unMonastery in Egypt?

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#1

Hi Everyone,

I am off to Cairo to some meetings with the cabinet there this wednesday June 26… We will talk about several possibilities on cooperations in different projects. I wanted to runt this by you to hear if the community might have some ideas on possible projects.

Background:

The civil unrest is continuing in Egypt and Cairo. Hundreds of thousands are protesting against the current islamist government. Much of the economic activity is frozen or moves very slowly. All the problems that already existed have just accumulated, since not many people work any more. The FDIs are at a very low level and many foreign investors are leaving the country. Unemployment is high, especially among the youth. In a bid to ease the tensions and to push the economic wheels I would like to launch a project of the type of the UnMonastery in Cairo.

Needs:

The anger and the energy of the young people should be canalized into something positive and much needed reconstruction of the economy and the infrastructure of the society. Egypt is in a urgent need to get the economic wheels turning again and to handle some pressing issues on waste management, electricity shortage and water supply.

Assignment:

To canalize some of the energy from the protests and civil unrest into much needed positive projects to solve some of the most pressing issues.

What I would need is a proposal in the form of 3 slides that I can present while at the meeting. Any ideas for what we could do together? Any contacts in the local scene who should be involved in this conversation ?


#2

Connect with existing movements and activists

Hey nathalie if you’d like to ping me some more info at jay@icecairo.com I can put you in contact with activists in Cairo and Alexandria who are already working with grass routes communities and spaces to address some of these issues - we’re also working on a project to connect and catalyse projects across Africa


#3

Connect with existing movements and activists 2

Hi Nathalie,  coworking spaces could indeed help you in your goal.  I could get in you touch with Rasheed22 or The District, if it is not already done by Jaycousins.


#4

Well done Jay!

… that said, I would suggest you share any ideas you might have for Nathalie here, rather than by email. This way the community might come up with something… with more information and some initial rough idea to kick around we might come up with something good for Nathalie.


#5

+1 from OuiShare :wink:

I forwarded it to a friend Ahmad Sufian Bayram who acts as OuiShare connector in that region

I will also try to connect with someone participating in MakeSense in that region :slight_smile:


#6

What’s up with waste management?

“Egypt is in a urgent need to get the economic wheels turning again and to handle some pressing issues on waste management, electricity shortage and water supply.”

What specific issues are there about waste management? Is this still connected to the contracting out of the waste collection to multi-nationals, as referred to in Wikipedia?

Egypt is in a urgent need to get the economic wheels turning again and to handle some pressing issues on waste management, electricity shortage and water supply. - See more at: https://edgeryders.eu/comment/1264#comment-1264

Waste management at Cairo University
#7

Waste Management

Depends on how far you want to take it. The multinationals taking over created vast problems as well as the slaughtering of the pigs. The Zaballeen now cherry pick the useful waste and the dogs and cats pick through the shit that get’s left on the street after they pick through the bins. There are projects in Nasr City that are doing a better job of this, and taking a more community based approach.

Don’t get me started on Abusir, the canal on that side of the city is a dumping ground with no infrastructure and where the contractors even go to dump their excesses.

Waste management however, is addressing the problem rather late in the lifecycle of production of shit that isn’t needed in the first place. Simple things like water that doesn’t taste like a swimming pool would help at this end, as bottle water is totally unneccessary. Solutions already exist, but it’s about marketing, convenience and education.


#8

peering on waste issue

In topic of waste I would suggest peering with people participatin in Let’s do it! World :slight_smile:

Sadly dosn’t seam that well established in that region :frowning: http://letsdoitworld.org/countries

Auli works with this network for many years now! (BTW we really need @mentions feature here!)


#9

waste etc/let’s do it

hi there, there are several projects, as Jay already mentioned, other than well-PR-ed zabaleen …

I am involved in one more initiative, http://www.happygreenworld.org and we connect, among other activities, schools to orgs that can collect their recyclables., The key for me is LESSSSSS rubbish.


#10

Welcome :slight_smile:

Hello Ulrike, if no one’s said so yet: welcome to Edgeryders!


#11

The CrossMed changemaker alliance: building capacity

Nathalie and all, this conversation suggests that activists and changemakers in Egypt could join forces with their European counterparts. We are working on similar problems, at least to a degree (which is not a surprise, since many problems are, well, global): but we are different enough that we can help each other by sharing the workload. For example, Europeans such as Jay might be able to do mobilize different allies as needed (just because of their better network in Europe); and if someone need to play bad cop in relating to, say, a local authority, a foreigner can take a higher level of conflict than a local, who has to live there and needs to get along with the local community. Also, different individuals will typically have different expertise. Sharing all of this knowledge is going to enable everyone to take a better shot at cracking problems like waste management (coincidentally, a high priorityin Matera – unMonastery Matera will probably have to try to tackle it).

So, I propose capacity building. Find Egyptian hackers. Bring them to Matera for the October unPiligrimage. Let some apply for the unMonastery. It’s radical, but it’s legit – institutionalized and all. This will give them some breathing space, some international standing and some new allies. They might be able to do a better job in the aftermath, and to call in reinforcement as needed. How’s that?


#12

Great idea

Hey Alberto,

I love the idea, also have connections with Afrilab’s (20 Hubs across Africa) network and Hackers in Sao Paulo, Bagdad, Syria and various other locations. Is there a budget to bring people to Matera or do we have to hack and organisation for some funding? :wink:

All the Best

J


#13

Go!

Jay, you rock.

The budget we do have is for unMonastery (starting February). As far as the unPilgrimage goes, we are still hacking around. Just today I found out the Dutch government is funding travel for a few Dutch people… it is very much ongoing. Maybe Nathalie and her clients could fund some of the Egyptians.

That said, the more people hack funding the more people we can bring there.


#14

unMonastery in Cairo? Update on latest developments

Hi, and sorry for this delay in the reporting back to you.

As I wrote back in June, I had several meetings with the Egyptian government in Cairo and made the Minister of International cooperation, Dr Amr Darrag, sign an agreement on several projects concerning anti-corruption and public procurement process as well as taxation system. Dr Darrag was also very interested in letting Edgeryders create UnMonastery in Cairo. The ink didn’t have the time to dry before General Sisi and his military overthrew the islamist government of Egypt in a coup, that was accompanied by massive popular protests. Saudi and the UAE were the first to welcome the new transitional government, but neither US nor the EU have made strong statements against the coup. Dr Darrag is now no longer in the government, and he refuses to cooperate with the interim rulers of Egypt, even though he has got the question.

So where does this bring Un Monastery Cairo? Well, Dr Darrag is meeting with the Swedish Ambassador, Mrs Kärre, tomorrow afternoon to discuss some of these issues. He will ask the Ambassador to inform the new government about the planned cooperation between Sweden and Egypt, concerning anti-corruption and open procurement. In this meeting, he will also talk about the UnMonastery as a project on national dialogue and ask the Swedish Ambassador to push for a continuation of this project, also with the new government. Hopefully the new government will be open to cooperation with Sweden and with Edgeryders in these projects. I will let you know about the outcome of this meeting.


#15

Hi there,

good work everyone this sounds very interesting indeed.

Here are a group of biogas inventors on fb: https://www.facebook.com/groups/methanogens/

They may be able to help you in your work. Waste management is something I have a keen interest in and have studied as a (lacking) process in Ireland. The water, waste, and recyclic system is in need of attention and could do well by collaboration across countries.

Solutions are bound to be adapted as pollution is endangering supplies and ecosystems worldwide.

My part in this is in helping to create a setting whereby impact investment meets with the innovators on the ground, who are not necessarily entrepreneurially minded, and brings them together with others who are and still more who can design and execute systems dealing with these issues across national divides (via SoCap:Local and general participation and connection within these networks and networks of networks)

A great article today: http://nextcity.org/forefront/view/the-post-hero-economy


#16

Hi there,

good work everyone this sounds very interesting indeed.

Here are a group of biogas inventors on fb: https://www.facebook.com/groups/methanogens/

They may be able to help you in your work. Waste management is something I have a keen interest in and have studied as a (lacking) process in Ireland. The water, waste, and recyclic system is in need of attention and could do well by collaboration across countries.

Solutions are bound to be adapted as pollution is endangering supplies and ecosystems worldwide.

My part in this is in helping to create a setting whereby impact investment meets with the innovators on the ground, who are not necessarily entrepreneurially minded, and brings them together with others who are and still more who can design and execute systems dealing with these issues across national divides (via SoCap:Local and general participation and connection within these networks and networks of networks)

A great article today: http://nextcity.org/forefront/view/the-post-hero-economy


#17

coworking in Cairo & contacts here in general

hello Natalie, Remy:

I live in Cairo, and am the founder of Rasheed22 http://www.facebook.com/Rasheed22, and of course I do know Jay (hello Jay!) who is currently in Aswan.

Much is happening in Egypt these days, and definitely we do need everything mentioned in your report, Natalie.

Let us see what can be done together - at the moment, and in general according to my believe, bringing things from outside without building on what is in the country is doomed to fail … but we have much to build on!

sunshine,

Uli


#18

Thanks for the insights!

Oh well, I see. Pretty horrific :frowning:

I had thought about anaerobic biodigesters for methane production, as an alternatives to the pigs for disposing off the organic waste. Then found that some folks are already building these in Cairo. So, you’re right of course that “solutions already exist” and that it’s mostly about deploying them …