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Why Egyptians Are Not Yet Aware of Mental Health Issues

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In the recent years, we have started to hear about campaigns advocating for mental health on social media. We have started to encounter real life stories on depression, self-harm, suicidal thoughts and mood swings, we have also started to see small TV segments with psychiatrist, therapist and psychologist to tackle the matter more professionally.

Although a lot of people have taken upon their shoulders to raise awareness on that serious sensitive matter, the majority of Egyptians are still skeptical about the importance of mental health.

Here are the reasons why

The Stigma:

We’ve grown up in a culture where only the legit crazy ones go to psychiatrist, and by legit crazy I mean the ones who totally lost their minds, suffer with hallucination or walk around murdering people. The stigma that follows people who seek professional help for a better life is insane. In spite of the fact that some people now are aware of the importance of mental health, a lot of individuals keep their weekly visits to a therapist or psychiatrist a secret.

Expressing Feelings:

I don’t believe that we were raised to express our feelings freely, we always get judged for it. If you are a girl, you will be told you are too dramatic; if you are a guy who expressed his feelings of depression, you would be called to man up. We are not educated enough or at all of what feelings are considered normal and what requires professional help.

Religious background:

There is no doubt that our culture is best known for its religious and conservative views. However, basing mental health on religious views isn’t entirely right. A lot of mental health cases require medications, sessions and a long-term treatment. Prayers are spiritual; however, medications might be required for a better mental health.

Lack of Awareness:

As I mentioned earlier, we have absolutely no education on mental health and illness, what is supposed to feel normal and what requires medical attention. Plus, we are not aware of the differences between a psychologist, psychiatrist and a therapist. In brief, a psychologist and a psychiatrist can diagnose cases more and determine the right treatment and medications, while a therapist help patients to make decisions and offer support and guidance.

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Lifestyle

Almost 700 Green Projects to Be Implemented By 2021 in Egypt

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Egypt is planning on implementing around 700 green projects as part of Egypt’s fiscal plan for 2020-21, these projects will cost around EGP447.3 billion ($28.4 billion).

According to Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala Al-Saeed, they are 691 projects to be exact and they represent 14% of the fiscal plan’s total public investment. This percentage is also expected to increase to 30 percent for 2021-2022.

The minister also added that there will incentives offered to ministries that shift towards green projects by prioritizing financing for them.

Workshops were held by the ministry to go through the guide on sustainability standards, which reflects the government’s vision in expanding sustainable development into its planning system.

Mohamed Farid, head of the infrastructure sector at the ministry, said that these projects that meet the sustainable standards will be prioritized over projects at the evaluation stage.

Also worth mentioning is that Thursday witnessed the launch of Egypt’s first green bond issue on the London Stock Exchange. The government green bond issue, worth $750 million for five years, is the largest in the Middle East and North Africa, and the first of its kind on the exchange.

 

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Lifestyle

Waste Management Law Issued For the First Time to Regulate Egypt’s Plastic Waste

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Constant efforts have been exerted the past years to limit and reduce the single use plastic bags. From awareness campaigns to countless initiatives, Egypt has seen a great progress environmentally and now another leap has been made with the issuing of a waste management law!

The law will regulate the free plastic bag at retail and limit the single use plastic bags imports and exports. This is an attempt to regulate the disposal of plastic wastes in Egypt and enhances Egypt’s waste handling and recycling processes.

According to a statement from Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad, a new state agency will handle Egypt’s waste management challenges after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi signed into law a bill that would regulate the industry. Moreover, in doing so and implementing such strategies, it’s expected that the move will attract foreign investment in Egypt’s waste management. 

The bill also includes investment incentives as well as other measures to encourage garbage collectors, small companies, private contractors, and recycling centers to join the formal economy.

Also worth mentioning is that International Cooperation Minister, Rania Mashat has recently just announced two impressive partnerships with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which will implement a 200-million-dollar project for improving the quality of air to combat climate change and reduce has emissions in Cairo.

This comes as a great stride to end plastic waste in Egypt that has long been a great issue facing our community.

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Entertainment

Abayazied Brings ‘Wain A’Ramallah’ Back To Life

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The release of Abayazied’s new cover brings forth a new modern take on Palestinian folk sensation ‘Wain A’Ramallah’.

When it came to his approach to covering, Abayazied said he didn’t want to transform it to fit his own idea by stripping it of what made it stand out, but instead he wanted to take inspiration from genres such as rap and hip-hop and use them as influence to highlight the beauty of ‘Wain A’Ramallah’ with a modern spin.

Through the combined effort of a team who took this on as a passion project, they managed to achieve this and it’s already creating major waves, famed Palestinian radio channel ‘Ajyal’ even approached the artist and asked to play the new tune to it’s listeners!

To Abayazied, one of the aspects he enjoyed the most working on this project was the teamwork. The love behind the collaboration in this song was purely off the love of this song and the rich history it carried. The contributions by Disco Misr’s ‘Mostafa El Sherif’ in his great effort and help with the production eased the difficulties they faced, coupled with his creative input which played around with the elements of the song to unleash the powerful soul within it.

Equally as important was the music video which thanks to the team behind it, were able to capture the elements that Abayazied believed resonated with the current modern day spirit. Abayazied praised the work of the team crediting Moataz Ibrahim and the team with the remarkable work they did with the video. The friendship and love behind this project ultimately made this an unforgettable experience for him and those who collaborated on the song.

Abayazied believes that when it comes to the purpose behind working on specific projects that there are times when you feel you don’t have the privilege of choosing what you want to work on. When you feel like you want to sing it, you suddenly feel its influence on you and that you want to sing it again in a new and unique way. “I felt it, I loved it and I felt really happy to sing it once more, and ultimately I wanted to share it and add one more take to this beautiful song”.

The unique memories he had with the song meant that he couldn’t help it considering how it was his all time favorite during his years in college. He felt that the way he would approach singing it would be unique and was different from how anyone else tried to cover this track. Feeling this, he jumped at the opportunity. Saying that his hope for people to enjoy it, because his desire to spread it out and to give it the exposure it deserves to a younger audience considering that it has a large potential that deserves to be fulfilled. “When it comes to ‘Wain A’Ramallah’ however you arrange it you would find something beautiful within it”.

In terms of his previous collaborations and projects, he hopes that what he’s learned from those experiences have manifested in this project. The collaborations of the past have taught him many things that he feels he will be able to capitalize on. This experience has brought out a greater enthusiasm to make more collaborations in the future. Abayazied has found that the influence of the artists he’s worked with have had a profound effect on his evolving style and allow it to grow in new and unique ways. As time goes on “I want to take these experiences and try this with more local artists and develop my style as time goes on”.

Ahmed Abayazied’s optimistic and growth centric mind promises to take lessons from the past and bring about a new spirit to the local musical scene that sees the potential in the art of the past and yearns to modernize it for the present. And with an array of popular covers in the pipe-line, Abayazied is also currently working on his first solo album which is set to take the music scene by storm.

Watch the video below:

 

Original Lyrics: Ali Al-Kelany

Original Composition: Ehsaan Al-Monther

Music Production: Abayazied & Mostafa EL-Sherif

Mixing & Mastering: Mostafa El-Sherif

Artist Manager: Daliah Galal

Recorded at: Disco Misr Studios

Stylist: Haitham Farouk

Edit: Mahmoud Adel

Filmed by: Moataz Ibrahim

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