Moon Dust

This projects documents the impacts of this dust on the residents of Moon Valley, and how people are trying to survive.

Featuring: Mohamed Mahdy

Presented by

United Photo Industries

Curated by

James Estrin and David Gonzalez, Co-Editors of the New York Times Lens Blog

Wadi El Qamar, also known as Moon Valley, is a residential area located in the west of Alexandria, Egypt, next to the Portland Cement Factory. Just ten meters away from the residential area, the factory processes coal and garbage. It layers the homes of more than 30,000 people with toxic dust, causing tremendous health problems to those that live there.

The Moon Valley is home to 60,000 people, and historical documents show that the residential area was founded more than 70 years ago under King Farouk, predating the cement factory. Residents face enormous incidents of asthma, lung cancer, eye, ear, and throat infections, and chest sensitivities. The health problems caused by the factory dust affect working-age men who cannot support their families due to their deteriorating health conditions. Children are debilitated by these diseases, and the elderly are also particularly at risk.

People there are not living as humanity should. Children are born with asthma. Cement, coal, and car exhaust fills their homes. Every five minutes a new layer of dust appears. This projects documents the impacts of this dust on the residents of Moon Valley, and how people are trying to survive.

ARTIST BIO

Mohamed Mahdy, born and raised in Egypt, is a documentary photographer and filmmaker whose work concentrates on the buried and unseen communities there, as well as cultural and social issues. His work has been exhibited at the 25 Youth Salon and the Ministry of Culture, as well as in Maine and New Mexico, and has twice exhibited his work with the Ian Parry Scholarship in London. Mohamed was the youngest ever speaker at the Dubai Photo Forum in 2016. He is completing his studies in multimedia arts at PUA University in Alexandria.

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