5 Images

Cairo rooftops

Alia Qotb, left, and her husband, Ahmed Gaballah, call this rooftop in Cairo home. The poor make up nearly half of Egypt’s population of 73 million. (Asmaa Waguih / For The Times)
Alia Qotb and a neighbor’s son at her rooftop home. Every rooftop, and rooftop dweller, has a story. Qotb’s includes young love and dashed dreams. (Asmaa Waguih / For The Times)
Samia Mekkawy, a widow, lives above Qotb on the rooftop across the alley. “I look down and pity her,” Mekkawy says. “She has it worse.” (Asmaa Waguih / For The Times)
Qotb hangs laundry at her rooftop home. (Asmaa Waguih / For The Times)
“We’ve been on this roof almost 30 years,” says Ahmed Gaballah, Qotb’s husband. “It’s horrible. Rain. Heat. Insects. There’s no toilet up here. We have to use the one on the second floor. We have no money. People help us with donations. But do you know there are people in Cairo who can’t even afford bread?” (Asmaa Waguih / For The Times)