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My week in Egypt

Friday, March 03, 2017

Well, I'm back after visiting my friends Hany and Mona in Egypt.

After years of engineering, Hany got a vision for Christian Nursery education in Egypt. He talked to me about it about 14 years ago. He wanted to set up 100 nursery schools. What he described to me seemed so impossible - and of course he had no background in Nursery education.

As you can see, space in Cairo is hard to come by!

He solved this problem by approaching the Churches. Many of the Churches have a 4 or 5 storey building alongside them - each storey having several rooms. These buildings are rarely fully used. The buildings also have a flat roof (with a wall around it) so the children have a safe place to play.

Hany devised a way of teaching that seemed very rigid to me initially, but works well in the Egyptian culture. And, using his method, he is able to train new teachers in only 2 weeks (with an additional training day every month.)

12 years ago he had about 5 very successful nursery schools for children aged 3-6.

Because of the political situation in Egypt I have been careful about asking questions in e-mails so I wanted to go and see for myself what is happening. Imagine my surprise when I heard that there are now 150 nurseries in 5 different areas of Egypt - all set up by Hany with on-going training and regular monitoring!

Hany and Mona are now working on producing workbooks in Maths, English, Arabic and arts for every age group. I was astounded at the quality of what they produced. When the children start school they will be in classes of 60 students, so the aim is to give them an excellent start so that they can succeed in school. Of course it is also giving an income and a great deal of self esteem to Egyptian ladies who have trained as nursery teachers.

I did other things on holiday as well!

We went to a meeting at a big Church in the centre of Cairo where John and Lisa Bevere were speaking. Great that they spoke in English!! It was a new experience to go through security and have my bag searched when going into Church, and there was a strong Police presence outside the Church. Hany showed me one of the Churches in Cairo that had been bombed.

We also enjoyed a couple of days by the Red Sea. It's a tough life - but someone has to do it.

Here are Hany and Mona.
Another friend, Christine, came as well. She's being very brave and swimming.

Hany and Mona have a beautiful flat on the outskirts of Cairo, by a golf course. (Hany was a very successful engineer). Cairo itself is so incredibly busy and noisy that it's wonderful for them to be able to live in such a lovely place.

Spot the difference!

By the way, do you like the tall palm trees. They are mobile phone masts in disguise!!

On my last day in Egypt I went out with Christine. We went on the metro to the Nile and got the water bus to the zoo.

Unfortunately the zoo was closed! So we got a taxi and went to a beautiful park instead.

I can't tell you too much about the meal we had in the restaurant at the park because you'll be jealous - but it was amazing! (The crazy thing was we had a fabulous salad with 2 side dishes, tea, coffee, water etc. The next day at the airport the only food I could afford was a coffee and Danish pastry. It cost almost exactly the same as the amazing meal with fabulous service that I'd enjoyed the day before!)

So I didn't do many of the tourist things (I've been to the pyramids and the museum before so wasn't too bothered about that) but it was a great week catching up with wonderful friends.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I just love the photos. Do they teach about God in the nursery schools. What an awesome person Hany is to do what he has done.
    1286 days ago
  • MAYIE53
    First exposure I've ever had to anything Egyptian. Thank you for sharing your time there and for expanding my world.
    1290 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6687446
    Thanks for sharing. That's probably as close to Egypt as I'll ever get! I'm glad you had a good time.
    1369 days ago
    Such a good thing your friends are doing.
    lovely photos thanks for sharing.
    1370 days ago
    Faith, you had the very best kind of holiday! It's wonderful that you got to visit your friends. They are doing such amazing work, they must truly be wonderful people. emoticon
    1370 days ago
    What a great week Faith! And your friend has accomplished an amazing thing, to have set up all those schools. He must be so proud to know that he has helped so many people in that way. It sounds like you packed a lot into those few days - have you come home for a rest now?!
    It's eye-opening to know about the security at the church though. Puts our lives into perspective doesn't it? My favourite picture is the one of the bird, which I would guess might be a heron? I know very little about birds, although having gone on a walk with the RSPB recently, I can know identify a curlew by sight and by the sound it makes!
    1371 days ago
  • BRANDI1809
    Glad youhave had such a wonderful time. Your friends are amazing to do all they have done.
    1371 days ago
    Sounds like you had a great time. I hope enjoyed lots of their wonderful food there!
    1372 days ago
    Thank you so much for sharing, you live a fascinating life.
    Your friends have done wonderful work. His plan became a reality. Isn't that wonderful?

    You are very brave to go there, something I would not even give thought to.

    Hugs Mary
    1372 days ago
    Thank you for sharing sounds like a wonderful trip good eating too. glad you had a fun and safe trip our world is sure changing when you get your purse checked at Church. next year i need to document like a pass port to travel to colorado! a Wash state thing i was about it at the post office so will be looking into it.
    thanks again for sharing hope you have more to share.
    1372 days ago
    Thanks Faith for sharing you week with us. Felt like I was right there. :)
    Marsha B.

    1372 days ago
  • GLORYB83
    What lovely pictures Faith and you describe everything so that I can just picture it so easily in my mind.

    Wow, Hany and Mona certainly have brought a lot to the children's lives, how wonderful of them to do this.
    1372 days ago
  • no profile photo GRAMPIAN
    1372 days ago
    So glad you had such a great (and enlightening!) visit with your friends.
    1372 days ago
    What a thorough review of your time in Egypt, Faith. Fascinating!
    I enjoyed it so very much as you have a way of describing things.
    Glad you all were safe.
    1372 days ago
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