Abu Zaabal, located 20 miles northwest of Cairo, was opened in 1932 by the Egyptian government, to segregate individuals diagnosed with leprosy. It is considered the largest leprosarium in the Middle East. Currently home to 900 residents who no longer have leprosy but have chosen to live on there, it contains a hospital, library, bakery, mosque and prison. Over the decades, individuals who had been treated at Abu Zaabal chose to stay nearby and build new lives. In 1955 the village of Abdel Moneim Riyad was founded, which now home to about 5000 people who had leprosy and their families.
photo BBC News, February 24, 2010