School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: July 2007
Egypt & Children

by Caroline Carey

Two years ago I received an email from a lady in Egypt, 'Hi' she said 'remember me, Iím living in Egypt now and I would really like you to come and do a workshop here'.

'Hi Mara, how lovely to hear from you', I remembered her from the 5Rhythms classes when she lived in Cork.

So I said 'yes, of course', even though I was nervous at the thought of going to Egypt as Iím not much of a traveller.

Within a few weeks we had set some dates, and then she said 'um just what is 5Rhythms' !!!!

I was a little shocked, 'arenít you Mara who used to come to my classes?', 'no she said I think we have got the Maras and Carolines mixed up'. And so we had both of us thinking the other was some one else. She thought I was a totally different Caroline who taught something meditative, and I thought she was an old student. Mistaken identity. And yet we had made a strong connection and shared some lovely emails long before we realized this.

So anyway travel to Egypt we would. Me and my girls.

I decided to give my daughters anunforgettable holiday ( they had never been on holiday before) as well as hang out with Mara and her extended family over there, doing what ever in the way of a workshop would happen.

Mara has designed and built a block ofapartments in downtown Luxor. Within this building is a school and workshop room where she brings in the local children to help them with reading, writing and learning English. They are very poor where education is concerned and many live in very poor conditions. It was an incredible eye opener for me and my girls. But each of the girls became such lovely friends. Particularly Daisy and Manu who walked everywhere hand in hand. Florence played her recorder for the little ones and taught them nursery rhymes, while myself and Daisy and Willow taught body parts and an incredibly simplified and rather chaotic version of the 5Rhythms. They LOVED it and where so keen to learn more.

We visited many homes, spoke to many new friends and there was always somebody who wanted a friendly chat even though they were incredibly shy of us. Apart from the young men who seemed convinced we were the spice girls!

It is such a different place, I as a woman experience so much freedom in my own culture, I can work, educate myself and not restrict myself to one relationship or be dominated by anyone. Thatís not the way there. Female circumcision is still carried out amongst little girls. The children ran after us desperate for pencils and paper to write with. Books and toys are needed. Even in the schools they have so little. It seems to be a place tomerely sit and listen. Daisy emptied her pencil case and gave away pretty much everything they had bought with them. She still writes to Manu.

I am taking my girls back to Luxor in February '08, I am very keen to continue the time we have had with the children and to help keep the relationship between the children alive.

Iím combining a workshop for dancers to come and meet thefamilies and for us to dance and share experiences there. I have a big vision as does Mara that our cultures will meet in friendship and we can offer our support in as many ways as possible. We have a lot to learn from them too.Marais nowworkingwiththe governors.

Maybe also this needs to begin with the children.

When we go next February I shall be taking a suitcase of pencils, pens books and anything I can get hold of for the children. If you feel you would like to contribute or even come with us then please let me know. There is also an arrangement to send equipment via airlines.

And you can view Maras website on

Thank you for reading this

with love

Caroline x


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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.