At Egyptian Streets, our mission is to tell the stories of Egyptians – the victories, the struggles, the initiatives, and the histories. And though we try always to take ourselves out of the equation, today we are celebrating the story of one of our own.
Egyptian Streets writer Mirna Khaled Sayed was honoured at the Cairo Climate Talks – an initiative by the German Embassy to promote a stronger partnership between Egypt and Germany towards the environment and fighting climate change – for her work on her article ‘Locked Out: How Bedouins in Egypt’s Sinai Are Coping With COVID-19 Crisis’
Mirna tells us that she was surprised to hear that she had won the award, but there was a feeling of relief nonetheless as she was passionate about writing this story.
“I’ve always been very interested in writing about indigenous communities,” Mirna says. “I also think it’s very important to shed light on communities that have different ways of life, it teaches us humbleness and curiosity as well because it shows us that we can learn new things from them as well.”
To do the research for this story, Mirna reached out to the founder of Sinai Trail (Egypt’s first long-distance hiking trail), to help her organize a trip to Sinai, where she met and spoke with Bedouins, learning that their connection with nature is far more acute than that of city-dwellers. She also learned of their struggles and was struck by how little light was shed on them.
“When I came back from Sinai I felt that there were many deep divides in our world that we are not aware of, and that there are a lot of opportunities to learn from other communities and how they live – we don’t have to impose one structure or one way of life on everyone,” Mirna tells us.
The award ceremony itself was small to ensure the safety of those in attendance, but Mirna says that it was engaging nevertheless.
While we celebrate the work, diligence, and empathy of Mirna, we also celebrate the communities that make Egypt unique and their significant yet unsung contributions, as well as those who use their work as an opportunity to shed light on their wisdom and experiences.