Aisha is a 26-year-old Somali woman who works as a caregiver for the elderly in Ain-Shams, a neighbourhood in the heart of Cairo. There she discovers the underground society of African immigrants and the tensions between the different groups. In addition to the routine and pressure of her job, and a dead-end relationship with an Egyptian cook, Aisha finds herself involved with the gang that controls her neighbourhood, who blackmail her and force her to steal her patients’ keys. Routine, pressure of dreary work and being stuck in a loveless relationship with an Egyptian cook leads her into impasse.
This is the third film I have made with Morad Mostafa after two short films. For this one, it all started when Morad was visiting my neighbourhood, Ain Shams, where he lived as a child. He noticed how the neighbourhood is now mainly inhabited by African migrants, yet for me, having lived there all my life, I thought it had always been like that, and they were always my neighbours but we didn’t know much about each other or maybe our paths never crossed. They lived in their own universe, just like us, I wondered why! I trust Morad to make such a film, with his sincerity in creating moments and documenting worlds, and his unbiased way of portraying characters and stories. I have also gained experience over the years in dealing with the obstacles of making low-budget films in Egypt. In recent years we have made regular appearances at the Rotterdam Lab, the Red Sea Lodge and the Fabrique des cinémas du monde at Cannes 2022.