Monday,18 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1348, (8 - 14 June 2017)
Monday,18 December, 2017
Issue 1348, (8 - 14 June 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Something for everyone

Ati Metwaly tells you where to take your children this summer

The summer months are a time for children and young people to embark on activities they cannot pursue during the school year. With Ramadan altering the daily schedule as a result of the fast and the focus on late evening outings, it is safe to say that by the end of Eid in late June, children and young people will have all completed their school terms and will be ready for summer activities including creative workshops. Too much is going on in Cairo to list here, but below are some the highlights organised by institutions that operate year round but intensify their activities in the summer.

Let us begin with one of the unique centres addressing teenagers and young adults, the Arab Digital Expression Foundation (ADEF, better known as DECA) located in Mokattam (143, Street No. 8, tel. 01121147008). This non-profit organisation specialises in workshops professionally tailored to the 12-15 age bracket in disciplines that emphasise self-expression and knowledge-sharing. Following its annual practice, some of the workshops are offered free of charge while others are require a nominal fee.

According to DECA manager Amr Gad, “Our long workshops will be in three disciplines: video, visual art and computing, running between 2 July and 31 August with classes offered three times a week, four hours each day, free of charge. In parallel, DECA will hold workshops of shorter duration for a small fee on comics, caricature, recycling art and theatre improvisation. We will be announcing more details on our Facebook page soon,”.

DECA has also signed a cooperation protocol with the Animation School - Jesuit Cairo (15 Mahrany St, El Fagalla, tel. 01000712887) where three free two-months courses for people aged 12-15 will be held. “The courses will cover music, video and visual art disciplines,” Mariam Abdel Rahman, the administrative representative of the Animation School, explains. “Those interested should follow our Facebook announcements or contact us directly.”

Other centres add their share of courses, mostly paid with fees starting at LE200 and rising depending on the courses’ duration, content, target audience and the trainer.

Located in Garden City is Cima Centre (Rostom St), an initiative founded by Mohamed Nader, Khaled Diab and Ahmed Zoghby, and offering workshops in various aspects of filmmaking: scriptwriting, directing, acting, etc with a focus on young adults. One of those returning to Cima is filmmaker Amir Ramses, whose upcoming directing course for the beginners will kick off on 17 June. “The centre embraces amateurs interested to explore filmmaking. Many of the workshops’ participants find opportunities within the field,” the centre’s cofounder and administer manager Ahmed Zoghby explains. More information about Cima Centre can be found on their Facebook page: cima.workshop.

Garden City is also home to Camera and Microphone (2 Etehad Al Mohameen Al-Arab St, tel. 01009525412), yet another centre offering training not only in cinematography and scriptwriting but also dance, painting, music, and catering to a broader age range: 5-13 and 13-30.

According to Khaled Sakr, founder and manager of the Camera and Microphone, “Our summer courses, with a range of durations, will continue for three months. They will cover acting, cinematography, storytelling, music, dance, drawing, among others. Some courses will walk the attendees through a few disciplines, allowing them to explore different segments of the creative field. In Camera and Microphone, we have a variety of tools and equipment to support children and youth in their interests. We also engage in discussion with parents to see which course might be the most beneficial for the young person, and how it can capitalise on or develop specific skills.”

Another centre that focuses on cinematography and performing arts is Studio ZAT in Heliopolis (22, Al-Khalifa Al-Ma’amoun St, tel, 01111766623). Their courses cover disciplines such as contemporary dance, filmmaking, acting, scriptwriting, storytelling and clowning; and many are conducted by the renowned Egyptian and international professionals. Through the year, many of the Studio ZAT’s workshops target children and young adults. They generally have a higher price, but it is worth checking their Facebook page for information on subjects and age range in the summer.

The youngest children are not left behind. Starting from 2 July and until 31 August, AFCA for Arts and Culture will host a series of workshops for children aged 4-12 on its premises in New Cairo (5th Urban District, Al-Banafseg Zone, Area 1, tel. 012224673435). This is the 14th round, with the themes of Adventures, Travel and the World of Fantasy. Through a series of artistic activities it will cover disciplines such as theatre, visual arts, singing and cooking, always with the objective of “the development of the children’s talents and enrichment of their vocabulary in French and English”. The organisers add that buses will be provided for participants.

Creativity is a fundamental factor in the workshops offered by the Science Factory in Nasr City  (tel. 01002295294, 01023800306), which provides courses for children aged 4-14 in winter and summer. Though for the Science Factory, the first set of courses already took place in May, activities will resume in July and August with workshops taking place on Saturdays between 10 am and 1 pm. As the project’s name indicates, participants will explore the world of science through themed sessions. The trainers incorporate elements of art, reading and practical work.

SANE is a space located in Zamalek (4 Yameni Building, tel. 01156948295), which aims for experimental learning to develop the artistic and cultural mind set. This year it will team up with the Little Stark education company to create a set of Summer Camps for children aged 4-12. “Throughout the year,” explains Nermeen Hegazy, SANE manager, “SANE provides ballet, zumba, hip-hop among other creative activities for babies, toddlers and older children. Our summer camps will focus on arts and crafts, cooking, recycling as well as the basics of engineering. The courses will span July and August and the participants can join on a monthly, weekly or walk-in basis.”

Another camp worth checking is provided by the Rizkallah ART Foundation at the Smash Club (El Katameya Residence, tel. 01211112671). Called the Value Fun Camp, its activities last nine weeks in July and August. Through sports and artistic activities, each week dedicated to a specific theme: We are all different and it’s beautiful; Paint Mania, Amazing 3D Arts; Africa is born in me, etc. Children aged 4-12 can participate for one or more weeks and a special discount is offered to early birds. This year the Rizkallah ART Foundation also plans to develop courses for teenagers but the details won’t be announced till June.

In the southern part of the city, children can attend summer camps organised by Kidiology PalmHills (tel. 01287444485) or drop by to enjoy fun activities for the whole family at Fagnoon (Sakkara Road, 12.5 km from Haram St, tel. 01001586715).

There are many more locations worth checking out. Many nurseries and schools as well as cultural centres have summer programmes and will be announcing the detailed programming and fees for their activities during this month.

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