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Dr. Adel Abd El Malek Ghali is a general practitioner in Ezbet El-Nakhl in eastern Cairo. About 6,000 people who work with collecting and recycling the city’s waste live in the area. The zabbaleen, as they are known, have lived in Ezbet El-Nakhl for several decades. Due to the lack of many basic amenities, many of the residents don’t have the hygienic standards to avoid infections or treat injuries properly.
In 1978, the Coptic Sisters of the St. Mary Convent founded the Salam Center to improve the situation in Ezbet El-Nakhl. Today, it has a school, a hospital, a center for the old and the handicapped, and a hospital.
The center is led by Sister Maria and Dr. Adel. Dr. Adel has a bust daily routine: if not receiving patients in his small office, he is visiting the school or the hospital. He also goes around the area personally to make sure that everyone is being well taken care of. Dr. Adel’s patients don’t need insurance or even an appointment, they can approach him whenever they need to. He is more than just a doctor to his patients − to many he is also a very close friend.