Ezbet Khairallah extends over an area of 2 square kilometers with an estimated population of 700,000, making it one of the largest and most densely populated informal communities in Egypt. The influx to Ezbeh of Egyptians from various rural areas and the outskirts of Cairo in search of job opportunities began in the 1970s. People started building their own wood and tin houses on the rocky hill that is today known as Ezbeh. Squatters on state-owned land, residents of the Ezbeh have been living under the constant threat of having their homes demolished. The “illegal” status of Ezbeh has also deprived it of basic public utilities, like water, electricity and a sewage system. Consequently, the residents have organized themselves to deliver water and electricity cooperatively to the area, leading to tense relations with the government.