In Fall 2016, the Yousef Jameel GAPP Public Leadership Fellowship launched a new initiative under the name “Know Thy Country”
The initiative aims at enhancing the link between theory and practice, getting students to venture out of their classrooms and see face to face what is happening in different parts of their beloved country, fostering the bond between them, helping them expand their networks and combining both educational and recreational aspects.
The first trip took place on December 15, 2016. The Jameel fellows along with the fellowship’s administration and some faculty members from the school of GAPP headed to the beautiful city of Fayoum.
Their first stop was in Beyehmo village, famous for its handicrafts of basketry weaving. Everyone was impressed by Hajja Kamla, a woman from the village who is an exact definition of an entrepreneur; gathering the women of the village to do the basketry crafts and selling their products to famous companies to be used for packaging their products.
After that they visited Shakshouk village; the only fishermen village on lake Qaroun. They interacted with a group of fishermen and heard of the many challenges they face with the deteriorating environmental quality of the lake and the encroachment of polluting industries. They also visited Qasr Qaroun, an Ancient Egyptian temple and Wadi El Rayan Waterfall.
The last stop was in Tunis Village famous for its unique pottery production and hospitable people where the group had a very delicious lunch in one of Tunis’s most popular eco-lodge hotels; Sobek.
The fellowship is currently planning its next trip under “Know thy Country” initiative to Luxor and Qena to visit Luxor cultural site seeing spots as well as different NGOs in Upper Egypt.