Egyptian doorman makes a rare trip home

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Egyptian doorman makes a rare trip home
FILE - In this April 25, 2015 file photo, Salama Osman waits for water to be boiled to make tea before going to bed in his room, where he lives under the emergency stairs in the back of an apartment building where he works, in Cairo, Egypt. Osman is a “bawaab,” one of likely tens of thousands of migrant workers across Cairo who function as doormen, car parkers, errand runners, night watchmen, gardeners and just about anything. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae, File)
FILE - In this April 23, 2015 file photo, Salama Osman, left, a migrant worker, rides a train back to his job as a "bawaab" or doorkeeper in a Cairo apartment building, near his home village of Abu al-Nasr, about 770 kilometers (480 miles) south of Cairo. Osman, 46, is returning from one of his two trips a year back home. The money he makes in Cairo can support his wife, Amira, and his four children, forcing him to continue his life in the big city. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae, File)
FILE - In this April 12, 2015 file photo, Sayed Ahmed Abdoh poles his boat to check his fish traps in the Nile River, near Abu al-Nasr village, about 770 kilometers (480 miles) south of Cairo, Egypt. Abdoh caught some 20 fish this day and gave them to his friend, Salama Osman, a migrant worker in a Cairo apartment building, to celebrate his biannual return to their village. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae, File)
In this Friday, May 1, 2015 photo, Salama Osman, a migrant from a southern village, cleans the entrance of his apartment building where he works in Cairo, Egypt. Osman is a "bawaab," one of likely tens of thousands of migrant workers across Cairo who function as doormen, car parkers, errand runners, night watchmen, gardeners and just about anything. His day begins before the tenants of his Cairo apartment building wake and ends only after the last returns home at night, a work week without weekends. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)
FILE - In this Friday, April 10, 2015 photo, Salama Osman, right, gives his children gifts he has brought from Cairo after he arrives to his family's home in Abu al-Nasr, about 770 kilometers (480 miles) south of Cairo. Osman, 46, is on one of his two trips a year back home where he can relax with his family, a rare respite from his hectic job back in the always-bustling Egyptian capital. Osman is a "bawaab," one of likely tens of thousands of migrant workers across Cairo who function as doormen, car parkers, errand runners, night watchmen, gardeners and just about anything. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae, File)
In this Wednesday, April 29, 2015 photo, Salama Osman, a migrant from a southern village drops a tire to secure a parking place as a car drives off in front of the apartment building where he works, in Cairo, Egypt. Osman is a "bawaab," one of likely tens of thousands of migrant workers across Cairo who function as doormen, car parkers, errand runners, night watchmen, gardeners and just about anything. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)
In this Tuesday, April 28, 2015 photo, Salama Osman, left, eats breakfast with Hagag Mohammed, a fellow doorman in his neighborhood, in the foyer to the apartment building where he works in Cairo, Egypt. Osman speaks every day by phone to his wife and children back in southern village of Abu Al-Nasr, but the money he makes in Cairo can support his wife, Amira, and his four children, forcing him to continue his migrant life in the big city. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)
In this Tuesday, April 28, 2015 photo, doorman Salama Osman takes a break from his work, leaning against a car in front of the apartment building where he works in Cairo, Egypt. Osman speaks every day by phone to his wife and children back in southern village of Abu Al-Nasr, but the money he makes in Cairo can support his wife, Amira, and his four children, forcing him to continue his migrant life in the big city. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)
In this Tuesday, April 21, 2015 photo, Salama Osman leads his buffalo to a field to feed as his son Hamdy, 13, watches in the village of Abu al-Nasr, about 770 kilometers (480 miles) south of Cairo. Osman, 46, is on one of his two trips a year back home where he can relax with his family, a rare respite from his hectic job back in the always-bustling Egyptian capital. The money he makes in Cairo can support all of his family, forcing him to continue his life in the big city. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)
In this Friday, April 17, 2015 photo, Amira, wife of Salama Osman, and her daughter Ghada, talk about music playing on their cell phones while resting on the family plot of land, about 770 kilometers (480 miles) south of Cairo. Osman, 46, is on one of his two trips a year back home to the village, a rare respite from his hectic job back in the always-bustling Egyptian capital. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)
In this Friday, April 17, 2015 photo, Salama Osman, a migrant worker in Cairo, plays with his children Sameh, 5 1/2, left, and Zainab, 10, during a biannual trip back home in Abu al-Nasr, about 770 kilometers (480 miles) south of Cairo. Osman, 46, is on one of his two trips a year back home where he can relax with his family, a rare respite from his hectic job back in the always-bustling Egyptian capital. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)
In this April 17, 2015 photo, clay containers of water are installed for pedestrians to drink on the side of a street in about 770 kilometers (480 miles) south of Cairo. This village, just south of the Temple of Horus and a small step pyramid, is where Salama Osman 46, grew up but he now works as a "bawaab," one of likely tens of thousands of migrant workers across Cairo who function as doormen, car parkers, errand runners, night watchmen, gardeners and just about anything. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)
In this Friday, April 17, 2015 photo, Salama Osman, left, chats with his fisherman friend, Sayed Ahmed Abdoh, outside his home in Abu al-Nasr, about 770 kilometers (480 miles) south of Cairo. Osman, 46, is on one of his two trips a year back home where he can relax with his family, a rare respite from his hectic job back in the always-bustling Egyptian capital. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)
In this Wednesday, April 15, 2015 photo, a man carries sugarcane on a donkey cart, in Abu al-Nasr village, about 770 kilometers (480 miles) south of Cairo, Egypt. Salama Osman’s day begins before the tenants of his Cairo apartment building wake and ends only after the last returns home at night, a work week without weekends. Except this week as he is on one of his two trips a year back home. "There are no jobs" here, Salama said of his village home, where most rely on farming to make a living. "There is not much money in (harvesting) sugarcanes." (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)
In this April 14, 2015 photo, a man loads sugarcane onto a rail car in Abu al-Nasr, about 770 kilometers (480 miles) south of Cairo. Salama Osman’s day begins before the tenants of his Cairo apartment building wake and ends only after the last returns home at night, a work week without weekends. Except this week as he is on one of his two trips a year back home. "There are no jobs" here in Abu al-Nasr, Salama said of his village home, where most rely on farming to make a living. "There is not much money in (harvesting) sugarcanes." (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)
In this April 13, 2015 photo, Salama Osman, works on his small plot of land in front of his family house where they grow vegetables, as he talks with his wife Amira in the village of Abu al-Nasr, about 770 kilometers (480 miles) south of Cairo. Osman, 46, is on one of his two trips a year back home where he can relax with his family, a rare respite from his hectic job back in the always-bustling Egyptian capital. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)
In this Tuesday, April 14, 2015 photo, women and men line up separately as they wait outside to buy bread at a bakery in a village near Abu al-Nasr, about 770 kilometers (480 miles) south of Cairo. Amira, the wife of Salama Osman who works in Cairo without his family most of the year, leaves her village house shortly after dawn everyday to buy bread at the shop. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)
In this Monday, April 13, 2015 photo, Salama Osman, who works as a doorman in Cairo, celebrates the national holiday of Sham el-Nessim with his his children by having lunch on the banks of the Nile near his home village of Abu al-Nasr, about 770 kilometers (480 miles) south of Cairo. The holiday marks the arrival of spring, an Egyptian tradition practiced since the days of the Pharaohs. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)
In this Sunday, April 12, 2015 photo, Salama Osman buys fish from a fisherman as his daughter Zainab watches another returning with his catch, in a branch of the Nile River near Abu al-Nasr, about 770 kilometers (480 miles) south of Cairo. Osman, 46, is on one of his two trips a year back home where he can relax with his family, a rare respite from his hectic job back in the always-bustling Egyptian capital. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)
In this Sunday, April 12, 2015 photo, workers take a tea break as other villagers load sugarcane on a rail car, in Abu al-Nasr, about 770 kilometers (480 miles) south of Cairo. Salama Osman, who works as a doorman in Cairo, is on one of his two trips a year back home to Abu al-Nasr. "There are no jobs" here, Salama said of his village home, where most rely on farming to make a living. "There is not much money in (harvesting) sugarcanes." (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)
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Photos by Hiro Komae

Salama Osman's day begins before the tenants of his Cairo apartment building wake and ends only after the last returns home at night, a work week without weekends. Except this week.

Osman, 46, is on one of his two trips a year back home to the village of Abu al-Nasr, about 770 kilometers (480 miles) south of Cairo. Here, he can relax with his family, a rare respite from his hectic job back in the always-bustling Egyptian capital.

Osman is a "bawaab," one of likely tens of thousands of migrant workers across Cairo who function as doormen, car parkers, errand runners, night watchmen, gardeners and just about anything. During Egypt's 2011 revolt and the subsequent chaos surrounding the 2013 military overthrow of the country's president, they also armed themselves with clubs and knifes, forming impromptu neighborhood watches.

As a "bawaab," Osman earns a monthly base salary of 600 Egyptian pounds ($75). That may not seem like a lot, but goes a long way here in Abu Al-Nasr, one of many small villages in southern Egypt along the Nile.

"There are no jobs" here, Salama said of his village home, where most rely on farming to make a living. "There is not much money in (harvesting) sugarcanes."

This village, just south of the Temple of Horus and a small step pyramid, is where Osman grew up. His wife, Amira, and his four children all live here in their home, just next to a 260-square-meter (315-square-yard) farm where they grow vegetables and have a water buffalo and chickens.

It's a peaceful existence, far different from the noise and cramped life Osman lives in Cairo. He still worked though, handling household issues. At night, he'd have a quiet moment for himself, enjoying watching Egyptian classic movies, professional wrestling and Indian movies on television while sipping a cup of tea. On Sham el-Nessim, an Egyptian holiday, he took his children to the Nile to have lunch on its banks.

"Everything was perfect," he said while riding on a train back to Cairo, a 12-hour journey.

Back in Cairo, Osman settled quickly into his routine. He's worked as a doorman for 16 years in and around Cairo. He speaks every day by phone to his wife and children back in Abu Al-Nasr, but the money he makes in Cairo can support all of them, forcing him to continue his life in the big city. He occasionally pauses long enough to have a cup of tea in front of the apartment building where he works.

As far as how many more years he'll work part from his family, he doesn't know.

"Maybe five years. Maybe 10," Osman said. "Not yet."

Here are a series of Associated Press photographs of Osman, a Cairo doorman taking a rare holiday at his home in rural Egypt.

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