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Permaculture Day in Cairo

Permaculture Day in Cairo: a growing movement putting down roots

 

Sunday, May 3rd, marked the 6th Annual International Permaculture Day.  Permaculture, sort for “permanent agriculture,” is a school of landscape design based upon ethics and mimicking the systems of nature to produce food.  Permaculture systems seek to provide for human needs while healing and supporting the planet, so all species can be provided for infinitely into the future.  Permaculture constitutes an international movement that has reached nearly every country in the world, including Egypt.  

 

Cairo’s International Permaculture Day event was hosted by icecairo, Downtown hub for green tech innovation, and several enthusiastic volunteers from Cairo’s growing permaculture network.  The event was titled International Permaculture Day: Share the Surplus, named for the 3rd ethic of permaculture.  The first ethic is to care for the earth, the second to care for people, and the third is to return any surplus production to the earth and the people fairly.  In this theme of sharing, the event was the format of a dish party, with participants bringing food to share.

 

Programing included a brief introduction to permaculture theory, presentations from practitioners working in the field, and time for mingling and enjoying food and company.  Icecairo opened the event with a warm welcome for the enthusiastic group of about 15.  Starr Brainard, self-proclaimed “permaculture enthusiast” and Research Associate at AUC’s Research Institute for a Sustainable Environment, followed with an interactive introduction to permaculture, International Permaculture Day, and this year’s theme: In Support of Soil. Then AUC grad student Mai Shalaby presented about her experience taking her Permaculture Design Certification course and internship at the Laikipia Permaculture Center in Kenya. Sara ElSayed, co-founder of Nawaya, followed with a presentation about the challenges and rewards of introducing permaculture to Egyptian farmers, and implementing permaculture strategies in a competitive market.  The event closed with a presentation from Hany ElKhodary founder of Green Zone Egypt about his personal journey to sustainable agriculture and starting his company.

 

Participants chatted and exchange information for nearly an hour after the last presentation.  Excitement for making a positive change in the world was tangible.  Starr, one of the main organizers of the event and presenters, hopes to harness this energy and build up the permaculture community in Cairo.  She is in the process of planning more events, and building up a directory of permaculturalists active in Egypt.  Anyone interested in being involved should email Starr at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Author: Starr Brainard, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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