Greenish Festival: The First Edition
September 7, 2021, CAIRO | Greenish in collaboration with San3aTech launched the first edition of Greenish environmental festival, the first of its kind in Egypt. The festival took place on September 3, 2021 at the Greek Campus of the American University in Cairo (Tahrir).
The program of the festival included 7 panel discussions, 16 workshops and 5 music performances. The festival invited 24 small enterprises that provide eco-friendly solutions to participate in a sustainable fair throughout the day, and 12 NGOs in the fields of environment, urban planning, education and waste management.to present their work and activities to the audience and to offer volunteering opportunities.
Experts in the fields of environment and sustainability, representatives of Embassies and of the Ministry of Environment took part in the panel discussions during the day. The panels covered many topics that started with “Sustainable Fashion” moderated by Rania El Rafie, Country coordinator for Fashion Revolution Egypt. The panelists May Kassem, Founding Member of Sustainable Fashion Alliance MENA & co-founder of Scarabaeus Sacer, Basma Tawakol - Founder of Dayra and Noha Zahran - Founding Member of Sustainable Fashion Alliance MENA, tried to answer the question: Why do we need a sustainable fashion Industry that is socially and environmentally responsible? And discussed sustainable clothing material, second hand clothing and bringing forward social and environmental issues to the industry. The second topic discussed by our panels was “Youth Shaping the Sustainability Scene: From Aspiration to Ownership”. The panel was coordinated by the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Initiative (DEDI), and moderated by Rana Khamis, the head of civic partnership program (DEDI). During the panel Ahmed Yassin, Co-founder of Banlastic Egypt, Salma Enan, of Egypt Solid Waste Management Center for Excellence, and Abdallah Tawfic, Cofounder at Urban Greens Egypt discussed the ecosystem of community organizing operations in Egypt, the effectiveness of multi-sectoral collaboration and alignment between youth and key players and stakeholders in the sustainability field.
The third panel of the day discussed “Having a sustainable relationship between Tourism and Environment”, moderated by Mohamed Elewa, Project Manager at Eco-Egypt. Penalists Ahmed Yehia, Sustainable Tourism Expert and Founder of Eco Nubia, Hoda El Shawadfy - Assistant to the minister of environment, Khalid El Nobi, Head of Nature Conservation Egypt and Omar Samra, Adventurist and co-founder of ImagineIF discussed the essential application of sustainable tourism practices and promoting Egypt as an important eco-destination globally; and how to engage the local communities living around protected areas into the whole ecotourism process to ensure achieving sustainability.
The last two panels on Stage 1 hosted representatives from The Embassy of Switzerland in Egypt, Embassy of the UK in Egypt, Embassy of Italy in Egypt, and the British Council. The Panel “Policies and endeavors for the transition to Green Economy” was moderated by Mohamed Kamal, co-managing director at Greenish. Speakers, Mrs. Michal Harari - Deputy Head of International Cooperation at the Embassy of Switzerland Egypt, Mr. Qudsi Rasheed - UK's deputy ambassador in Egypt, and Mr. Gattanella Jacopo, First Secretary at the Embassy of Italy in Cairo, reflected on how their governments support the Egyptian government in its transition towards a green economy and cleaner energy, and presented specific projects they supported in Egypt. Furthermore, the panelists of “Road to COP26 and the Youth Summit”, Mr. Qudis Rasheed, UK Deputy Head of Mission, Mrs. Ruth Cocks, Deputy Director of the British Council and Mr. Jacopo Cattanella, First Secretary of the Embassy of Italy introduced the Climate Change Conference COP26 and the difference between the Youth Summit (Milan), and the COP26 that will be held in Glasgow this year.
On the second stage of the festival, two panel discussions were held. The first panel “Sustainable Mobility and Urbanism” moderated by Waleed Mansour, Program Manager a Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, hosted Dr. Ahmed Dorghamy, Energy and Environment Consultant, Heba Attia Mousa - Urban Planner and Co-founder of Tabdeel, and Sara Abu Henedy - Research Associate at Transport for Cairo. The panelists discussed the importance of sustainable mobility within the context of Egypt, and more specifically, within the context of urban hubs like Cairo. Dr. Dorghamy and Mr. Mansour reflected on some of the recent work that CEDARE, FES and Transport for Cairo were involved in that covered a number of policy papers focused on sustainable cities and Mainstreaming Electric Mobility in Egypt. The second panel “Educating Sustainability Leaders” invited Natalie Tamer Khairy, Project Coordinator at the center for applied research on the environment and sustainability (CARES) - The American University in Cairo (AUC), Margreet Magdy, Incubation Manager - Entrepreneurship and economic development at Sekem, Yomna El-Awamri - Community Projects Manager - AUC CARES, and Mohab Ali, Manager of Youth Development Programs - John Gerhart Center for Philanthropy Civic Engagement and Responsible Business, to discuss programs that empower youth to learn more about sustainable development in a holistic manner in both formal and informal settings. Each speaker discussed their entities’ programs, how they envision the future of education and opportunities for growth. Following the panel, there was a speed mentoring session where attendees were invited to have a more personalized session with the panelists and ask them direct questions regarding social entrepreneurship in Egypt.
During the event, the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Initiative (DEDI) held a workshop to present “The DEDI Green Checklist” workshop. The checklist was developed by DEDI in collaboration with Greenish to serve as a guideline for individuals and organizations to accelerate the transition to sustainability by building their capacity on setting sustainability strategies and making their events eco-friendlier.
The workshops received 397 participants throughout the day. Workshops capacity varied between 15 to 40 participants per workshop. The workshops tackled many topics, such as: Making bioplastic from food waste, Interactive Origami, Biomimicry, Intro to upcycling your waste, planting at home, Intro to wellbeing, Intro to mindfulness, Sustainability and Art, Storytelling and Sustainable Event Management.
Throughout the day, we prepared a music program that featured various artists: Dj NEDZ, Belques, Mazaher troupe, Dj Zeina and El Waili.
Our partner Dawar for Arts and Development took over the roof of the Greek Campus library and hosted yoga sessions, a photography workshop, and an interactive PlayBack heater performance by the talented Khoyout Troupe.
In the fair Arena, we were glad to see the audience exploring and buying sustainable and natural products from our partners: Banlastic Egypt, ButtonUp, Corazon Studio, Drumsticks Designs, Earthly Straws, EcoEgypt, El Badeel, GoGo Jam, Grain Studio, Haven Body Care, Kendaka Egypt, Lavish, Daktara Farm, RDNA, Soul Accessories, Sustainable Fashion alliance, Tawazon, Tea Tales, Very Nile, WeCare Eco Solutions, Well Worlds, and Woosh Club.
The NGOs area had booths for the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Initiative (DEDI), Dayma Journey, FabLab Egypt, Giza Systems Foundation, Green Energy Academy, ImagineIF, Mowazi, Nature Conservation Egypt, PayMob, Transport for Cairo, The Community Hub, Tekeya App, Tabdeel, and UNDP.
The first edition of Greenish Festival witnessed the awards ceremony of “Medhat Benzoher Awards” presented by the Embassy of Switzerland in Egypt, Embassy of New Zealand in Cairo and Banque du Caire.The winners are university and school students members of Greenish Clubs Program. The 24 winners were chosen, from 78 contestants, for submitting the most talented and applicable sustainable and eco-friendly projects to be executed this year with the technical support and supervision of Greenish.
The festival received an overall of 3000 people from variant age groups.