Our winter trip takes us this year to Egypt, Israel and Palestine.
Two weeks now we are on the road with our Bromptons on the streets of Cairo.
It’s not a walk in the park: the streets have potholes and ruts, at the edge you have to pass through deep sand, the air is full of dust and exhaust fumes, the horns are constantly honking and the streets are always full and often clogged by cars, trucks and buses in various sizes. Bicycles can hardly be seen and of course they are not taken into consideration: The stronger has the right of way.
But it’s not as bad as it sounds once you’ve got used to it. You simply have to swim along, be clear and not hesitant and try to make eye contact with the drivers. If you succeed, you’ll almost always be friendly and waved through.
Today we visited the Fablab Egypt (https://fablabegypt.com). I have a certain affinity to Fablabs, as you can read here ;-). I had announced our visit before by mail and we were then welcomed very friendly by Menna, a mechatronic engineer.
Women are unfortunately still rare in such courses of studies (like everywhere), in a country like Egypt of course even more: in her year only 4 of 300 students were women.
Fablab? What is this anyway?
„A FabLab, sometimes called MakerSpace, is an open workshop with the aim of giving private individuals and individual traders access to modern manufacturing processes for individual pieces. Typical machines are 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, presses for deep drawing or milling to process different materials and workpieces („make almost everything“). … There are overlaps and cooperations with educational institutions such as schools and universities, the open hardware, open source and DIY movement. … FabLabs can provide access to production technologies and production knowledge even where this is difficult due to reasons of education, age, prosperity or region. They impart technical know-how for different target groups and thus contribute to an increase in educational equity. „(https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/FabLab)
Menna then showed us around the lab, showed us the different areas of work (3D printing and laser cutting, electronics, PCB milling and foil cutting as well as woodworking) and told us a lot about the history of this fablab. It was founded in 2011, it works profit-oriented and they have various customers, among them such well-known ones as L’Oréal or the telecommunications provider Orange.
In addition, they supervise and support the development of further Fablabs and have already set up 5 more in Cairo.
Everyone can become a member here for a small monthly fee (from 23,- €) and realise their own ideas with the help of the other members and the machines. The use of complex machines such as laser cutters and 3D printers will be compensated by additional minute prices.
While going out we met a young man in the garden, who developed the location system for a startup that wants to offer electric scooters for rent in the city.
A wonderful idea that one day perhaps all vehicles in Cairo will be silent and emission-free 🙂