Habiba learning center

Key to our vision here at Habiba is our Learning Center, which is located on our farm in Nuweiba.  We currently provide an after-school education program for local children aged between 5 and 13 years. The academic subjects which we cover include Arabic, English and Math. We believe strongly however, in a teaching that is beyond the books: skills and life-lessons. In virtue of this, many of the activities we run involve subjects such as: Music, Art, Ethics, Social Responsibity and caring for one’s environment. We invite the community children to get involved in the farm and teach them the importance of producing healthy food.

The idea behind the Center is to provide children with a place in which they can be free to interact with one another and express and persue their interests. We are convinced that it is important for children to have a positive and practical environment in which they can explore the world, learn and develop their skills. It is everybody’s responsibility to create this enviroment for them.

We are keen on teaching how to manage resources efficiently and how to reduce waste. It is essential for children to understand that the world they live in is not only for them but for the generations to come as well.

We hope that our vision and goals will be an inspiriation to Nuweiba and to the rest of the world. Please like the Centre’s Facebook page.

Summertime at Habiba

I have just spent a wonderful 3 months volunteering at Habiba Organic Farm. I arrived on the 1st of August  – just in time for date season.  The palm dates were bountiful with fruit and provided the opportunity for the local community (as well as us on the farm) to eat fresh beleh and the sweeter tamer for many weeks.  So delicious!

From October and into November is time for roman (pomegranate) fruit to abound.  We’ve been putting it in salads, juices or simply eaten off the tree.  A favourite salad of mangold (chard), roman, gargir (rocket) and other fresh herbs from the farm is a fantastic part of iftar after working in the morning.

At Habiba, I discovered Moringa: health benefits galore and tasty in salads, soup, tea… This miracle tree (as it is known) is becoming established in Nuweiba and will help contribute to the development of sustainable agriculture in South Sinai.

Negah tasting the dates

Negah tasting the dates

Start of the new season

Start of the new season

Learning about hydroponics at Habiba with the Desert Research Centre

Learning about hydroponics at Habiba with the Desert Research Centre

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Beautiful view of Sinai mountains

I have loved my time in Nuweiba – being truly welcomed into the community and spending much time with our neighbours. The hospitality of the Bedouin is unparalleled.  Sitting, talking in (my ridiculously grammatically incorrect) Arabic and drinking tea with the women and children of the village holds some of my best memories.  The friendships I made in Sinai have made my experience so incredible and I have every hope of coming back to this stunning part of Egypt.

Emily

Moringa Oleifera – The Miracle Tree.

Recently at Habiba Organic Farm we have been expanding our crop diversity by introducing the Moringa tree also known as the ‘miracle tree or the ‘tree of life’ to the farm. This week we have planted a 3000 square meter field with saplings. The Moringa tree is native to Africa and Asia and suited to semiarid, subtropical and tropical regions. The strain planted at HOF (oleifera) will grow to approximately seven meters and will be producing harvestable pods in its third growing season.

The Moringa plant is ideally suited to the sandy soils of southern SInai. We can use most of the Moringa plant to benefit the community, its bark, pods and leaves all have useful properties which include making nutritious forage for animals and humans alike. Soup and other dishes are made using young leaves and the pods. Moringa oil can be made by extracting the seeds from the pods

The purpose of our project is to introduce a tree that can help sustain the community and their animals without costing the earth. With time we hope to show that this tree can provide goats with food which can increase both their body mass and milk production.

Below: Moringa pods from a year old specimen.

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External links:

http://www.puremoringa.com/