Masr El Gedeidah Goes Wild with Creative Power

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Children of all ages filled the 300 metre asphalt stretch of Baghdad Street colouring every inch of it with chalk and whatever other colouring material that was available to them. In four hours there was not a single part that did not include an expressive drawing or wording. In another corner, older youths spread their bodies over large sheets of paper painting a huge mural that was later suspended to cover the façade of a five stories high building. Another crowd gathered round the MAGAZ magazine booth designing and printing their own T-shirts. Origami was the highlight attracting the crowd to the Japanese booth.

Though the theme of this year's Korba Festival was "One World", promoting peace between all nations attracting the participation of 30 countries, it was clear that creativity was the venue and path.

A century and three years ago “Masr-Al-Gadeedah” – New Egypt or as it is now commonly known Heliopolis, – was created as Cairo’s new frontier in the scorching desert, east of what is now known as downtown Cairo. 100 years later and in 2005 festivities were arranged in its most distinctive and unique district, in the heart of “Masr-Al-Gadeedah”; Al-Korba, commemorating its 100th year anniversary.

Three years later and last month Al-Korba witnessed the third of what has become an annual festival, not only celebrating the establishment of “Masr-Al-Gadeedah”, but also celebrating the people and the community that makes the place. The most significant achievement of that event was that it addressed the thirst of many in Cairo for a simple family walk in an open, safe, and festive environment, enjoying the sun in one of Egypt’s most beautiful streets turned for one day into a pedestrian walkway.

This year however many have praised the festival for its improved organization, parade and a well designed layout, with its starting point at a simple steel arch, and ending with a theatre that acted as a magnet keeping the flow moving non-stop for nearly 12 hours going past many booths and stores.