We invite you to experience a week of laughs, discussions, new friendships, and sustainable solutions, through this guided photo tour from DEDI Green Gate workshop last month.
By Petra Hass
Knowledge, experiences, thoughts, and ideas were exchanged when a group of 20 young Danes and Egyptians spent a week together in Cairo and Alexandria in September 2021.
Together they explored the growing scene of sustainable initiatives, all aiming at making Egypt greener.
First stop SEKEM: A biodynamic Farm and sustainable initiative established in 1977 on an untouched part of the Egyptian desert northeast of Cairo.
“At the visit to SEKEM, I learned the importance of incorporating the social aspect, when looking for sustainable solutions”, Abdallah Tawfic from Urban Greens says.
“It should be sustainable in all aspects”.
Next stop: The organization Very Nile which is working on cleaning up the Nile and at the same time improving the living conditions of the fishermen and their families, living along the Nile.
“While the fishermen are out fishing, the families can collect plastic and sell it to us,” Mostafa Habib, project manager at Very Nile, explained during the visit of the DEDI Green Gate group.
“That way we give the local community a sustainable livelihood and at the same time we contribute to cleaning the Nile”.
Then a stop at Women’s Workshop: “We started the women’s workshop to provide the women of Hai El Zabbaleen with practical skills and knowledge as a way to sustain themselves and their families”, Shadia Eskanda, designer and volunteer at the Women’s Workshop, says.
The Women’s Workshop produces blankets, bags, and clothes from scratches of fabric, which they sell in the shop next door.
After a couple of days in chaotic Cairo, the next stop was in Alexandria at the initiative Banlastic:
“The purpose of the beach clean-up is to raise awareness to the problems of marine litter”, says Manar Ramadan, cofounder of Banlastic.
104 kilo of trash was removed from the Alexandrian beach. Meanwhile, to Manar Ramadan, the most impressive was overhearing some boys playing on the beach:
“One of them was about to throw his trash on the beach, but his friend said ‘No, don’t do that. What is the point of them cleaning the beach if we just throw trash on it?’”, Manar Ramadan says.
One of the last stops was Al-Azhar Park which lies adjacent to old Islamic Cairo. Hovering over minarets dating back to the 13th century was “the black cloud” as the Egyptians has named it: The smog that appears every autumn and casts a dark shadow over the city and its residents. In the metropolitan city of Cairo pollution is a part of the everyday life.
“Both SEKEM Farm and Very Nile were a reminder of how much a small grassroot movement can change”, Mohamed Basher, project assistant at the Egyptian Red Crescent, says.
The tour has reached its end. Luckily the DEDI Green Gate participants journey towards sustainable solutions will continue. At the end of November 2021, the Egyptians will travel to Denmark and together with the Danes take part in the second international workshop of DEDI Green Gate.
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