Praise to you, O Nile, that issues from the earth, and comes to nourish Egypt …
That waters the meadows, created to nourish all cattle.
That delivers water to the desert places, which are far from water;
it is his dew that falls from heaven …
lord of fish, that makes the waterfowl to go upstream …
that makes barley and creates wheat, so that he may cause the temples to keep festivals.
-The words of the Ancients, spoken to the Nile.
7000 years, and we still gaze to the water flow with love in our eyes and hearts. In an unprecedented CAS project by Advanced Education and under the supervision of Ms. Sara Salem and Mr. Mostafa Abdel Sameea; 54 IB students [G9-G12], equipped with gloves, life-jackets, biodegradable disposal bags and a whole lot of passion set out in the early hours of Saturday on a journey to Clean the Nile.
Their destination? El-Qanater el-Khayreya, or “the Benevolent Bridges”. This is the location of the Delta Barrages. It is the first contemporary irrigation structure across the Nile, located at the apex of the Nile Delta. Their mission? Why… to clean the Nile, of course.
Upon arrival, resources were distributed and students were paired in boats that took them out to their tasked portion of the Nile bank. There, waste and garbage stood in strange contrast to the serene trees and translucent Nile water. The IB students weren’t having it, and set about their collective effort to restore the purity and sanctity of one of Egypt’s greatest treasures.
The oddest thing we found were slippers. There were hundreds of them. They were everywhere. – Fares Azmy, G12IB.
It’s true. When asked about their experience, the most common response by the IB students was the shock of how ubiquitous slippers were amidst the trodden garbage.
When asked about what they disliked the most, Hamza Warreh, G12IB, had this to say:
We were overwhelmed by the amount of garbage there was and when we asked where it all came from, they said “Cairo”. Instinctively, I lowered my head and stared at the ground. As a Cairian, I felt ashamed.”
When asked about the best part of their experience, this is what they had to say:
Our achievement. It felt good. – Ahmed Sherif, G12IB
The sunset over a clean river bank and the herons flying over the water. – Hamza Warreh, G12IB.
We left the place in better shape than when we arrived. It was beautiful.” – Ziad Adel, G12IB.
And when the day was done, and when the sun began to wane, and when their bodies were tried and tired, the students took off their gloves. They dried their sweat and washed their hands and face. They looked around and smiled; taking in the fruits of their labor. The river coursed through their veins and beat through their hearts. Forever and for always, it was their Nile.
Like all good celebrations, food and festivities were enjoyed on the cruiser that returned them to their buses. They shared food and drinks; songs and dances. They celebrated their achievements and forged lifelong memories. In a few months, the Seniors will go off to college, the Juniors will follow them in a year’s time…. but when they look back, they will remember these smiles, and the weariness in their muscles.
They will take with them a belief in the power of mankind to rectify the faults of his father. They will leave a legacy of love, strength and willpower for all those that follow their path at Advanced Education schools.