Before the January 25 revolution in Egypt, I was touched by a village and inspired to help make some changes. My husband’s family is from a small village in north central Egypt called Elisha. It is about a 2 hour drive north of Cairo and a 2 hour drive south of Alexandria.
This was my home for almost one year. I learned a lot about people and life from this little village. On any given day the electricity would go out and the water would stop running. Unlike the big cities, you are prepared for these little bumps in the road, and life certainly does not stop. The water pump is situated outside our front door and we have kerosene lanterns ready to go!
It is an agrarian village: dirt roads, old mud huts still standing, donkey and cart, and to my dismay no garbage system.
I struggle with my ideas. I am a visionary but find it challenging to make those ideas come to fruition. I don’t want to let this idea get tossed with all the other garbage. My husband and I have built a new vision of this town in our minds. We see paved roads, a recycling/garbage system, land for collective farming, a market for residents to share and profit from, and a park area for children to play without getting hurt and sick from garbage and other items that are just tossed to the side.
There needs to be an element of education, infrastructure to be created, process, and ultimately community support and commitment.
But how do we start? Where do we begin? I hate using “money” as an excuse to not do something. I also don’t want to duplicate efforts. Ideally I want to approach institutions that can donate time, skill, research. I want to turn this into a community effort. I want the people of Elisha to owns this so that they can have the sense of pride and commitment that is necessary to building and sustaining a healthy community.
This post is not very clear and concise. It is an attempt to begin to vocalize my thoughts and dreams for my other family and home. The people in these small villages have no hope. They will tell you that they are already dead. Their environment is challenging and modernization has had a negative impact. Small stores lined with packaged junk food and pop bottles have added to the garbage that is accumulated because no system has been put in place to deal with this kind of debris.
I will begin with researching. Perhaps I should look into writing a letter to the Environment Minister in Canada and to touch base with the Environmental Faculty in Geulph, Ontario or even University of Alberta.
I am committed to finding a path for a solution! Please send me your ideas, comments, suggestions! All is appreciated!