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introduction Edit

Al-Tarfa community center is a collaboration between Catherine Exists initiative and Hand Over. The main aim of the project is to provide a venue that provides educational and health support for the local residents of Al-Tarfa village, encourage inter-cultural dialogues with other communities and spread the awareness & encourage the tourism in the region 

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image gallery Edit

the core team Edit

The project is mainly intiatied by "Catherine Exists" intiative. Catherine exists project is a social-photography project started in 2009 to raise awareness about Saint Catherine's protectorate in South Sinai, Egypt. The founder of Catherine Exists is Rehab Al Dalil, Independent photographer since 2007, instructor since 2009 and social entrepreneur. Passionate for social causes, travel, culture, nature and adventure sports. Holds a bachelor degree in still photography and cinematography, currently pursuing master’s degree in documentary photography. Rehab focuses on social causes and cultural awareness in her projects. She is the co-founder of AlQomrah; a social platform that empowers visual artists in the MENA region and she’s the founder of Catherine exists project a social-photography project that depicts the natural and cultural heritage of Saint Catherine’s protectorate in South Sinai, Egypt while empowering its locals. Rehab is a certified open water diver and the first woman to ever hike from Saint Catherine's protectorate to Dahab in South Sinai in only 6 days.

The other main partner in the project is Hand Over, an award winning social enterprise. Their main aim is to utilize sustainable construction for the sake of community developement. Their main focus is one providing sustainabel, affordable and durable housing solutions and community buildings for unpriviliged communities. The fouder of Hand Over is Radwa Rostom, a civil engineer with seven years working experience. During her college years, Rostom was involved in several development and student activities, she volunteered virtually with UNvolunteers, worked on online projects with Open Online Academy to design resilient school, partnering with Architecture for Humanity and in another project to design emergency shelter with UNHCR. After she graduated, Rostom worked in several positions, as a structural engineer, project engineer in an environmental consulting firm and a CSR specialist in a solar energy company. Rostom explored several fields as energy efficiency, energy management systems, and green buildings. Lastly, she worked as a Business Developer at WeForest, an international organization that seeks to tackle climate change issues through reforestation and land restoration projects. Rostom gained a lot of experience throughout these years, but she has always wanted to create a model where she can tackle three main fields: social development, environmental stewardship and construction. In April 2014, Rostom was granted a fellowship from The DO School in Hamburg, Germany ( where she had the chance to work on implementing a Green pop-up store for H&M Hamburg. She also attended several training and workshops related to business models, social entrepreneurship, strategic planning and stakeholder management, which prepared her to start “Hand Over”. Rostom was selected as a young leader in Westerwelle foundation conference held in December 2014. Rostom was recognized by Arabian Business Magazine as number 30 of the 100 most powerful Arabs under 40 in 2015 & 2016. In September 2015, Rostom was awarded the wining prize for the “Women for Resilient Cities” Competition, organized by the World Bank and recently she was granted a fellowship from the “Echoing Green” organization.

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what is still needed and why Edit

We are currently preparing for the implementation of the community center. We are considering several construction techniques such as compressed Earth Blocks, rammed earth and building with rocks. We will need form works, building equipment and building materials, locally sourced.

Design input:

We have a team of architecture and civil engineering students and graduates who are working on the design proposal and the detailed drawings. We might need some consultation in terms of reviewing the design proposal and the generated drawings

Work force:

We will depend mainly on the local labors

Funding support:

We are currently fundraising for the implementation phase. We will be dividing the implementation to several phases to afford the financing of the project. For the first phase, we expect we will need 10,000 USD. We are discussing several potential collaboration with sponsors, mainly construction companies, we are also applying for several funding opportunities and donors and we aim to start a crowd-funding campaign. We will need some help and advice to raise funds for the first stage of the project.


After the completion of the project and during the construction phase, we will be doing marketing campaigns to promote to the activities that will undergo in the community center and to encourage companies, initiatives, volunteers to come, participate and give back to the community 

impact Edit

Providing medical and educational support to the local community while giving them income generating opportunities; this has both long and short term benefits on the community as a whole.
Creating a space or hub that invites locals and travelers to learn more about each other assures the cultural preservation of the local Bedouins, promotes a positive image on the community, promotes cultural tolerance for native communities worldwide and creates a discrimination free generation from both parties (locals & travelers).
Giving the local community space to learn new building methods that are not only cheap but environmental friendly assures the continuity of the community development; creating a healthy and educated generation.


Project details
Project name: AlTarfa community center
Description: AlTarfa Community Center is an open space planned to be located
Category: meeting place
Design: passive and active design, sustainable construction, local sourced materials, Human Centered Design approach
Building status: preparation
Construction period: Mid January to Mid April
Demolished: We are building the community center in an unused land, owned by the local residents
Needs: supply, design input, work force, funding support, promotion
Location: Saint Catherine, Sinai Governorate , Egypt
Coordinates: 28°37'59.8'' N, 33°51'1.7'' E
Tags: student participation, vernacular, traditional technique, community practice, rock
Project ID: 620
Published: 18 September 2016
Last updated: 12 October 2016
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