Week Without Walls 2015
by Sara Elmessiry
Every February, schools around the world take part in offering their students a chance to see the world. Week Without Walls allows students to attain global awareness and experience other cultures through a fresh and memorable lens. This year, groups of AISE students traveled to Nepal, Switzerland, Krakow and Poland, Berlin, Amsterdam, Rome and Malaysia. Not only that, but local trips were also offered to grant students the opportunity of better getting to know their own culture and the beauty it has to offer. Of these local trips were Aswan, Hurghada and daily trips to various mosques and historically significant sights in Cairo.
There’s no doubt that international trips proved more popular in gathering higher numbers of students, but I can honestly conclude that I had an absolutely divine time in Aswan. With the Dayma organization planning and chaperoning the trip, my peers and I were able to fully engulf ourselves in Nubian culture unlike ever before. We ended up spending a total of 3 nights in a boat on Lake Nasser, going on a crocodile expedition in the dark with professional rangers from the local Association of Environmental Conservation (and succeeded in spotting a baby crocodile!), dancing to Nubian drums with the most hospitable of Nubian hosts and birdwatching. As it turns out, Aswan is filled with a beautiful array of both domestic and migratory birds from all over the world that fly south to Aswan during the winter to roost and prosper, after which they migrate back to their homeland for the spring. I learned about various pressing issues such as the threateningly polluted Nile River and the endangered species that pertain to Aswan. Just the same, though, I learned about the dying language of Nubian that is currently only orally passed-down. As a result of this eye-opening experience, I definitely intend on returning to Aswan during the summer and doing some volunteer work. If you haven’t yet gotten to experience the hidden treasure that is Nubian culture, GO!