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Intro to Permaculture

posted Jul 2, 2011, 10:14 AM by Ashraf Al Shafaki   [ updated Jul 4, 2011, 12:10 PM ]

ازرع سطوح بيتك

This is the first in a series of workshops about urban permaculture held at Art El Lewa. In this workshop Dominique introduced some permaculture concepts in an interesting way to participants while Tarek Sami assisted him by doing the English-to-Arabic translation.


As we arrived to the rooftop of Art El Lewa, we found two adjacent tables around which chairs were set. Before starting the workshop, Dominique asked use to move the tables at the side of the roof and arrange the chairs in a semicircle.

Warm Up

We were all sitting down on the chairs that were arranged in a semicircle. Dominique started the workshop by asking everyone to stand up telling us that we are all participants and that in this workshop "there are no spectators." He then preceded by asking us to perform some increasingly funny physical exercises which helped set the fun tone for the rest of the workshop and was an effective way to break the ice and to get us ready for the even more fun exercises that followed!


  • Water cycle (dramatization)
  • Chicken game (dramatization)
  • Nutrient cycle (web of life exercise)
  • Analysis of elements present at the Art El Lewa rooftop.


  • Making compost tea from weeds (vs breaking the nutrient cycle by burning the weeds)
  • Creating watering cans by making small holes in the covers of empty plastic water bottles.
  • Other natural cycles (seasons of the year)

The interesting thing was that there were actual chickens at the rooftop!

Dominique also mentioned using plants that would provide shade in the summer while dying out and thus giving room to warm sun rays to enter in the winter. This amounted to "eating your air conditioner" as he mentioned. 

Rotan satellite channel were present before the workshop started. They did a number of interviews with participants. They also covered the first part of the workshop.

Valentina Cattane reported on this green roofs workshop in Al Masry Al Youm.


Among the participants of the workshop:

[Report by Ashraf Al Shafaki]