i found home

Hardship. Trauma. Pressure. Loss. Boredom.  The reasons why people start taking drugs in Egypt are as manifold as the substances they consume. According to the statistics, one fifth of the adult population uses drugs on a regular basis, the most vulnerable of them being the youth. What the numbers cannot portrait however, is the mindset of the addict whose thoughts and body are possessed by self-destruction. Seeking help in a country that largely regards drugs abuse as a taboo is not easy. Especially, if the common believe about the inside of rehabilitation centers creates an image of isolated cells where crazy inmates await electro shock therapy sessions, being dressed in straitjackets. I have come across those imaginations many times. Because I too, am an addict.

 what I found in the rehabilitation center is not what I had it imagined: Warmth, trust, community. – A safe place free of judgement but full of support. A comfortable space. A home. Through my documentary project I seek to capture the atmosphere of the rehab where addicts like me get the help they need to get back on their feed. Visually, this will be done by following the daily routines and structures of prayers, group therapy sessions and leisure activities at one rehabilitation center in Cairo, its all-male residents and mentors who are ex-addicts themselves. It is the same place that I received treatment from over the course of seven months in 2014, starting on the day of my 25th birthday. It was the beginning of a new life.

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