Tree of Life in the ‘City of the Dead’
(This event has passed)

Oct 3–6, 2017
Organized by: MASQ - Maq‘ad of Sultan Qaitbey
Venue: MASQ - Maq‘ad of Sultan Qaitbey
Address: Darb-elsaqia street behind Qaitbay Mosque, Manshiet nasser, Egypt.
Admission: Free public event

Tree of Life in the ‘City of the Dead’

Throughout the ages, be it the ancient Chinese and Egyptian civilisations, Germanic paganism, or other places and times, people have venerated in different forms the Tree of Life, a symbol of immortality and eternal life, and also a symbol of passage at the threshold between this world and the afterlife. To the ancient Egyptians, the sacred Tree of Life was associated with the primeval creation. The Bible speaks of the Tree of Life in the books of Genesis and Revelation, and in the Islamic teachings the importance of planting trees has been highlighted many times. This symbolism reflects how since time immemorial, countless generations relied on trees for food, medication, shadow and shelter, and many other uses, including pleasing the senses with decorative planting.

MASQ (Maqad of Sultan Qaitbey) is a place for art and culture in the Sultan Qaitbey area in the “City of the Dead”, a neighbourhood that has always been a city of the living, while at the same time being a resting place for the dead. MASQ, operated by the Sultan Foundation, aims at promoting heritage preservation, creativity and cultural diversity, and at improving the quality of life of the inhabitants of this underprivileged but culturally important neighbourhood through various programmes that involve the local community in inclusive ways.

Now we are teaming up with the Shagrha initiative, which was launched in 2016 with the mission to plant fruitful trees throughout Egypt everywhere from the Mediterranean coast to the Nubian rocks: greening up the land, cultivating rare tree species, and introducing new varieties. The Tree of Life programme in the ‘City of the Dead’ intends to bring to the neighbourhood plants that can improve the environment in which the local community lives.
The trees to be planted are chosen to be suitable for the Egyptian climate, and to pay back to the people who care for them in edible fruits, or in medicinal benefits. As climate change is increasingly a global concern, this initiative will contribute to making the air that we all breathe fresher and less polluted – one tree at a time.

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