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Gallery: The Egypt where worrying about politics is a luxury

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A young boy carries a tray of pita bread as he passes the painted hamsas that decorate the entrance of his home in Cairo's Sayeda Zeinab neighbourhood on November 24, 2011. The hamsa, depicted by an open right hand, is a symbol popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa and provides defence against the evil eye. The image has been recognized and used as a sign of protection in many societies throughout history. It is also known as the hand of Fatima, named for Muhammad's daughter Fatima Zahra.

Heidi Levine for The Globe and Mail/heidi levine The Globe and Mail

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Mattress makers Mohammed and Hassan Hanafi prepare a bridal bed stuffed with cotton, under the watchful eye of mother-of-the-bride Nadia Zenhom, in a poor section of Cairo's Sayeda Zeinab neighbourhood.

Heidi Levine for The Globe and Mail/heidi levine The Globe and Mail

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A woman sits on the ground at the entrance of her home in the Sayeda Zeinab neighbourhood of Cairo, Egypt on November 24, 2011.

Heidi Levine for The Globe and Mail/heidi levine The Globe and Mail

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Mosad Abdulla Ibrahim, 78, his wife Hekmet Abdelsala, 65, and their grandaughter Shamie are residents of a poor district of Cairo's Sayeda Zeinab neighbourhood. They have only two complaints: their one-room home has no water, and the dilapidated roof leaks right over their bed.

Heidi Levine for The Globe and Mail/heidi levine The Globe and Mail

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Farouk Saad Mohammed, 64, cannot afford to pay for the wedding of his daughter, Amal, because he only makes about $2 a day working at a falafel stand near Tahrir Square. The youths in the square are paid to carry out attacks on the police, he says. Photo taken in Cairo's Sayeda Zeinab neighbourhood on November 24, 2011.

Heidi Levine for The Globe and Mail/heidi levine The Globe and Mail

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Painted Hamsas decorate the entrance of a home in Cairo's Sayeda Zeinab neighbourhood. The hamsa, depicted by an open right hand, is a symbol popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa and provides defence against the evil eye. The image has been recognized and used as a sign of protection in many societies throughout history. It is also known as the hand of Fatima, named for Muhammad's daughter Fatima Zahra.

Heidi Levine for The Globe and Mail/heidi levine The Globe and Mail

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Amal Saad Mohammed, 18, is engaged to be married, but her family in the Sayeda Zeinab neighbourhood of Cairo, Egypt is too poor to afford a wedding. Photo taken November 24, 2011.

Heidi Levine for The Globe and Mail/heidi levine The Globe and Mail

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Sheep are fed in front of a shop located along one of the main roads of Cairo's Sayeda Zeinab neighbourhood on November 24, 2011.

Heidi Levine for The Globe and Mail/heidi levine The Globe and Mail

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A section of one of the poorest sections of Cairo's Sayeda Zeinab neighborhood on November 24, 2011.

Heidi Levine for The Globe and Mail/heidi levine The Globe and Mail

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A man, seen from the window of a store selling Christian items, walks by posters of Saint George and the Dragon in Cairo's Shubra neighbourhood.

Heidi Levine for The Globe and Mail/heidi levine The Globe and Mail

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Nasser Zachary, 22, a Christian resident in the mixed Cairo neighbourhood of Shubra, will vote Monday for the first time. He's less excited than he is worried that Islamists may end up controlling Parliament.

Heidi Levine for The Globe and Mail/heidi levine The Globe and Mail

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