Just around the corner of the 26 July Street, Ayman Gamal stands with his colourful cart hoping to attract customers in the heart of the Egyptian capital. Standing by his stall, you can hear the sounds of the delicious golden-coloured Zalabiya (dumplings) being fried in oil.
The attractive colours and the cleanliness of the Shika Zalabyano cart is certaintly tempting.
Gamal holds a Bachelor of Social Service but has faced challenges during Egypt's hard economic ties, forcing him to consider a career change.
Before times got tough, he used to work at an insurance company in the morning and at a restaurant at night to make ends meet. Both sectors, however, were severely affected by the current political and economic crisis. Having a family to support, Gamal decided that waiting for another job to knock on his door would be a waste of time.
The cart still lacks official documentation. Gamal said he filed his paperwork with the neighborhood authorities, taking over a place that used to be filled with garbage and turning it into nice place to eat. He is still waiting for the approval so he can get over and done with his registration procedures and obtain a tax record.
Ayman offers hot Zalabiya with sugar or honey on request, and gives you a printed bill to assure you that Shika Zalabyano is a serious small enterprise.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm