|Nile Forum Seed Camp 2016, Nubia, Egypt © J.C. Veilleux|
I recently had the privilege to attend the Nile Forum Seed Camp, where I was delighted to reconnect with Nile basin-based colleagues from the Nile Project Workshop that took place in Egypt in 2013 and honored to meet new amazing & impressive people from about 14 countries throughout the basin, West Africa, and Europe. This initiative was called to determine whether there is actual interest in creating a platform for civil society dialogue across the borders of the Nile basin. We find that there is, so now we have to do the work to develop that platform - what that looks like will be discussed in another post soon.
The following article was written by one colleague and friend from the Nile Forum, author Deng Aling from South Sudan about the importance of dance and music as a human expression and unifier. Inspiration from the article includes the experience we shared at the Nile Seed Camp when we'd break into song or dance to lighten the intensity of the work. Deng writes here about dancing and music from the region and the experience we shared in our workshop. I am touched to relive what we experienced during those very special days together through Deng's words and the included video that Kata Molnar, our colleague from Europe who works for the World Water Council, compiled from a number moments from the Seed Camp for Peace Community's International Dance Day 2016.
This article is published on another colleague's site that serves as a communications platform for Sudan, South Sudan, and beyond: Andariya. Andariya's founder, Omnia Shawkat (you can hear an interview with her on the link), was in attendance, as was Mohamed AlToum the art director (professional photographer), both extremely inspiring individuals.
We came together over the weekend and by the next Friday we did not want to leave one another. We did not shy away from challenging conversations, and we found instead that we enjoyed many eye-opening and beautiful moments of shared ideas and common ground. Despite our superficial differences we discussed openly how we all possess something undeniably very important in common: our humanity and, in that, our love for one another. We are a family and we remain in constant contact thanks to modern technology...and thanks to the Nile River Basin.