Over 2000 people helped the Slow Food Fayoum Convivium celebrate the UN’s World Environment Day at Cairo’s Al Azhar park earlier this month, in an event which brought together over 1000 students from around the country along with environmental groups, experts and the public.
The convivium set up a small market for the occasion with products from Egypt’s Terra Madre food communities: dates from Siwa (Slow Food Presidium) and Sinai, herbs from Fayoum and bread and traditional pastries from Alessandria. The food communities and members of the Siwa Date Presidium held tastings, described their projects and led educational activities, which included making art, such as, collages with seeds, drawings and Slow Food t-shirts. “Our artisans did a fantastic display for the students and audience on how to make eco-friendly craft by using palm leaves and palm argon,” said the convivium’s leader Mohamed M. El Medany.
The day was also an opportunity for reflection and discussion through the conference “What is Biodiversity? What are its effects on our daily lives?” which included a contribution from Antonio Del Vecchio, Vice President of Slow Food Puglia (Italy). The convivium was able to share the Slow Food philosophy with participants and presented the work done by Slow Food around the world in support of biodiversity and food heritage as well as the educational work in schools. The day included film screenings, displays by a number of environmental NGOs, and competitions and workshops for school children, including lessons on how to grow plants at home.
The event was organized by the Wadi Environmental Science Centre, a local NGO that for several years has been organizing educational initiatives on environmental issues for children and youth.
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Mohamed M. El Medany
Slow Food Fayoum Convivium Leader