Solar Power isn't Feasible!

Solar Power isn't Feasible!
This cartoon was on the cover of the book "SolarGas" by David Hoye. It echoes the Sharp Solar slogan "Last time I checked nobody owned the sun!"

Friday, March 18, 2011

"Garbage Dreams" Trashed by thugs posing as Army: Egyptian security forces murder family member of Solar CITIES Zabaleen colleague and destroy the family workshop

Moussa Nazmy Zekry, Solar CITIES colleague with Adham Fawzy of "Garbage Dreams" fame, stands on his roof next to his self-built ARTI-style Biogas System which he feeds with dried mouldy bread waste and other organic garbage he gathers from the streets, keeping the Zabaleen tradition of turning an environmental hazard into a community benefit.

Friends and Supporters of the Solar CITIES Egypt Green Collar Job Training and Renewable Energy Initiative, please read the quoted email below.

We received this heartbreaking appeal for assistance yesterday from our Coptic Christian Solar CITIES colleague Moussa Zekry who has been building solar hot water systems and biogas systems on his own roof, at the Zabaleen recycling school and throughout the neighboring Muslim community of Darb Al Ahmarfor the past few years and has been innovating with us since the beginning in 2006.

If you've seen the documentary film "Garbage Dreams" you have already met Moussa's community and friends and family.

Moussa has been a bridge of peace and cooperation between the Christian and Muslim communities of Manshieyet Nasser and Old Cairo, and has always sought to use sustainable development education as the path toward full integration of groups, regardless of race, creed, religion or social class.

Now, just as the (r)evolution in Egypt starts to offer prospects of hope and economic sustainabilty for "Green Collar" job entrepreneurs like Moussa, a peaceful demonstration by his community of trash recycling heroes turned into a bloodbath when state security thugs and people posing as soldiers and pretending to represent the Muslim community started shooting in the predominantly Christian area of Manshieyet Nasser. This was a tactic used by Mubarak in the past to create the impression of a sectarian powder keg that needed a dictator to control, and seems to be continuing in the aftermath of his departure.

In this tragic bid to "divide and conquer", Moussa's family lost its chief bread winner and their workshop and, beyond their grief, are now destitute. If anybody can help Moussa and his family with assistance, employment, micro-credit, help to rebuild their workshop, or opportunities for further education, please contact us, or contact Moussa directly. His phone number is +20 0183493671.

His email is and he can be found on facebook as Moussa Nazmy Zekry.

Your support, either directly to Moussa , or through the Solar CITIES Cairo Iniitiative, will make a real difference in the struggle to bring democracy, hope, dignitiy and environmental sustainability to Egypt.

Moussa Nazmy Zekry March 16 at 10:54am Report

Dear Thomas, i am in troubel,

I need help, I need all the help I could have,

I lost my brother Samaan, the army shot him in the conflict this week.

People from my area made a peacefull demostration on march 9, it went very very wrong.

They were demonstrating because a muslim group atacked and completely destroyed a church the saturday before. People from my area are angry and scared , when they went demostrating they got atacked by  armed muslims. they tacked us with guns, knifes and swords, we were completely unprepared and had no weapon. It turned into a bloodbath. Army came, 10 tanks rolled into our area but instead of protecting us they atacked us also, they shot my brother Samaan in in his heart and his back.

Life is very difficult, my sister died last summer because the doctor in the hospital made a mistake, now I lost my brother.

Life is also difficult because I am the only one to take care of my whole family now, parents,my little sister,my older brother and his wife and his 4 children, my brother Samaans wife and his 2 children. My older brother cannot work because he has a heartproblem and my father lost his garage, his workplace in the fighting, they burned all of it to the ground.

I need all the help I can get, this is very very serious, do you know someone who can help me?????

Do you know someone whom i can tell my story to and who can help me in my very difficult times?Please pray for me,your Moussa PS Christian, my friend from Norway helped me to write this message.

Thomas Henry Culhane March 16 at 11:39am

Dear Moussa,
I am so very very sorry to hear about these horrible tragedies that have afflicted you and your family. Thank you for reaching out and sharing the burden of your pain with us. We hope we can help lighten it Sybille and I both cried reading your message. We must figure out a way to help you and we will. We are having financial troubles right now so we are limited in what we can do in that regard, but we have a large network of people and I think we can make an international appeal, particularly because there are many people now who want to help Egypt develop a green technology economy and you are one of the heroes of that movement. Your story will inspire action and involvement.
Let us think of how to go about getting you the help you need. The first thing perhaps is if you will allow me to post your message to me in my facebook network and in my email network and blog so that the green technology media can report about it. From there we can look at ways of getting you support so you can work. Do not lose hope -- you are a part of the Solar CITIES movement and there are growing opportunities. We will not only pray for you, but work toward getting you those opportunities. Please let me as soon as possible if I can post your words and story so we can move immediately on this! Much love, TH and Sybille

Moussa Nazmy Zekry March 17 at 7:38pm Report
Thank you and Sibylle, thank you for your words, of course you can post any of my messages, post it on u r facebook, anything that can help my case. I m really gratefull for any help i can get. Thank you my friend, thank you so much, your brother Moussa

Moussa Zekry, Solar CITIES hero from the Zabaleen, whose family workshop was recently burned down and brother murdered by the Army in what should have stayed a peaceful demonstration for civil liberties, is shown on the right during happier days when NPR came to visit (Davar Ardalan, Egyptian journalist Sara Abu-Bakr, Laine Hansen, Ned Wharton, Hanna and Moussa on the old Ayyubid Wall between Al Azhar Park and Darb Al Ahmar, looking at one of the Solar Hot Water systems Hanna and Moussa have just finished building)
For those of you who can help, or for those people you may know or who contact you who are interested in helping Moussa Nazmy Zekry, his family and Zabaleen community or the Solar CITIES project he runs with Hanna Fathy Rostom, below is a link to the transcript from the piece that NPR did a couple of years ago that mentions him (his name is transliterated in it as "Musa Nusmee Zachrabahi(ph)"
Hopefully Aid agencies and philanthropists and potential employers can see this as part of a portfolio of recommendation as he builds his CV, so that he doesn't remain one of the voiceless un-named victims of the army and assailant brutality. One of the hopes we have when people from marginalized communities get involved in International efforts is that they will no longer "disappear" when conditions get bad. As we know, the disenfranchised and impoverished suffer disproportionately because they are off the radar of the wealthier people on this planet and have very limited opportunities to exercise their rights or get their voices heard. And as we've seen, their attempts to organize peaceful protests are brutally put down with murder and violence, as happened to Musa's brothter and his family livelihood.
In one of the city's poorest areas, residents who recycle trash by hand and a handful of environmental activists are slowly improving their community. Their efforts serve as an unlikely model for environmental change in an age of global warming.
Coptic Christian Solar CITIES colleague Moussa Nazmy Zekry builds a solar hot water system on the roof of a textile business in the Muslim community of Dab Al Ahmar near the Abu Hureyba mosque above the ancient public baths, where he also built a system. Through Solar CITIES Moussa has worked hard over the years to bring Muslims and Christians together through shared goodwill environmental projects like this.
Moussa (front right) and the guys (including his Solar CITIES colleagues and neighbors Adham Fawzy and Nabil, featured in the prize winning documentary film "Garbage Dreams" that Al Gore helped bring to audiences in the US) pose in front of a finished solar hot water system at Am Hussein's house in the neighboring historic Islamic community of Darb Al Ahmar. Moussa worked as part of the team renovating old Cairo with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

Moussa Nazmy Zekry arranges the delivery of animal dung into the neighborhood for the inoculation of a Biogas system he built for the Roh El Shabab (Spirit of Youth) NGO office to demonstrate the effectiveness of the ARTI India Home Scale biogas system in Urban Cairo.

Watson Fellow Kelly Maby works on a biodigestor on Moussa's roof under Moussa's tutelage. Moussa not only trains members of his own community, but trains interns and volunteers from other countries. He also helps Hanna and Sabah Fathy run the Solar CITIES Urban Eco-Tour of old Cairo. With the revolution, the unrest and the recent killings in their community, the prospects to earn even part of his living doing this have dried up.

We need the world to know that the area is safe again, and bring more tourists and sustainable development trainees for Moussa to train, and we need AID and Development agencies to hire Moussa to share his expertise outside of his own community so he can earn a decent living.
Moussa also needs a sponsor to bring him to other countries to increase his own training opportunities in environmental technology. Please help!
Moussa spends his time helping other people turn "shitty situations" into value added experiences; as he demonstrates here. He is a gentle, humorous hands-on guy who isn't afraid to get his hands dirty doing good works (like putting animal manure into a neighbors biogas system that he taught them how to build). Let's help get Moussa and his family out of "the shit they are in" due to the miserable medical conditions in Cairo and the brutal security forces and thugs that murdered his family members and burned their plastics recycling workshop to the ground!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great post. If you're lazy to do your own recycling yourself, then find a recycling kiosk near you. Check out this video I found on YouTube from the GreenopolisTV channel to find out how.

solar power electricity said...

Egypt government should take care of their citizen and what they think of their life.

Mary Rose said...

HI, I'm from philippines and energy cost is quite expensive. It's good to know that this kind of technology is growing. However, here in my country doesn't seem too interested on this. I want to build or make one for my own. I need your ideas about this, and I reckon if you could help me on this one.

I saw this site and I need your inputs. I want to have at least one guide for now. Thanks in advance!