In the beginning of September, Darb 1718, an art and culture organization in Cairo, hosted a festival to promote recycling in Egypt. It featured a musical performance by El Zabaleen (the Garbage Collectors), a local band famous for reusing old materials as instruments to play their music.
The Darb 1718 festival engaged many of the nation’s green NGOs and initiatives, including Green and Dayma. Their aim was to raise awareness about the dire need for more recycling. Egyptian academics and policy makers have recently raised the alarm about a waste management crisis in Egypt.
This festival stressed the importance of the individual and empowering the public to bring about change. One of the cornerstones of the festival was an initiative that encouraged people to bring old and used items with them. The festival provided clear instructions on what could and what could not be recycled.
The festival was free, and clear Arabic information was available, which allowed non-English speakers new access to some of the information and literature available on the subject in English. Studies have proven digital literacy intrinsically impacts community awareness and local agricultural markets. The general lack of public awareness is a challenge for environmental agencies across the Middle East. But this young generation thrives on new media, and the amount of Arabic content available online is rapidly increasing. Investing in environmental education and literacy are pivotal steps towards creating a culture of recycling in the Middle East.
Image of Cairo, Egypt via Shutterstock
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