Mount Sinai - Mostafa Shokry
ALEXANDRIA, Egypt – 21 June 2017: For Mostafa Shokry, his hiking passion kicked off three years ago when he started taking family members for hikes in the Sinai. Shokry believes that children need motivation. “It started with supporting communities in Cairo when I gave them ideas like carpentry,” he said. “They loved it. Children, once shown new things, have many ideas. They just need someone with care to show them.”
The out of care non-profit activity developed into a new direction and formed a business resulting in hiking and camping activities in the Sinai and other natural areas in Egypt including El Quseir south of the Red Sea, Marsa Matrouh on the Mediterranean coast and the desert around Siwa oasis.
Amongst his favorite Sinai locations like Dahab and Tur, for Shokry St Catherine is a second home where he not only brings young city visitors but also works closely with local Bedouin guides and actively contributes to the local community by teaching Bedouin children reading, writing and hiking.
Children just need someone with care to show them new activities - Mostafa Shokry
During his adventures, children starting from the age of six years old participate in hiking and camping activities. The groups are formed of people roughly the same age. Some are joined by their parents.
While camping, children get familiar with being in natural environments and gaze at the stars. Activities which include preparing food and learning how to make fire result in children experiencing joy and building self-value. “Doing something like this makes them feel good about themselves,” Shokry said.
Transformation through joy and adventure activities
Shokry explained that the secret to working successfully with children is to “treat them as if they understood everything, and they do. The trips affect them and their minds. It changes them. They are building trust. That is very important because if they do not trust anyone in their childhood they will not have trust later in life.” He said that all he does is break their routines. “Climbing the highest mountain in Egypt makes them feel proud. Seeing this makes me satisfied” he said.
Adventure camps help to develop trust and raise self-value in children - Mostafa Shokry
Trust is a bridge that opens people to love
Children and parents have the opportunity to get to know each other in a different environment. Shokry gives an example of transformational coaching activities where parents learn to respond in a friendly way. “Parents have the biggest impact on their children and this can often be in a negative way, so I connect them. I organize activities where children make mistakes. A child has to make a mistake in front of their parents and they have to accept and support them.”
Shokry sees trust as an important element and a bridge opening people to each other and love. One of the activities aiming to bring parents and children closer to achieving that is teaching them to hug which leads to building trust.
The adage think globally, act locally couldn’t be truer for Shokry. His previous job as a carpenter became a tool he uses to bring creativity out in others. “I was told by my coach ‘If you want to change the world you can't change everywhere. You have to focus.’ I felt that I had a connection with children. I started with transferring my life experience to them.”
Hiking with children is not the only passion for Shokry. He has graduated in Spanish art and is currently working on supporting Syrian women, Helping them cope with the trauma they have had to endure. He also created an online store with handmade products and crafts from around Egypt aiming to support local communities.
Shokry has an explanation for the multiversity of his interests and activities. “In my life I feel it is hard to meet others who would love all that I do. No one loves everything so I know many people. I find happiness through people. I like putting the energy into something rather than Facebook.” One of the methods he applies is art healing, where people pour their emotions into drawing in nature on the sand and rocks.
Despite the many commitments Shokry expresses satisfaction with his busy lifestyle in which he finds time to read study and meet communities and friends. “I believe that people have energy but they throw it away. They need someone they trust to show them how to direct it, where to put this energy. This needs to be done by someone who loves them” Shokry said.
Although he has shared his passion for transformation outside Egypt through online workshops in Mexico and has been invited to work in orphanages in Europe, he decided to settle for a face to face experience in the natural ambient of Egyptian landscapes.
He firmly believes in the transformational power of working directly with children by providing a variety of activities in natural environments. “Experience at the farmer’s house or the fisherman’s boat will give them a different point of view that will stay with them for life. You have to work on a small scale to be effective but it's amazing,” Shokry said.