The Youth of El-Max and Development
During our project, we encouraged youth towards active participation in developing their town. In the early stages, we motivated the youth towards reconstructing their town walls and the fishing town in general. After the initial restoration, we began to organize workshops for local community members led by young artists.
The second step to our project consisted of inviting international art cooperatives to promote an exchange of expertise between youth from around the world, Egypt, and from Max.
This initiative aimed to achieve a positive mutual cultural exchange between all participants through collective artistic work. From September 11, 2004 until the beginning of October of the same year, our project reached its most crucial moment. We invited a variety of artists from several African countries, France, the Arab world and, of course, Egypt to reside in the Max fishing community. The artists worked with children, youth, and women for a period of three weeks and the daily interactions among people from different cultures culminated in a public display of art.
From 2004 to 2006 Gudran continued its work to integrate these youth in international artistic events that allowed them the opportunity to open themselves to the world around them and increase contact with young artists from different backgrounds. Through this artistic interaction they were able to develop their artistic, organizational, and management skills, which later helped them to handle various developmental activities in the village.
In 2007, in collaboration with the youth development programs Naseeg and Save the Children, Gudran started a program called “El-Shabaka” which aimed to train the town youth in the craft of light boat maintenance, a labor which the village greatly lacked at the time. Gudran carried out this project in collaboration with the Arab Academy of Science, Technology, and Maritime Transport of Alexandria and the Port Training Institute of Alexandria, which offered the youth various opportunities for work both within the village and beyond.
Gudran believes that the sustainment of developmental efforts in the village is a necessity that should be led by the villagers themselves. Therefore we are currently handing the responsibility of the developmental programs of the village of the Fisherman of El-Max over to a group of the village youth who now possess the skills that qualify them to assume this responsibility.