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Big, Black Cloud Over Cairo

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Welcome to Cairo, the world's most polluted city.
"Gasp... pant... pant... okay... Kavitha... only one more flight of stairs... cough... gasp..." I say to myself. My hotel room is on the 5th floor of an old building in downtown Cairo. There is no elevator. When I get to my room I have to hurry up and find my inhaler. I take a big whiff and hold it in waiting for the instant relief. "AAAAAhhhhhhhhh..... I can breathe again," I think.

Vocabulary Box:

asthma - a disease that sometimes makes it hard to breathe.
inhaler - medicine that you breathe in. People with asthma sometimes use inhalers to help them breathe.

Yes, I have asthma. So I carry my inhaler with me, but I haven't had to use it in months...maybe even years. But here in Cairo, I've had to use it every day for the past week! If you've ever been to Cairo, I'm sure you would understand why. The air here is very dirty. You can see it, smell it, even feel is a thick, black, smoky haze.

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Can somebody please lift this smog?
The air makes our eyes hurt. It makes our throats sore, and it makes our skin feel clogged. In Cairo there are too many people, too many cars, and too many factories. They all make the air dirty.

The Cairo Air Improvement Project is trying to fix the air pollution problem. They find out who makes the air dirty. Then they try to change things. They work hard to get people to stop polluting. They teach people how to stop air pollution. There is a lot of work to do. Maybe someday I won't need my inhaler to breathe in Cairo.


p.s. - Please e-mail me at


Jasmine - Mohammed Ali's Egyptian Palace

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