The Nile Houseboats

The House Boats in Egypt (Correspondent 2022)

1- A facebook group and a twitter thread will be created with the title “Before & After” using the hashtags:

#Egypt, #Houseboats, #Nile, #Before & After, #Development, #Cultural Heritage, #Cairo 

Their purpose is to act as crowdsourcing platforms where the data shared through them can be used for research purposes.

2-The Purpose of them will be declared clearly as following:

“This Facebook group is created in order to act a crowdsourcing platform where the images and data shared about the houseboats of the Nile will be used in research and documentary purposes, if you can add dates of your photos that would be great”.

“This Twitter thread is for anyone who wants to share photos of the Houseboats in Egypt”.

“The photos will be used to create a dataset that can be used for research purposes and to create a documentary, if you can add dates of your photos that would be great”.

The above process is used for the photos data collection, also field visits will be conducted to collect images by myself.

Q1 Who will you interview?Q2 Why have you chosen to interview this particular group of people over others? Q5 Why did you choose to interview this particular group of people?

Different stakeholders will be interviewed in order to formulate a non-bias opinion about the whole situation and take into consideration the different point views on the matter in a holistic manner. Also different stakeholders can provide different sources of images and data that will be used in the documentary.

Residents of the houseboats themselves 1-They are the people segment mostly affected by the decision.2-They can provide details about the place no one else can.3-They can be collaborative since they feel misjust.4-To get their opinion on the decision and if they were thinking of another solution that might satisfy everyone.
Locals and Residents of the surrounding areas1-Though the houseboats are considered some sort of a cultural heritage they might actually have been causing harms to the surrounding neighbors by:    1- the presence of informal and inappropriate activities in them that        might jeopardize the safety of the neighborhood.    2- the presence of unrenovated and visually disturbing houseboats that         might annoy the overlooking neighbors.2- To get a sense of their point of view and their preference of the usage of the nile promenade area  and if they were actually affected by the houseboats presence.
In addition interviewing the local residents, the apartment buildings security members are more likely to talk and share their opinions and they actually do know inside details and words from the streets, so they will definitely be interviewed but in Egypt most of them are illiterate people and they kind of get scared upon interviews but when they are told that this is for a university research they are more cooperative, also actually taxi drivers are chatty in Egypt and you can get a lot from them, However I am not sure about the consent  position in these kinds of informal interviews?
Government officialsThey can clear the licensing issues and state the facts about the houseboats social and economic positions and can share the real compensations, relocations and development plans
DevelopersThey can share the development strategy and procedures to know who their development plan will affect the physical, environmental and social context 

Q3 What story or whose story do you want to tell?

The Story of the “Nile” itself will be told while elaborating the conflicts and fights on its ownership, the change of its ownership, how the presence of the houseboats affected it and how people were thinking while making decision, if “The Nile” was taken into consideration and how it has been offering a lot to people and what it expects from people to offer for it, and how it can be represented as an entity.

Q4 How will you interview/document the process? (video, audio, photos, note-taking) (one-to-one interviews, focus group, online?)

1- The Facebook group & Twitter will be used to share surveys about the topic and collect some photos.

2- Omeka will be used to create a digital archive for the images.

3- An Excel sheet will be used to document the survey data.

4- Both field visits and open calls social media will be sent to conduct one to one interviews.

5-The interviews will be documented by taking notes, if the interviewees were flexible and accepted to be recorded then audio records will be used as well.

6- the data from the interviews will be refined in an excel sheet.

Q6 How will you get consent from your participants and what will they be consenting to? Q7 How will you manage issues of respect, confidentiality and anonymity?

1- The Surveys will have a clear statement in the beginning that states:

“ 1- By filling this survey you agree that your data will be used for research purposes, The data   will be stored by University College Cork Research Team for a minimum of 10 years.

  2- The date will be confidential and only used for research and documentation purposes.

  3- The data you provide will be created anonymously”

2- At the beginning of the interviews a document will be presented to the interviewee that states that introduces the researcher, the research topic and includes the same statements used in the survey.

The surveys and the consent statements will be presented in Arabic “the local language”

3- A simple and appropriate language will be used during the interview while addressing the interviewees to gain their trust and respect.

4- Parts of the interviews will be discarded  if the interviewee asked for that

Q8 What steps do you think you need to put in place to keep yourself (the researcher) safe?

1- During the field visit and the interviews will be conducted by a couple or more researcher.

2- The interviews will be done in the morning.

3-In case of necessity interviews or field visits at night will mainly be done by male researchers.

4- In case of invitation inside the houseboats themselves for interviews or photos no researcher will enter alone nor at night.

5- In case of government officials discarding the research permit and refusing interviews or photography in the area, no resistance will be shown.

Q9 What steps do you think you need to put in place to keep participants and other stakeholders safe?

1- None of the personal  information of the participants and the stakeholders including will be documented.

2- None of the personal  information of the participants and the stakeholders will be released

3- Participants will be added in the documents as John doe #1, John doe #2…etc.  

4- In case of interviewees worrying about conducting interviews near the place of the houseboats, different locations will be selected and agreed on.

Q10 What will your data management plan look like? How will you keep your data collection safe?

The data management plan will follow something like this:

Where 6 categories will be taken into consideration which are:

1-data collection “ description of all the data that work will be done on”

2-Documentation and metadata “Provide details of: any supporting information to be developed or documented”

3-Storage and back-up during active research “ Data will be collected and saved on multiple google drives to create online back-ups”, which are accessible only to the research team and upon refining a certain part maybe a physical copy could also be made from the digital data”.

4-Legal and Ethical Requirements of the data

5-Data sharing and long term preservation “The data sharing and preservation will be subjected to the participants willingness to share their data”

6-Resources & Responsibilities.

Q11 Are there specific protocols you need to put in place in relation to photography, visually recording people and audio recordings?

1- Interviews need to be notified before audio recording them.

2- If photos of the field needed to be taken during the time of the demolitions, there is a high probability that a university research permit will be needed to allow for the photos and to be presented to both the government officials and locals/residents when they ask for it.

A university research permit is a document signed by the university that states the that I am a student at a certain university and working on a specific research this is pretty common and we use it a lot during our studies to allow us to document stuff and also to build trust with people.

Q12 What are the potential risks involved in participating in your study for the participant?

1-Since all the interviews and surveys will be done anonymously, there will be no risk in participating in my study.

2-Since the collected data will only be used for research and documentation purposes and the interviewees have the freedom to request discarding parts of the interview before the interviews are finished, there will be no risk in participating in my study.


Correspondent, Magdy Samaan, Cairo Richard Spencer, Middle East. 2022. “Dreams Sunk as Nile’s Bohemian Houseboats Ordered to Make Way.”, July 1, 2022, sec. world.