You leave school with great expectations ……
As a fresh graduate , I saw myself as a young heroic soldier who wanted to put all his efforts in helping to rebuild a country from scratch…
Injected with overwhelming dreams and ideas I strutted down the path of a courageous pioneer …only to end up designing my dreams on paper….as so many of us.
After the revolution which had opened the gates for change, I was once again gripped by those intense dreams that sprung from my youthful idealism, to rebuild our nation beyond the construction site of a project.
To identify the lingering ailments of our nation and begin to rebuild it is a huge challenge .
We live in a city full of contradictions and extremes which are expressed in many layers of society and culture. Cairo contradicts itself from one street to another, offering the curious eye many parallel societies and life styles. But, we live in it and make a living out of it. Our Cairo , the impossibility of existence and yet very existing, where 40% of the city is composed of ASHWA’IYAT(literally haphazard things), informal housing …slums without water and electricity adjacent to mansions in neighboring posh districts that are filled with expensive hotels, where one night’s stay exceeds the monthly income of a large portion of the city’s population.
Poverty-stricken beggars that watch the vibrant city life in chic restaurants as if it were a movie on a life size screen. A clashing screen shot of Cairo’s city life but at the same time it is our reality in which we live and thrive , dark and yet throbbing with spice .
Politicians failed Egypt. They failed us.
As a designer , I feel responsible for that , I cannot just DREAM but must also act and get involved. Our contribution must be visible , our participation felt and reflected in every Egyptian’s life.
People must be dragged out of their comfort zone and face the UNDERGROUND which has become today’s reality. To remove the people from their perceived reality and bring them face to face with what really “IS” , represents a conscious act and a call to change.
As a designers, we don’t give life…. design is a representation of life.