El Sawy Culture Wheel

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El Sawy Culture Wheel

Egypt
Project Stage:
Scaling
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Mohamed El Sawy is providing space and an enabling environment where citizens become more enlightened in order to make informed choices leading to a systemic and positive cultural and social change.

About Project

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Mohamed El Sawy's idea is built on providing space and an enabling environment where citizens become more enlightened in order to make informed choices leading to a systemic and positive cultural and social change. In 2003, Mohamed established El Sakia of Abdel Moneim El Sawy (The Culture Wheel), since then it has been operating as Cairo's cultural hub, serving as a platform where citizens get exposed to different streams of though, express themselves and debate issues of interest. Through this platform, El Sawy promotes social consciousness by addressing contemporary and taboo issues that affect the Egyptian society. This community center provides space for youth from different economic and social backgrounds and from the different walks of life to express themselves, debate issues of social concern, and participate in launching campaigns and awareness events. El Sawy's model for social change is built on a set of tools centered on enlightenment and self-expression; those tools range from cultural, artistic, sports activities to debates and knowledge sharing events. El Sawy works on facilitating access to those tools, training youth on using those tools, and ultimately providing the outlet where they can put those tools into action; his aim is to instigate a youth movement that embraces ethical values and freedom of choice. The uniqueness of the center is that it is a democratic venue which provides equal access to all Egyptians, whether as audience or as speakers and performers. El Sawy has also managed to simplify and familiarize Egyptians, young and old, with the notion of social activism, in a country where such a notion was exclusive for the elite and intellect. The center also upholds the philosophy of involvement, adopting youth-led initiatives and encouraging participatory methodologies in designing new activities. His initiative is distinct in that it is based on a business model, whereby it is financed by private sector support, membership fees and ticket costs. The core activity costs are completely covered and sustainable. The Sakia has revolutionized the social and cultural scene, introducing the first open platform for youth's self expression in Egypt. Other venues are rather selective when opening their halls and stages to the public. Mohamed El Sawy is currently negotiating with partners and sponsors different forms for replicating his model and spreading his idea. One method is through franchising, offering one year technical and financial support to small community cultural centers in the different neighborhoods of Cairo; a model which will be replicated in other governorates over the next five years.