“The polarity between the two fundamentally different cultures began to dissolve within me to the benefit of a new, distinct third quality […] this is certainly no cheap compromise, it is not mere tolerance but a Synthesis.”
—Prof. Ibrahim Abouleish
Prof. Ibrahim Abouleish (1937 – 2017) founded SEKEM in 1977, an initiative which fosters sustainable development towards a future where every human being can unfold their individual potential, where mankind lives together in social forms reflecting human dignity, and where all economic activities are conducted in accordance with ecological and ethical principles. As part of his vision, Prof. Abouleish established Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development in 2009; the first university in the Middle East declaring sustainable development as its main guiding principal.
Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development was inaugurated in 2012 with the aim to pioneer the introduction of the concepts and principles of sustainable development to its students and to the Egyptian community at large. The non-for-profit university includes the faculties of Engineering, Pharmacy and Drug Technology, and Business and Economics. All Students participate in the cross-faculty core program which presents arts, music, theater, languages and much more, striving to unlock creativity and innovation.
The driving philosophy of the Space of Culture is based on the connection and integration of various cultures in a central point in Egypt. It represents meeting of the East, West, North, and South here in Egypt, the crossroad of civilizations. Here, all cultures and ideas can enmesh in a series of dialogues, performances, exhibitions, etc to enrich the region with a diversity of ideas, beauty, and cultures. The Space of Culture serves as a lighthouse for the whole community.
The Space of Culture is meant to be an enlightening forum for students, professors as well as residents of neighboring villages and cities, national and international culturists, researchers, entrepreneurs, partner universities, and SEKEM friends. Its impact will be witnessed at both local and international levels. It should significantly help raising up new generations who are able to express themselves. It should also guide them to refine their talents, feelings, and thoughts.
Activities of the Space of Culture
Based on its philosophy and mission, the Space of Culture engages in a diverse series of initiatives and activities that aim toward enriching the surrounding community. It offers intercultural experiences through a mix of outreach programs, festivals, artistic development schemes, visual arts, music, literature, and poetry.
The Space of Culture creates an easy access to arts and culture for all, particularly to the most excluded and marginalized communities. Activities may include but are not limited to:
- Musical performances
- Theatrical performances
- Poetry recitation
- Workshops about intercultural dialogue
- Presentations, speeches, and talks
- Documentary movies
Location and Facilities
The Space of Culture is a multi-component cosmos that comprises a Roman theater in the heart of the Heliopolis University campus and can host up to 1,000 participants. There is also the theater hall that can accommodate up to 250 persons and the Averroes main hall for exhibitions and lectures. Furthermore, all of the three components of the Space of Culture are designed with a special emphasis on supporting visuals and acoustics and are equipped with a modern sound and light systems for elegant and captivating performances.
Notable Performers and Guests
The planned program includes a diverse array of many types of music, theater performances, poetry, storytelling and fine art exhibitions. All activities are intended to cater for different age groups, different cultural backgrounds to create a mix of oriental and occidental cultures.
Sponsoring the Space of Culture
You are about to make a difference in someone’s life from the unprivileged surrounding communities we are targeting. With your help, we will be one step closer to towards the society’s mentality shift and transformation and then move forward to peace and intercultural dialogue.
You can contribute financially or in-kind to any of the components of the Space of Culture. If you are interested in sponsoring the Space of Culture, click here