Felucca Festival story

Here is a story 🙂 ❤

When a friend told me to come to Aswan, he said: "come and make art workshops there." I thought wow that is a dream come true! It’s so wonderful to be in a beautiful place and do what you love at the same time!

I arrived to Aswan for the first time. It was the third day of the festival and I was deeply inspired by the Nile view and that of the people working together on different projects; I bumped into a really nice girl that I knew and I asked her: "what are you working on?" and she said: "we’re making a solar panel" (was it a solar panel? – it was a Solar Cooker – Jay)… While my other friend was building a wooden stage for the children story telling puppet show…

I got encouraged and I immediately went – with my art supplies – to the community center to hold an arts and crafts workshop with the kids there, although not knowing what to expect; only hoping that many kids will join, so on our way to the center, my instant volunteer partner, and I, were telling the kids about the workshop and they were following us..! A while after we started making simple paper windmills, the number of the children started to increase dramatically; it was insane! Still wonderful to see them all interested, however, we were running out of materials for the infinite children continuously gushing in, even though it was already night time. Surprisingly, some local women came in too; they were interested to learn and help out. Another young man also from the island brought more materials and the children started to collect old and used straws and paper too.

A few hours later, we were tired so we left, but the women stayed to help make more windmills with the children! It was amazing to see how the women were so interested and curious and ready to learn new things… They were also enjoying themselves.

The next day, we were more prepared and organized, we started up by two workshops simultaneously, then another volunteer came in to help and after we showed her how, she started making paper crowns with the kids without being able to speak a single Arabic word! A couple of hours later, we all decided to take a break but the tie-dye on paper tissues was still on because another volunteer (from Abu Simbel) came in and took it from there!

It is so enjoyable to work in such an open environment (where everyone can help by just planting a seed whenever they want to) with such inspired and inspiring people! I wish I had arrived earlier to the festival, but I know I was there on time! Hopefully, I’ll be able go again soon cause I believe that events like the Felucca festival should be around all the time!

Zeinab Kamal

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