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For Egypt's most marginalized population, the revolution only made things harder.
Back then, hundreds of mostly Sudanese refugees, angered by a suspension of some UNHCR services, protested near the agency's former Cairo headquarters. The months-long demonstration ended with a violent police raid in the middle of the night that left 27 refugees dead.
The UNHCR later moved to this satellite city far from Cairo.
Hammed Youssef, who is from Nigeria, sees no other option other than to protest — if he could only afford to pay for the long bus ride out to 6 October City.
The 19-year-old refugee said resettlement is not his main goal. After getting beaten on Cairo's streets following the January uprising, Youssef is only hoping that someone will provide him with better protection.
"Why shouldn't we keep fighting for our rights?" asked Youssef. "I don't want to go to America. I'd be happy living in Egypt — if only things were safe for me."