Beshoy Fayez (front middle), Kareem Samy (behind Fayez), Shaimaa Youssef (left to Fayez) during gallery inauguration - Photo via Fisheye by Beshoy Fayez Beshoy Fayez (front middle), Kareem Samy (behind Fayez), Shaimaa Youssef (left to Fayez) during gallery inauguration - Photo via Fisheye by Beshoy Fayez

Gallery hopes to spread hiking culture among Egyptians

Fri, Apr. 28, 2017
CAIRO – 28 April 2017: A gallery documenting the trips of an Egyptian hiking group hopes to turn more Egyptians into hikers and yield enough profit to buy more camera equipment for three young photographers who travel with the group.

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The Hiking Club

hopes “Till we meet again” is the first gallery in Egypt to be held on the trips of a hiking group. The pictures were hanged at Falak bookstore and art gallery in Cairo on April 7, and the exhibition continues until May 7.

“Hiking is for all,” said Shaimaa Youssef, co-founder of the Hiking Club, told Egypt Today. “No matter the age group and fitness level, there are trails that suit all kinds of people… there are still people in Egypt who do not even know there are hiking trips in Egypt.”

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The Club was founded by her husband Kareem Samy in 2013 as a private group that hikes for pleasure, but in 2014, the Club decided to go public with a message at hand; spreading the culture of adventure and its mental and physical benefits.

Samy emphasized that adventure travel using Egypt’s natural resources can be a major source of national income; the country is quite competitive globally when it comes to hiking, according to Samy and Youssef who say have been to more than 15 states.

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He said another target for the gallery is to promote its three photographer; Beshoy Fayez, Amr Hashem (Elemo Green) and Mohamed Fasseh. The gallery includes pictures by three different lenses in different parts of Egypt, including different mountains and valleys in South Sinai, and also Siwa, Bahariya and Farafra oases in the western desert of Egypt.

“No alcohol, no politics and no public display of affection during our hikes,” Samy said firmly. The journeys need to be comfortable for all, particularly girls.

For her part, Youssef said “I feel safer sleeping the desert than walking in Cairo, and I never think of looking behind or next to me. It’s 100 percent safe,” adding that in many trips, women hikers outnumbers their male counterparts.

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On Bedouins, Samy said “Bedouins have a code of life… they want people to respect and appreciate them, nothing more. They’re very much Egyptian, just like us. A Bedouin is a true Egyptian who fights for the country like us and fears for it.”

Looking at the pictures, Youssef said “Egypt has a glimpse of everything… there is diversity that does not exist in other countries. Depending on the season and location, there is green landscape, waterfalls hidden in the desert, beaches, challenging mountains, and many other things.”
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