MamaG’s work day table is surrounded by wooden benches impeding the flow of people and providing her a level of protection as she deals with large sums of money. The market is where she spends the greatest part of her day and is also where she has her place of prestige as the head of an informal collective bank.
Gihan’s work day table is so densely packed with plates and dishes that we can barely see the tablecloth. It’s a lot like Ezbet Khairallah. The informal areas of Cairo are incredibly dense. This density represents abundance, security and community, exactly what these women have found at the Dawar Kitchen.
Eva’s work day table is a big aluminium countertop at a public market stall. She shares the table with other people who, like her, come from periphery communities to work in the urban center. The long table, where strangers sit a few feet away from one other, reflects Guadalajara’s sprawl, a type of urbanization with adjacent yet disconnected neighbourhoods.
To feed many hungry and thirsty mouths in the three communities, semi-industrial machinery produce tortillas, flat bread and purified water sachets non-stop.
Skilled men drive the local economies with craftsmenship learnt from their peers.
Between clients, orders and caretaking responsibilities, the three women have a small break to eat.
The women leave their footprints as they move through the city for work. In sprawling Guadalajara, Eva is the one who travels the most. Gihan commutes the least. The dense Ezbet is a city in itself, as many live and work there.