STORY OF SELF: ELLAMMAH, TOGETHER WITH ART

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Ellamah “Gathering” was the dominant feature of Eldhahrya people, and Eldahrya is one of the marginalized areas in Alexandria and many people don’t know anything about it.

l lived in eldhrya, and when I was 11 I started writing poetry and wanted to be an actor, so I was trying to find theatre and literature club in Eldahrya, but I was informed that there is no cultural places there, but there is cultural palace when you cross the train way.

Quickly, I went to the cultural palace, it was small and damaged building, and also it was closed!

I didn’t feel despair, and after few days I went again to the palace, and again it was closed.

I felt that I have responsibility toward Eldhahrya and its people, and realized that it’s my role to spread culture there, so I searched harder to find literature clubs in Alexandria and to be member of it, and applied to study Theatre to be an actor and director.

When I joined the Theatre department, my family and friends didn’t understand why I chose to study Theatre, didn’t realize my needs to study it!

All that time, Eldhahrya was in my mind, I was waiting for the moment when I can start my dream to make Eldhahrya a cultural area, at the same time I saw how violence and extremism were increasing there and the challenges getting to be harder.

After few years of studying arts, and after working in cultural management and getting experience, I found the moment to start my work there and see people of Eldhahrya together again, so I launched my first project “Ellammah” there!

Ellamah was the first cultural project in that area; it targeted Eldhrya’s people to develop their community with artistic tools. I started with children to teach them how to make puppets using recycled material and how to produce simple plays.

At the beginning parents of the children were afraid of my work with their children, but after they saw the outputs, they changed their opinion, and now they are supporters of this experiment, because they saw the changes in their children’s attitude.

Now we are looking to continue our work with youth to make Eldhahrya one of the most cultural places in Egypt.

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