The northern coast of Egypt has seen aggressive coastal erosion due to a decrease in sediment from the Nile and the force of local currents and waves. Gradually rising sea levels, which many believe are caused by global climate change, have further hurt the fishing and farming industries. These environmental changes are affecting the town of Rosetta, where residents have long depended upon the sea and the land for their livelihoods. Many unemployed villagers migrate to other countries in search of work. For my photo story, I spoke with several men who left, only to find themselves back home again and unemployed.
The typical pattern among the (mainly young) would-be environmental and economic migrants is to travel first to nearby Libya and then attempt to sail in motorized rubber boats to islands off the coast of Italy. There, many are turned away and sent back to Egypt by the Italian immigration authorities, their dream of a better life in Europe left unfulfilled. They and the others who have stayed behind now spend most of their time in cafes chatting with older residents about the better days of the past. I hope that my photos of these people, who feel trapped by their situation, will capture the impact that global climate change has had on their lives.