Mobilized Along the Margins: Survival Strategies of Tuktuk Drivers in Egypt

  • Nayera Abdelrahman Soliman
Part of the Middle East Today book series (MIET)


This chapter focuses on one specific marginalized group in Egypt’s informal economy: the tuktuk drivers. The overall aim is to understand how poor people in Egypt deal with the socio-economic conditions they are living in and why they only very rarely engage in contentious action that voices socio-economic demands. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in one urban and one rural neighborhood in Egypt, it argues that the few instances of protest can be explained as a conflict over space and the margins themselves. The chapter starts by discussing the process of marginalization and informalization of tuktuk drivers by presenting their socio-economic conditions. The second part analyzes the impact of this positionality on the tuktuk drivers’ interaction with governmental authorities. Contentious interactions emerge at the borders separating the margins from the center, whether formal or informal. The tuktuk drivers’ main claim is to have access to the “center” by being legal, by being able to circulate in places other than poor areas. The way authorities are dealing with them in the streets, however, is putting them in a permanently vulnerable position and, thus, push them back into the margins.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nayera Abdelrahman Soliman
    • 1
  1. 1.Freie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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