Residents of the villages of Pharaon and El-Shami in Alexandria staged protests Wednesday against recently issued government orders to demolish their homes on the pretext that they had been built without licenses.
In a statement, the Alexandria governor’s office claimed that villagers had built homes on state-owned land not allocated for public housing.
"Choosing this land for their project was a mistake," said villager Abdo Karim. "This land belongs to us, and we can prove it."
Lawyer Yousry Ali, who has filed a lawsuit against the government, insisted the villagers were the legal owners of the land.
"More than 5000 families will be out on the street if these homes are destroyed," said local resident Ebeid Abdel Qader.
"We’re poor. We had to work really hard to make homes for ourselves here," said Abdo Farrag, noting that residents had lived in the area for at least five years. "Where was the government all this time?"
Translated from the Arabic Edition.