my past, but I do have a say into the person I can become in the future.” Conclusion After collecting the results and gathering information from the people I interviewed, I formed a different perspective on the street children that I used to see on a regular basis in Cairo. I used to get bothered by their actions, but now I clearly understand that there are various reasons behind what they are doing. Now I will look at them with new eyes, eyes that would give them hope rather than despair. What I recommend for my readers, especially Mr. Mike, when they see a street kid maybe a good thing to do is buying them a packet of tissues to sell rather than giving them money and make them get used to the habit of begging. Another thing people could do is volunteering in Street Children Organizations such as Caritas or Ana El Masry-“I-theEgyptian”. An organization, such as Ana El Masry-“I-the-Egyptian”, aim is to address the reality of the children’s presence on the streets as well as the reason behind their negligence. Its activities focus on providing essential care and services to these kids in order to enable them realize their potentials, rights, opportunities, and goals for the future. This organization has a voluntary work program that anyone, regardless of the culture or religion, could help in. If you are interested and you want to join you can contact Wafik Wagdy (01094880366), Amir Samy (01006202922), or me KarenOrganizers of the Community Service of WSC (Wadi Sports Camp) and Sanawy meeting in KDEC( Kasr el Dobara evangelical church). Your help could put a smile on the kid’s faces and maybe that would change your own life. Together we could make them have better lives and could enable them to become better people in the future.


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Work Cited "58.7 Percent of Street Children are in Cairo, Says Study." Daily News EgyptPrint. 2009. Alasdair, Soussi. "The Street Children of Cairo." The Jerusalem Post. N.p., 18 Aug. 2008. Web. Azer, Adel, and Inc ebrary. Child Protection Policies in Egypt: A Rights-Based Approach. 30, no. 1, spring 2007. Vol. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2010. Print. "Child Protection." UNICEF Egypt. N.p., n.d. Web. "Child Rights/Legislation." Child Rights/Legislation. N.p., n.d. Web. Dotty, Meriah. "The Real Antwone Fisher."CNN, 10 Jan. 2010. Fahmi, Kamal, and Inc ebrary. Beyond the Victim: The Politics and Ethics of Empowering Cairo's Street Children. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2007. Print. Jill Carroll. "In Cairo, Hordes of Street Kids, but no Longer Ignored." The Christian Science Monitor: 1. Print. 2008.


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Khaled, Nada, Suliman El Daw, and Nadia Zibani. "Behavioral Survey among Street Children in Greater Cairo and Alexandria." N.p., n.d. Web. "Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect." Child Welfare Information Gateway. N.p., 2008.


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Annotated Bibliography "58.7 Percent of Street Children are in Cairo, Says Study." Daily News EgyptPrint. 2009. This article illustrated some statistics; hence the name of the article. For example, 28% of street children didn’t receive any education, 35 % take their income to support their families, and 4 % are using drugs. These are some statistics, not all of them; they come from studies conducted by the Ministry of Family and Population in Egypt. Also, Dr. Moshira Khatab, the Minister of Family and Population suggested some strategies to deal with the problem such as strengthening Egyptian family bonds and improving education. Alasdair, Soussi. "The Street Children of Cairo." The Jerusalem Post. N.p., 18 Aug. 2008. Web. The highlight of the article is the number of homeless children estimated by the UN children’s funds, which is 1 million. That number is rising very fast in the two main cities of Egypt, Cairo and Alexandria. This article mentions some stories of several children; it also mentions that the older kids beat the younger kids up and they sexually abuse them. Moreover, drugs are often offered to these poor kids. The article also gives some reasons for these children heading to the streets such as divorce and unemployment, and parents abuse. These poor kids face many health problems and some studies of the UNICEF found out that 86% of the children are exposed to violence while 50% of them are subjected to sexual abuse. And another information about the forms of forced labor such


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as trafficking and some girls are forced into prostitution yes that unfortunately happen in Egypt. Girls who are being forced into prostitution became a phenomenon that many people can’t imagine. They simply can’t believe that such thing happen in Egypt. As Mr. Gibson said in class that he couldn’t picture these things happening here since Egyptians are very concerned about religion. Azer, Adel, and Inc ebrary. Child Protection Policies in Egypt: A Rights-Based Approach. 30, no. 1, spring 2007. Vol. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2010. Print. This very useful book analyzes policies regarding child protection, health and education. A very interesting piece of information that’s illustrated in that book is that the law to be employed prohibits children less than 14 years; however, this law is not enforced and it is being neglected. Also some family background for the working children is mentioned, which indicated some studies. One of these studies is that working children income is 19 % of the family’s income. Actually there are some shocking statistics such that children start working from the age of 9 to 11. Moreover there are some suggested legislations that would enable the protection of the children. "Child Protection." UNICEF Egypt. N.p., n.d. Web. “Street children: issues and impact” from the UNICEF website. The impacts of the life of streets are shown, some of which were Health problems such as cholera and anemia. These kids are exposed to toxic substances in the environment around them and also in their food. UNICEF is also working with some groups such as Caritas to help the street


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children. These groups try to educate and empower the boys and the girls of the streets. They provide centers to do such things and the UNICEF supports by training the workers and the children themselves. The article also mentions the launch of the National Strategy for the Protection and Rehabilitation of Street Children, which is supposed to give the street children better lives and to ensure them access to the things they are deprived from. "Child Rights/Legislation." Child Rights/Legislation. N.p., n.d. Web. This is the official cite of the National Council of Childhood and Motherhood in Egypt. Placing the children’s best interest as the highest priority is the first law regarding the protection of the child’s right. Healthcare, social, and educational services are supposed to be provided by the Child’s law. Dotty, Meriah. "The Real Antwone Fisher."CNN, 10 Jan. 2010. This article by Meriah Doty talked about a movie called The Real Antwone Fisher, which focuses on a problem that society should address that is child abuse. Fisher’s earliest memories are of being sexually abused, beaten, tied up and left in a basement for hours, sometimes days. "I thought that there were no good people in the world, especially adults," he says. Maybe I could discuss some ideas from that movie since it was based on true events. I found that Child abuse definitely has consequences on the street children and being addressed by a worldwide movie might light up the hearts of the people and make them think about this serious issue.


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Fahmi, Kamal, and Inc ebrary. Beyond the Victim: The Politics and Ethics of Empowering Cairo's Street Children. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2007. Print. Fahmi, a sociologist, portrays the lives of street children after eight years of fieldwork in his book Beyond the Victim. Fahmi asks a question which is “Who is a Street Child”? Then he starts asking and observing the kids on the streets. Some of them start to tell him their stories. He also talks about the length of time they spend on the streets, nature of ties with their families of origin and patterns of working in the streets. He discusses also some changes brought about eight years of research and observation. Jill Carroll. "In Cairo, Hordes of Street Kids, but no Longer Ignored." The Christian Science Monitor: 1. Print. 2008. This article stated that some of these street children finally got help. There is a story mentioned of a man who looks for street children at night and take them to a shelter. He worked for a non-profit organization where he helped the boys he finds. The article also mentions some groups such as “Home village society” which tries to help the street children. These groups aim to give the street children a normal life; they try to help them as much as they can. These non-profit groups are like the one I work with which I mentioned earlier.


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Khaled, Nada, Suliman El Daw, and Nadia Zibani. "Behavioral Survey among Street Children in Greater Cairo and Alexandria." N.p., n.d. Web. The statistics from this research gives reasons for the phenomenon of street children: 65.2 % were due to family problems, 29% were there to earn money for themselves and their families; 22.8% were forced to leave the house. Another statistic illustrated that 28% of the street boys had sex with other boy and smoking and buying drugs are common habits in the lives of the street children. All of these statistics come from a study sample which consisted of 463 children in Cairo (373 boys and 90 girls) and 394 children in Alexandria (354 boys and 40 girls). "Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect." Child Welfare Information Gateway. N.p., 2008. This article talks about the effects of child abuse, including physical health problems as well as psychological/behavioral problems, detailing each one. Studies showed that people who experienced child abuse or neglect are more likely to suffer from allergies, athma, and high blood pressure. Also the emotional effects of neglect and abuse could cause fear, low self-esteem, and depression. Child abuse could also cause personality disorders, and violent behavior.


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Appendix A Are you aware of the problem of “Street Children”? Yes No Did you ever have an experience with a street child? Yes No If yes, did you get bothered? Yes No Neither Do you tend to help them? Yes No If yes, how…….. Do you give them money? Yes No

Do you think that they come from .... Below average families Average families Normal families Above average families


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Do you think that phenomenon is... Increasing Decreasing Do you feel sympathy for them? Yes No Are you aware of any organizations that help such phenomenon? Yes No If yes, please specify Would you like to take part in such organizations? Yes No Neither Who is mainly responsible in your opinion? The government The parents The children The people In your opinion, why do you think these children are on the streets? What do you think is the best solution for this problem? And whom do you think is the most equipped to help these kids?


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Appendix B Interview Questions with Ali Are your parents alive? Are you receiving any sorts of education? Do you have any siblings? If yes, do they go to school or work with you? How much do you make a day? What is your life long dream Ali? Do you play soccer just for fun at least? Interview Questions with Amy Iskander How could we react to a difficult disclosure: “my mom has abandoned me.” How could we discipline these kids while they never had any kind of self-control before? After talking to them, what actions should be taken from us to help or in other words how could we initiate help? When we are allowed to report if someone of these kids said something serious such as “ I have drugs” or “ I’m planning to escape, and how? Do you have any tips or overall messages to communicate with them when they say for e.g. “I cannot be loved”, “ I cannot feel”, and “I can’t dream because I’m not in control of my life”?


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FINAL DRAFT


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Karen Saad RHET 201 Dr. Michael Gibson I-Search Paper Draft 4 10 July 2012 Street Children in Cairo For over four months now, I have been spending some time every week with some street children in an organization called Ana El Masry-“I-the-Egyptian”. The first time I went there I was deeply touched by the way these children welcomed me although it’s their first time to meet me. Later on, a group of people my age and I decided to keep going on a regular basis. I wasn’t yet sure of what I could offer to these kids, but one of the ideas that popped up into my head was organizing a day full of games that maybe could teach them some values and make them happy. Still, that didn’t satisfy me. Seeing the innocent smiles on their faces and how they accept the people around them made me wonder about the reasons behind leaving these kids on the streets. Only a few number of them were lucky to be found by such organizations. But, what about the rest? Where are their rights to live a healthy, fruitful life? Being homeless and living on the streets of Cairo might have been caused by many reasons and that’s why this topic intrigued me. Primary and secondary research were conducted to find out the reasons behind the spread of the children in the streets of Cairo. Lately and since this phenomenon is taking over day by day, this topic became very essential to me to an extent that it grabs my attention


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as well as many other people’s. That’s why it was very important to find the main reasons behind this problem as long as we are seeking solutions and answers for it. My research question then became: What is the secret behind the spread of street children in Cairo? I wanted to know why they are neglected. I was certain that after conducting both types of research, I would be able to find some of the answers. While conducting the research, I was faced with many limitations; security was one of the issues since in the last few months Egypt was going through a critical time, and the streets of Cairo weren’t the safest place where girls could walk to gather information. It is sad how many days I stayed doing nothing at home, although I knew how big this topic was and how much information was needed. I blame it on my parents who care too much about me and didn’t allow me to leave the house most of the time because of the country’s conditions. Moreover, people were having a difficult time trusting anyone going up to them and asking them questions. Another limitation was time restriction that was very limited as the research process and the paper itself should be done in only six weeks where it should be done in months. In spite of these limitations I proceeded immediately to gather information. To begin the search, I had to head towards the library first to look for some books and sources to gather the information I needed for both types of research. What I found: Both primary and secondary research were conducted to find out the reasons behind the spread of the children in the streets of Cairo. I began reviewing literature on that topic and I found some sources and books about “The Street Children of Cairo” which enabled me to understand more about their lives on the streets. First of all I found a


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book called Beyond the Victim written by Kamal Fahmi, a sociologist, who portrays the lives of street children after eight years of fieldwork. Fahmi asks a question which is “Who is a Street Child”? He argues that, far from being victims, these children are capable of actively defining situations in their own terms. He starts asking and observing the kids on the streets. And some of them start to tell him their sorrowful stories. He also talks about the length of time they spend on the street, which varies a great deal among street children, and the nature of ties with their families of origin where most of the children he met came from divorced parents. Each parent gets re-married and the child is alternated between both new families where of course there is often conflictual relationship with stepparents. These children come from two different categories, which are differentiated according to patterns of income-generating activities. The first category includes those who are runaways and engaged regularly in income-generating activities. Work for this kind of kids is not an obligation but usually a choice made by the child. On the other hand, income-generating activities are a daily and regular part of the second category of children. They don’t arrive as runaways, but they were forced to work on the streets by their parents in order to increase the family’s income. This was the relevant information I got from that book and above all of that at the end of the book Fahmi highlights the need to acknowledge and respect the agency street children display in changing their own lives. Another article I found was called "The Street Children of Cairo", an article published in the Jerusalem post. The highlight of the article is the number of homeless children estimated by the UN children’s funds, which is 1 million. That number is rising very fast in the two main cities of Egypt, Cairo and Alexandria. Another thing that is


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mentioned in that article is a story about a kid from Sayeda Zeinab called Mohamed, who left his house when his grandfather died and his uncle started to beat him up. He thought that the streets were a better place for him, but it turned out to be a place full of darkness since the older street children beats the younger kids up and they sexually abuse them. Unfortunately Adel another kid was one of these kids who was raped many times. Drugs were often offered to him, but being raped is the worst thing that happened. He continued that when he became older everyone feared him and no one dared to do such thing to him. (Alasdair, 2008.) The article also gives some reasons for these children heading to the streets after mentioning some other stories like that of Mohamed and Adel’s. Parent’s problems, such as divorce and unemployment, and parents abuse are two main reasons for that case. These poor kids face many health problems and some studies of the UNICEF found out that 86% of the children are exposed to violence while 50% of them are subjected to sexual abuse. And another information about the forms of forced labor such as trafficking and some girls are forced into prostitution yes that unfortunately happen in Egypt. Girls who are being forced into prostitution is a phenomenon that many people can’t imagine. They simply can’t believe that such thing happen in Egypt. (Alasdair, 2008) As Mr. Gibson said in class that he couldn’t picture these things happening here since Egyptians are very concerned about religion. A very interesting piece of information I found is a survey called "Behavioral Survey among Street Children in Greater Cairo and Alexandria.”, a survey conducted by Nada Khaled, Suliman el Daw, and Nadia Zibani. The statistics from this research gives reasons for the phenomenon of street children: 65.2 % were due to family problems, 29%


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were there to earn money for themselves and their families; 22.8% were forced to leave the house. Another statistic illustrated that 28% of the street boys had sex with other boy and smoking and buying drugs are common habits in the lives of the street children. All of these statistics come from a study sample, which consisted of 463 children in Cairo (373 boys and 90 girls) and 394 children in Alexandria (354 boys and 40 girls). Sadly, child abuse and sexual abuse are being practiced on the poor street kids; these horrifying behaviors appear to be an issue in our society that cannot be neglected. Many movies discussed the child abuse phenomenon; maybe the most famous movie that focuses on a problem a society should address, which is child abuse, is called “ The Real Antwone Fisher�. That film was inspired from a true story; Fisher’s earliest memories are of being sexually abused, beaten, tied up and left in a basement for hours, sometimes days. "I thought that there were no good people in the world, especially adults," he says. I found that Child abuse definitely has consequences on the street children and being addressed by a worldwide movie might light up the hearts of the people and make them think about this serious issue. (Dotty, 2010) Of course child abuse has negative consequences that I wanted to know. I searched many sources but the most adequate one is an article with the title "Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect." This article talks about the effects of child abuse, including physical health problems as well as psychological/behavioral problems, detailing each one. Studies showed that people who experienced child abuse or neglect are more likely to suffer from allergies, asthma, and high blood pressure. Also the emotional effects of neglect and abuse could cause fear, low self-esteem, and depression. Child abuse could also cause personality disorders, and violent behavior. (Gateway,


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2008) It is very obvious that child abuse is becoming very prevalent in our stressful and violent society and this may be extremely dangerous and there should be laws protecting the rights of these children. The official cite of the National Council of Childhood and Motherhood in Egypt deliberated placing the children’s best interest as the highest priority is to be the first law regarding the protection of the child’s right. Healthcare, social, and educational services are supposed to be provided by the Child’s law. (Child Rights/Legislation.) I found another book called “Child Protection Policies in Egypt: A Rights-Based Approach” written by Adel Azer. This very useful book analyzes policies regarding child protection, health and education. A very interesting piece of information that’s illustrated in that book is that the law to be employed prohibits children less than 14 years; however, this law is not enforced and it is being neglected. Also some family background for the working children is mentioned, which indicated some studies. One of these studies is that working children income is 19 % of the family’s income. Actually there are some shocking statistics such that children start working from the age of 9 to 11. Moreover there are some suggested legislations that would enable the protection of the children. But honestly do you think that this is applicable in our society? Does these laws protect the children of the streets? I don’t see these legislations as valid as they seems since it doesn’t protect the street kids; moreover, it doesn’t appear to be significant in guarding these kids. Then how could we help these kids? Having various organizations in our society could be one step of many in helping these kids. UNICEF is working with some groups such as Caritas to help the street children. These groups try to educate and empower the boys and the girls of the streets.


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They provide centers to do such things and the UNICEF supports by training the workers and the children themselves. The article also mentions the launch of the National Strategy for the Protection and Rehabilitation of Street Children, which is supposed to give the street children better lives and to ensure them access to the things they are deprived from. (UNICEF Egypt.) Another interesting article called "In Cairo, Hordes of Street Kids, but no Longer Ignored" states that some of these street children finally got help. There is a story mentioned of a man who looks for street children at night and take them to a shelter. He worked for a non-profit organization where he helped the boys he finds. The article also mentions some groups such as “Home village society� which tries to help the street children. (Carroll, 2008) These groups aim to give the street children a normal life; they try to help them as much as they can. These non-profit groups are like the one I work with which I mentioned earlier. The number of these kids is increasing and according to statistics: 28% of street children didn’t receive any education, 35 % take their income to support their families, and 4 % are using drugs. These are some statistics, not all of them; they come from studies conducted by the Ministry of Family and Population in Egypt. Also, Dr. Moshira Khatab, the Minister of Family and Population suggested some strategies to deal with the problem such as strengthening Egyptian family bonds and improving education. ("58.7 Percent of Street Children are in Cairo, Says Study.", 2009) Methodology After reviewing the literature, I conducted a survey and several interviews. That is the most interesting part where we are exploring our topics more and getting evidences to be kind of satisfied of what we found. I conducted a survey to see the responses of


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various people. I wrote the questions and then asked Mr. Gibson, my rhetoric instructor, if these questions needed anything less or more. Then he gave me some comments and I made some changes of course. After that I used Survey Monkey for my questionnaire. I designed the survey and sent it through social media, Twitter and Facebook. Actually I was quite surprised with some responses, which I’ll analyze later in the results. Also I sent the survey to Mr. Gibson and he gave me a small feedback then I made some quick changes again. I printed out some surveys and distributed them to some people on road 9 a suburb of Maadi. Moreover, I took the emails of my colleagues to send them the survey in class. Until now I collected 100 responses. During I was distributing the survey on road 9, I found Ali, a young boy who helps in parking cars or sometimes beg. I asked him some questions regarding his life on the streets. He answered most of my questions, some I believed and some maybe he created to make me feel sympathized for him. I usually see him when I go there; he comes to help me park the car and he always comes and says hi. Even though the bad conditions he’s living in, he has that smile which shines his face I’ll never forget. I also interviewed Amy Iskander, a Marriage and Family Therapist, and I asked her some questions concerning the treatment of street children within an organization. How could we as young adults who have no experience react in various situations with these kids? She answered my questions and she told me some overall messages that could be used in several situations. Both interviews’ questions could be referred to in Appendix B. Results of the survey I conducted a survey about street children in Cairo and I distributed it on 100 people and here are the responses of the questions. 97% of the people were aware of the


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problem of “ Street children”. Just 3% said no they are not aware. 87% said yes they have had an experience with a street child and 16% said no. 52% said yes they bothered them, 39% said no, and 9% said neither. 77.1 % said they tend to help them. Most of them said by money, some said by giving them food, and clothes, while others said they could help by talking to them as normal people, giving them advices, and drawing a smile on their faces. On the other hand 24% said that they don’t tend to help. 70.7% said that yes they give them money and 30.3% said no. 95% of the people answered that street children come from below average families, 4% answered with average families, and just 1% answered that they come from normal families. 93.9% said that they think that phenomenon is increasing, and 6.1% said that it’s decreasing. 96.9% said yes they have sympathy for them, and 5.1% said no. I asked another question in the survey, which was “ Are you aware of any organization?” 71.4% answered with a no, and 32.7% answered yes they are aware of organizations such as, Resala, Caritas, Ana el Masry, El Amal, El Sawy culture wheel, and Orman. 79.3% of the people said that they would like to take part in such organizations, and 20.7 said no. Who is mainly responsible was another question that 59.3% answered the government is responsible, 54.2% said that the parents are responsible, 5.1% said that the children themselves are the ones responsible, and 33.9% said that the people are the ones responsible. I also asked this question “In your opinion, why do you think these children are on the streets?” I actually received various kinds of answers; some people said that their parents can’t afford the daily life expenses, some said that the main reason was the government, some said that parents want to have lots of kids, not putting into consideration how to take care of them, some said that its due the divorce and neglect of some parents, some said that these kids cant or don’t have


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a home, some said that the reason was poverty, and others said that they run away because they didn’t receive love and care and they are exposed to different kinds of child abuse. Another question was “What do you think is the best solution for this problem?” Most of the people agreed that educating them and raising awareness are good solutions. Others agreed that the government should help these children and there should be more organizations providing shelter and teaching them life lessons. “And whom do you think is the most equipped to help these kids?” was my last question. I got answers such as the government, businessmen, the whole country, the youth, and different organizations. “ To see questions, refer to Appendix A. In addition to the survey, I interviewed Ali, an 11-year- old street child, who spends most of his time on a well-known street in Maadi where he collects money. -Are your parents alive? My dad is not, and my mom is sick and does not work. -Are you receiving any sorts of education? No I wasn’t able to go to any school since I’m on the streets all day long looking for money and food to return to my mother. -Do you have any siblings? If yes, do they go to school or work with you? Yes, two sisters- one older and one younger than me - and one brother who is older than me by two years. My oldest sister goes to a governmental school and the other two help me search for money.


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-How much do you make a day? It all depends on luck, but around 50-60 LE and it is barely enough for the five of us, but we are managing thank God. -What is your life long dream Ali? A professional soccer player is my dream since I was a little boy. I don’t want to be stuck in a situation like mine, yet what can I do? It’s Gods will and its just life! -Do you play soccer just for fun at least? Yes, I have a soccer ball that I play with after midnight when my family is asleep. It’s just the night, the ball, and me. Peaceful, for a brief moment in time, I forget about life and just focus on the ball. My second interview was with Amy Iskander, MS, LAMFT Marriage & Family Therapist in Maadi Psychology Center. That interview is mainly about how we could deal with orphaned and street children inside an organization. By “ we” I mean us, young adults who have no experience, who are able to go and help these street children and maybe volunteer in such organizations. -How could we react to a difficult disclosure: “my mom has abandoned me.” First of all never be shocked! Validate feelings, do not minimize or rationalize like you can say, “that must have been hard”, “you sound/seem...” “You must be feeling...”, “it seems that you have a difficult time with...”. Do not be afraid to get emotional with them. You also need to find out what meaning they are attaching to the experience. Try to


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reframe (help them see things in a new light); do not advise. Another important thing you should consider is that you don’t need to assume understanding, ask more questions. You need to lay aside your own preconceptions about their condition, how they feel about it, their need). Do not hesitate to love. No matter what you say or do, it will communicate love more than they have ever received before. -How could we discipline these kids while they never had any kind of self-control before? It’s equally our role to discipline. The strongest influence of discipline is when it is intermingled with love. You need to help them know their limits before they misbehave. Behavior modification must be used like rewarding and punishing to teach them selfcontrol. All kids like attention, but you should give most attention when they are behaving well. Stay detached and try as much as you can to not show strong emotions as a result of their misbehavior. Don’t hesitate to allow some control. Also you can encourage sharing of negative emotions, do not punish them for it. Punishing misbehavior often means to them that I cannot be upset, hurt, etc. Help them differentiate negative emotions from the resulting negative behavior. -After talking to them, what actions should be taken from us to help or in other words how could we initiate help? You need to focus on connecting with the kids, rather than trying to change them. - Do not approach them as inferiors because you would be surprised how much these kids have to teach you about life, joy, etc. Being curious is a good thing in such situations: Ask how and what questions. You need to listen, more than to speak. You can even ask


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three silly and one serious question. Actually sharing personal stories always have good results. Watch the kids, seek to understand and help them take ownership – creating things such as a kiosk. Help them dream big and ask their helpers about their primary needs and trust that they understand these children well. -When we are allowed to report if someone of these kids said something serious such as “ I have drugs” or “ I’m planning to escape, and how? Do not report readily because that will harm the trust and openness that the kids have developed with you. Be empathetic, do not judge, and try to not focus on evaluating the moral of what they are saying or doing, but show understanding. - e.g. “yeah I sometimes want to run away from home myself.” Avoid guilt inflicting statements. And don’t push in the opposite direction since they’ll hold tighter onto their misbehavior. Just try to help them “count the cost” of change and the consequences of the misbehavior. -Do you have any tips or overall messages to communicate with them when they say for example “I cannot be loved”, “ I cannot feel”, and “I can’t dream because I’m not in control of my life”? Of course you can usually say, “It’s not your fault”, “You are loved no matter what you do or who you are, you deserve to be loved and not abandoned”, and “You are important that is why I am here”. Show them that it’s okay to feel something or grieve about something. Teach them about anger - it is a masking emotion that hides one of three other more vulnerable emotions (hurt, sadness, fear). Always offer sense of control and hope like “I can’t change my past, but I do have a say into the person I can become in the future.”


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Conclusion After collecting the results of the survey and gathering information from the people I have interviewed, I formed a different perspective on the street children that I used to see on a regular basis in Cairo. I used to get bothered by their actions, but now I clearly understand that there are various reasons behind what they are doing. Now I will look at them with new eyes, eyes that would give them hope rather than despair. If I had more time I would have collected more responses to my questionnaire, interviewed more people and accordingly get more specific responses. Yet, I am rather satisfied by the results and the work that I have done so far. At least I was able to reach a solid conclusion and find answers to most of my questions, for instance I have been always eager to know the reason behind their existence in those streets in the first place, and only through this research I found some reasons, such as family problems. What I recommend for my readers, especially Mr. Mike, when they see a street kid maybe a good thing to do is buying them a carton of tissues to sell rather than giving them money and make them get used to the habit of begging. Another thing people could do is volunteering in Street Children Organizations such as Caritas or Ana El Masry-“Ithe-Egyptian”. An organization, such as Ana El Masry-“I-the-Egyptian”, aim is to address the reality of the children’s presence on the streets as well as the reason behind their negligence. Its activities focus on providing essential care and services to these kids in order to enable them realize their potentials, rights, opportunities, and goals for the future. This organization has a voluntary work program that anyone, regardless of the culture or religion, could help in. If you are interested and you want to join you can contact Wafik Wagdy (01094880366), Amir Samy (01006202922), or me Karen Saad-


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Organizers of the Community Service of WSC (Wadi Sports Camp) and Sanawy meeting in KDEC( Kasr el Dobara Evangelical Church). Your help could put a smile on the kids’ faces and maybe that would change your own life too. Together we could make them have better lives and could enable them to become better people in the future.


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Work Cited "58.7 Percent of Street Children are in Cairo, Says Study." Daily News EgyptPrint. 2009. Alasdair, Soussi. "The Street Children of Cairo." The Jerusalem Post. N.p., 18 Aug. 2008. Web. Azer, Adel, and Inc ebrary. Child Protection Policies in Egypt: A Rights-Based Approach. 30, no. 1, spring 2007. Vol. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2010. Print. "Child Protection." UNICEF Egypt. N.p., n.d. Web. "Child Rights/Legislation." Child Rights/Legislation. N.p., n.d. Web. Dotty, Meriah. "The Real Antwone Fisher."CNN, 10 Jan. 2010. Fahmi, Kamal, and Inc ebrary. Beyond the Victim: The Politics and Ethics of Empowering Cairo's Street Children. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2007. Print. Iskander, Amy. Personal Interview. 30 June 2012. Jill Carroll. "In Cairo, Hordes of Street Kids, but no Longer Ignored." The Christian Science Monitor: 1. Print. 2008.


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Khaled, Nada, Suliman El Daw, and Nadia Zibani. "Behavioral Survey among Street Children in Greater Cairo and Alexandria." N.p., n.d. Web. "Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect." Child Welfare Information Gateway. N.p., 2008.


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Annotated Bibliography "58.7 Percent of Street Children are in Cairo, Says Study." Daily News EgyptPrint. 2009. This article illustrated some statistics; hence the name of the article. For example, 28% of street children didn’t receive any education, 35 % take their income to support their families, and 4 % are using drugs. These are some statistics, not all of them; they come from studies conducted by the Ministry of Family and Population in Egypt. Also, Dr. Moshira Khatab, the Minister of Family and Population suggested some strategies to deal with the problem such as strengthening Egyptian family bonds and improving education. Alasdair, Soussi. "The Street Children of Cairo." The Jerusalem Post. N.p., 18 Aug. 2008. Web. The highlight of the article is the number of homeless children estimated by the UN children’s funds, which is 1 million. That number is rising very fast in the two main cities of Egypt, Cairo and Alexandria. This article mentions some stories of several children; it also mentions that the older kids beat the younger kids up and they sexually abuse them. Moreover, drugs are often offered to these poor kids. The article also gives some reasons for these children heading to the streets such as divorce and unemployment, and parents abuse. These poor kids face many health problems and some studies of the UNICEF found out that 86% of the children are exposed to violence while 50% of them are subjected to sexual abuse. And another information about the forms of forced labor such


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as trafficking and some girls are forced into prostitution yes that unfortunately happen in Egypt. Girls who are being forced into prostitution became a phenomenon that many people can’t imagine. They simply can’t believe that such thing happen in Egypt. As Mr. Gibson said in class that he couldn’t picture these things happening here since Egyptians are very concerned about religion. Azer, Adel, and Inc ebrary. Child Protection Policies in Egypt: A Rights-Based Approach. 30, no. 1, spring 2007. Vol. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2010. Print. This very useful book analyzes policies regarding child protection, health and education. A very interesting piece of information that’s illustrated in that book is that the law to be employed prohibits children less than 14 years; however, this law is not enforced and it is being neglected. Also some family background for the working children is mentioned, which indicated some studies. One of these studies is that working children income is 19 % of the family’s income. Actually there are some shocking statistics such that children start working from the age of 9 to 11. Moreover there are some suggested legislations that would enable the protection of the children. "Child Protection." UNICEF Egypt. N.p., n.d. Web. “Street children: issues and impact” from the UNICEF website. The impacts of the life of streets are shown, some of which were Health problems such as cholera and anemia. These kids are exposed to toxic substances in the environment around them and also in their food. UNICEF is also working with some groups such as Caritas to help the street


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children. These groups try to educate and empower the boys and the girls of the streets. They provide centers to do such things and the UNICEF supports by training the workers and the children themselves. The article also mentions the launch of the National Strategy for the Protection and Rehabilitation of Street Children, which is supposed to give the street children better lives and to ensure them access to the things they are deprived from. "Child Rights/Legislation." Child Rights/Legislation. N.p., n.d. Web. This is the official cite of the National Council of Childhood and Motherhood in Egypt. Placing the children’s best interest as the highest priority is the first law regarding the protection of the child’s right. Healthcare, social, and educational services are supposed to be provided by the Child’s law. Dotty, Meriah. "The Real Antwone Fisher."CNN, 10 Jan. 2010. This article by Meriah Doty talked about a movie called The Real Antwone Fisher, which focuses on a problem that society should address that is child abuse. Fisher’s earliest memories are of being sexually abused, beaten, tied up and left in a basement for hours, sometimes days. "I thought that there were no good people in the world, especially adults," he says. Maybe I could discuss some ideas from that movie since it was based on true events. I found that Child abuse definitely has consequences on the street children and being addressed by a worldwide movie might light up the hearts of the people and make them think about this serious issue.


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Fahmi, Kamal, and Inc ebrary. Beyond the Victim: The Politics and Ethics of Empowering Cairo's Street Children. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2007. Print. Fahmi, a sociologist, portrays the lives of street children after eight years of fieldwork in his book Beyond the Victim. Fahmi asks a question which is “Who is a Street Child”? Then he starts asking and observing the kids on the streets. Some of them start to tell him their stories. He also talks about the length of time they spend on the streets, nature of ties with their families of origin and patterns of working in the streets. He discusses also some changes brought about eight years of research and observation. Jill Carroll. "In Cairo, Hordes of Street Kids, but no Longer Ignored." The Christian Science Monitor: 1. Print. 2008. This article stated that some of these street children finally got help. There is a story mentioned of a man who looks for street children at night and take them to a shelter. He worked for a non-profit organization where he helped the boys he finds. The article also mentions some groups such as “Home village society” which tries to help the street children. These groups aim to give the street children a normal life; they try to help them as much as they can. These non-profit groups are like the one I work with which I mentioned earlier.


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Khaled, Nada, Suliman El Daw, and Nadia Zibani. "Behavioral Survey among Street Children in Greater Cairo and Alexandria." N.p., n.d. Web. The statistics from this research gives reasons for the phenomenon of street children: 65.2 % were due to family problems, 29% were there to earn money for themselves and their families; 22.8% were forced to leave the house. Another statistic illustrated that 28% of the street boys had sex with other boy and smoking and buying drugs are common habits in the lives of the street children. All of these statistics come from a study sample which consisted of 463 children in Cairo (373 boys and 90 girls) and 394 children in Alexandria (354 boys and 40 girls). "Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect." Child Welfare Information Gateway. N.p., 2008. This article talks about the effects of child abuse, including physical health problems as well as psychological/behavioral problems, detailing each one. Studies showed that people who experienced child abuse or neglect are more likely to suffer from allergies, asthma, and high blood pressure. Also the emotional effects of neglect and abuse could cause fear, low self-esteem, and depression. Child abuse could also cause personality disorders, and violent behavior.


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Appendix A Are you aware of the problem of “Street Children”? Yes No Did you ever have an experience with a street child? Yes No If yes, did you get bothered? Yes No Neither Do you tend to help them? Yes No If yes, how…….. Do you give them money? Yes No

Do you think that they come from .... Below average families Average families Normal families Above average families


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Do you think that phenomenon is... Increasing Decreasing Do you feel sympathy for them? Yes No Are you aware of any organizations that help such phenomenon? Yes No If yes, please specify Would you like to take part in such organizations? Yes No Neither Who is mainly responsible in your opinion? The government The parents The children The people In your opinion, why do you think these children are on the streets? What do you think is the best solution for this problem? And whom do you think is the most equipped to help these kids?


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Appendix B Interview Questions with Ali Are your parents alive? Are you receiving any sorts of education? Do you have any siblings? If yes, do they go to school or work with you? How much do you make a day? What is your life long dream Ali? Do you play soccer just for fun at least? Interview Questions with Amy Iskander How could we react to a difficult disclosure: “my mom has abandoned me.” How could we discipline these kids while they never had any kind of self-control before? After talking to them, what actions should be taken from us to help or in other words how could we initiate help? When we are allowed to report if someone of these kids said something serious such as “ I have drugs” or “ I’m planning to escape, and how? Do you have any tips or overall messages to communicate with them when they say for e.g. “I cannot be loved”, “ I cannot feel”, and “I can’t dream because I’m not in control of my life”?


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