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January 14th, 2010

Syada Greiss

"Journey To Empowerment: Stories from the Streets of Cairo"

Underwritten by John & Mary Loeks

Download the recording [.mp3 12.6 MB]

Syada GreissMs. Greiss was appointed to the Egyptian Parliament by President Mubarak on December 12, 2006. She is a development consultant with considerable experience in the domain of project management, in addition to contributions in the field of social research and development.

During the course of her professional career, she headed the Socioeconomic Development Department at Environmental Quality International, a well know Egyptian consulting firm, and was the Director of the Canadian International Agency's Program Support Unit until December 15, 2006. In this capacity she undertook the preparation of project proposals and the management of a number of community based programs working in close partnership with civil society organizations addressing the social, cultural, economic, and political rights of women, the rights of children, the protection of the environment, and education, both formal and non-formal.

Ms. Greiss is active in volunteer work in several non governmental organizations, both in Egypt and while living abroad where she accompanied her husband who represented Egypt in numerous diplomatic missions in Asia, Africa and North America. She applied her professional skills in supporting the growth and empowerment of non governmental organizations and is currently the Board Chairperson of The Association for the Protection of the Environment, an NGO that was established to address the needs and rights of garbage collector's communities in Cairo.

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In the centre of Cairo, at the foot of the Mokattam, live the garbage collectors, called ‘zabbaleen’ in Arabic. This unique community has created the world’s most efficient re-cycling industry, in fact, more than 90% of the total collected garbage is recycled.

The Association for the Protection of the Environment (APE) is working to improve their living conditions and, in the words of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to restitute some of their human dignity. The magnificent achievement of this unique community and the works of the APE have attracted the attention of the international community. The attention has turned into acknowledgment and the acknowledgment into numerous international awards.

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