Project Egypt visited Cairo, Egypt for the fourth year in a row. The majority of the children we saw were refugees from Sudan living in inner-city Cairo. Some other groups we visited were Egyptian orphans, street kids, children with cancer or developmental disabilities and refugees from Iraq, Palestine, Eritrea and other counties. We also performed three free shows at a children’s park open to the public.
This year with the help of professional photographer, Maggie Mazner and professional videographer Les Rivera, we documented our work better then ever before. Maggie was willing to fund her own travel expenses and all the film development expenses. Les posted two videos of our work on YouTube greatly helping Americans understand our mission and the significance of our work (see videos below).
This year we also started training Egyptian and Sudanese adults clowns. When we go back to Cairo in the Fall of 2009, a couple of them will create and perform shows with us. It is our hope that this is just the beginning of a Clowns Without Borders group in Cairo, and that these new clowns will continue brightening the lives of children in Cairo long after we leave. We made contact with many more organizations and communities interested in our work. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and were not able to visit all the communities that requested our show.
The participating artists were Elisa Lane (Project Director/clown), Gwen Rooker (returning clown), Les Rivera (clown and filmmaker) and Maggie Mazner (photographer). Unfortunately, David Odonnell (clown), who went with us last year, was not able to join us because of an injury. We were unsuccessful in getting the airlines to reimburse his ticket.
Our Partners this year were Amera, an organization helping refugees find work, get health care and placing children in schools. American University of Cairo Ma’an Organization, a Sudanese NGO Tadamon Council, an organization trying to bring refugees and marginalized Egyptians together.
Finally, here are Les’ videos!