In an empty lot of 10th of Ramadan City, small groups gather between piles of refuse. Most are digging and collecting sand. Over the past couple days news of the fragrant sands spread across the city and reached Cairo.
There is a contradiction between the garbage that is seen and the pleasant smell in the air. Some visitors attributed the scent to the remains of a sheikh or a martyr, or say that it is a gift from God in the sand of the 10th of Ramadan.
“Of course there are things like this of which the people say they are miracles. And they create myths or ignorance,” said an older man, “But this time the hole is really big… and the quantity of soap or a shampoo necessary to make all this smell… But if you want the truth, people want to feel that God sees them and cares about them. And it’s possible this sand, even if it is just soap or shampoo, works to help people who do it on their own.”