Source and destination countries of migrants returning to and leaving from Egypt
The below data counts returns to/from Egypt from 2011 to the present.
Faisal* , a young Nigerian student, came to study Arabic at Egypt's Al-Azhar University. After several years, before his period of study ended, he needed to find a suitable job in order to make a living. His only sources of income came from informal means, in addition to support from his community and a small scholarship from the Higher Islamic Council. Soon after he had started studying, Faisal’s wife Iman , joined him in Cairo. Towards the end of Faisal’s study, Iman’s parents bought her a ticket to return to Nigeria. Faisal couldn’t even think about buying a ticket for himself, since he was struggling to make a living, and so the couple were separated by their circumstance.
With the lack of access to local sustainable economic opportunities, coupled with almost inexistent possibilities for regular migration, many Egyptians revert to migrate irregularly with the help of smugglers. The causes and roots of this phenomenon are multi-dimensional. It is not only the economic situation that pushes them to undertake such a risky journey but also the cultural and social struggles they face.