28 Feb 2017
New Hermopolis, Egypt
Sustainable Tourism

New Hermopolis is an NGO founded and financed by Dr Mervat Abdel-Nasser to contribute to the cultural and economic development of Tuna el Gebel region in Egypt.

Located 340km south of Cairo, the cultural and eco-village of New Hermopolis believes in the possibility of harmonious living and the power of art to transform society. It is a multifaceted integral model of development giving an example of green farming, architectural eco-living, responsible hospitality and cultural evolution.

From Ancient Hermopolis to New Hermopolis.

After many years as a psychiatrist, Dr Mervat Abdel-Nasser wanted to make a change at a bigger scale than at an individual level. Her interest in the philosophy of Ancient Egypt drove Dr Mervat to invest her own private fund on the land of Ancient Hermopolis in order to capitalize on its unique heritage and provide economic opportunities to underprivileged communities.  She dedicated a big part of her life to this project, starting from scratch and designing the cultural center (with a library, a seminar and conference room), the hospitality center (16 guest lodges), and the farming area by herself.

Give local community new opportunities.

New Hermopolis is listed among the best eco-lodges in Egypt. In addition to that, it is a retreat for visitors and a cultural site, designed to hold artistic activities and to nurture individual potential through personal development and skill training.

Besides having a positive impact on the local economy through direct employment, New Hermopolis is also carrying out different outreach programs. By providing women training in food presentation and hospitality, New Hermopolis is building local skills in the Tuna el Gebel region. The eco village is also working closely with local farmers towards enhancing their production and creating preserved marketable products such as sundried tomatoes and pickling olives.

Nearly zero energy consumption.

Besides being built in a vernacular architectural style following ecological principles, New Hermopolis recycles, reuses and pays attention to saving water. They have their own water supply through their own well, they use drip irrigation and water thrifty crops. They also have solar heating, lighting and traditional cooling systems. All of these efforts have been rewarded: New Hermopolis is close to zero energy consumption.

New Hermopolis, a creative and heritage-focused economic community

In line with the philosophy of Ancient Hermopolis, New Hermopolis sees in arts a tool for building tolerant, open-minded societies and constructive dialogues. The outreach program conducted by New Hermopolis in four neighboring youth centers offers avenues for self-expression and creation. Through their actions, New Hermopolis is hoping to build stronger sense of local heritage, community harmony and pride in the community’s own culture.

New Hermopolis is an integrated model of development waiting to be recognized and replicated.

New Hermopolis is developing a model for sustainable and responsible tourism that could benefit other regions in Egypt.

“I decided to go in this area not only to establish a model of development, but also to reestablish a city where visitors would gather and come up with creative solutions”Dr. Mervat Abdel-Nasser
What about helping local people and doing a retreat in Egypt at the same time ? | The Switchers
New Hermopolis Sustainable Tourism
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