A 6th Grader in Giza

Hello class!

I hope the end of the year is going well for you. The temperature is dropping here considerably and today I even had to go to an outdoor clothing market underneath a bridge to buy a jacket so I can stay warm.

A while ago you put together questions you had for 6th graders in Cairo. Thank you very much fo the questions, they are great. I would have liked to ask them all, but unfortunately there wasn’t enough time in the interview. After school on Thursday I took the bus out to Haram, the neighborhood by the pyramids where I used to live. There I met my former landlord, Ahmed (or ‘Thomas’, his nickname), and he took me to the apartment of his cousin where I met Nasr Sherif. Nasr is a 12 year old who goes to a public school in Giza. I’ll let him do the rest of the talking, and don’t miss his message to the class at the end of the video!

Click through for the transcript of the full interview!

Continue reading

Photo of the Week

Image

Photo of a protestor climbing a light pole at famous Tahrir Square. Tens of thousands of protestors have returned to this spot after the current president, Mohamed Morsi, granted himself unprecedented powers in the government. These were anti-Morsi protests by people who think he is one step away from becoming another dictator, but today there were huge pro-Morsi protests organized by the Muslim Brotherhood, currently the dominant political party in Egypt.

Food in Cairo

Hello again class! Only a couple more weeks of blogging left. I’ve very much enjoyed reading your questions and seeing your thoughts (and drawings). Thank you for so diligently reading my posts and watching the videos, I really appreciate it.

BUT there are still two blogs left as well as our end of year party when I will visit your classroom in January! Do you have any ideas for what we should do on that day? Are there foods you would like to try (maybe this post will give you some ideas)? What would you like to see from me? Think about it and let me know. You’ve given me great questions for my interview with 6th graders in Cairo, so I’m confident you’ll have great ideas again.

Now without further ado, here is a video of the pretty, coastal city of Alexandria to help warm your day as winter settles over Portland.

Continue reading

The Giza Necropolis and Ancient Egypt

Hello class! It’s been really great to look at your Egyptian hieroglyphs and graffiti and to hear your thoughts on using art as protest. The drawings look really fantastic, well done! It sounds like you guys have been doing some work on the ancient Egyptian civilization, so hopefully this blog post will be useful. Please let me know if I’ve made any mistakes!

Continue reading

Hieroglyphics, Graffiti, Protest Art


Hi Seth! Last Friday, students responded to your post on Tahrir Graffiti by creating some of their own art: drawing their name in hieroglyphics and graffiti style lettering and sketching some protest art. We will put together their pieces onto a poster, but posted below are photos of their creativity in action! They also wrote about graffiti as art and the meaning of art in general. Here are some of their comments:

“I think people use graffiti in a way to express their feelings or to show what they can do. Graffiti can tell stories. The graffiti I see is artistic.” (MJ2)
“Graffiti… could be to make a point, like ‘no more war,’ or to help in an argument.” (SC6)
“Why do people make art? To show what they mean and what they feel inside them.” (KO6)
“In Cairo, people make graffiti because it’s what they think. They draw people protesting and people who died while protesting. They also draw people they don’t like, like the president.” (SM6)
“People have made different kinds of art: music, drawing, painiting, sculpting, etc. One thing they all have in common is that they are ways of expressing yourself, like the graffiti in the Middle East. Their art shows people showing their ideas about political leaders.” (FA2)
“Art lets me express myself by drawing what I feel.” (MD2)
“You can learn a lot from art. Art inspires people to do things. Art can protest against something. Art can express ideas and feelings. Art teaches you that it is possible to do things.” (ZH2)
“I think people do graffiti to state their opinion. If you can’t say something, why not write it?” (XL2)
“I think art is important because you can learn a lot of things. One thing you could learn is friendship. I’ve seen a lot of art about friends and family, especially music. Another thing art can teach you is history. Paintings could be made in or about the past. Also art teaches you to be free to express yourself. That’s why art is so important to me and others.” (MR2)
“Art can teach you a lot of things. Art can even tell stories.” (JF2)
“People make art because they want to be creative.” (JM2)
“Art is important because it helps people express their feelings. It usually has a meaning, and art is a passion to some people.” (PL6)
“Some people think that art is just to entertain themselves. But no, not just that. Art is a good thing. If you can’t read, you could look at art and sometimes you can understand it. Art can also make things prettier, and sometimes art can cheer you up.” (RG2)
“Some people make art because it is fun to do, while others make it because they are protesting something.” (DG6)
“What can we learn from art? We can learn lots of things from art. People can use art to protest. Long ago, people drew on the walls telling stories. It might say stuff that happened in those years that we forgot about. We can learn about what people ate and what they did for a living long ago. We can learn lots of things.” (DD6)

ImageImageImageImageImageImage

Continue reading