Sunday, May 11, 2008

NPR Report on Environmental Action in Old Cairo by UCLA's Culhane

The version of this story I like best is that a National Public Radio producer saw my blog posts (Egypt's Zabaleen & Competing Visions of Privatization, Cairo Itinerary, & Medieval Inner-City Redevelopment) describing our class trip to "old Cairo" in 2006, where we were hosted by UCLA PhD student TH Culhane (center in photo above, bookended by a Coptic Christian and a Muslim colleague), easily my most show-biz savvy advisee. (Though he attended Harvard, he seems more proud of having also graduated from the Barnum & Bailey Clown College.)

Connections were made over the past few months that eventually led to the NPR reporter Liane Hansen visiting TH's operation in the flesh, resulting in these two reports from two recent NPR "weekend editions," as part of their "Climate Connections: Solutions" series.

They report on the garbage collectors and recyclers, the Zabaleen, and other aspects of environmental degradation and urban poverty (and solar water heating -- TH's research topic) in the oldest parts of Cairo. Listen and learn.

The links take you to short written versions, and links to the audio; the audio reports are about 14 and 10 minutes, respectively. The slide shows are also worth a look.

In Cairo Slum, the Poor Spark Environmental Change (27 April 2008)

Slow but Sure Environmental Progress in Cairo (4 May 2008)


T.H. Culhane said...

The only other version of the story I know is the one where the UFOs we saw on the Alexandria Desert road that night (from the window of the tour bus, with all your students, when we were returning from witnessing the solar eclipse at the famous Library of Alexandria, remember?) later visited Washington DC and Orange County, abducted Liane Hansen and you and revealed that there is a cosmic battle going on between the Reptoids (who want to terraform the earth for their invasion using global warming) and the Grays (who want to help humanity by encouraging the work of your graduate students who investigate energy and water issues in Africa that could help us prevent climate change under your tutelage).

I think I read that version on Whitley Streiber's journal blog , but I may have had parts of my memory erased and reprogrammed. I think there was also something about Charlie Sheen being involved (playing you in the movie version?) but everything is still fuzzy...

Seriously, thanks for putting the NPR thing in motion, and thanks for plugging our "Ph.-do" work on your blog. Who knows - given what happened last time, this latest post could spawn even more Amazing Stories (and Science Wonder Stories and Fantastic Adventures Quarterly!).

Cheers, and thanks again.

T.H., Beta Version 46.0

Anonymous said...

Cool. NPR's Morning Edition is headed to Karachi and will be broadcasting from there the first week of June. We plan to investigate how that city is managing such rapid growth, even in the midst of so many serious problems (electricity, clean water, poverty)......we'll keep you posted! To learn more send me a note at'm the producer.


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