Catherine Exists is an independent non-profit community development initiative and co-op that aims to support and raise awareness of Saint Catherine's protectorate and empower its local Bedouin community, a minority subject to discrimination. While creating a space for intercultural dialogue to promote peace and tolerance among communities.
Catherine Exists currently operates in a form of a community center located at Wady Gharba as a mid point for the Bedouin community of St. Catherine at large - providing medical & educational services and planned to initiate income generating opportunities. Catherine Exists solely consists of dedicated volunteers from all around Egypt - reaching in mid 2019 around 200 active volunteers and provided sustainable medical services to 1000+ patients.
The Sinai Bedouin community in Egypt has been struggling for their civil rights for decades; being unacknowledged by the government, deprived from their lands, lacking proper medical & educational facilities and being misrepresented in the media are some of the obstacles they face on daily basis. Tourism which is considered their main source of income have been heavily impacted; number of foreign & local tourists have dramatically dropped more than 60% since 2011 due to misleading safety rumors about the area & lack of security from the government’s end.
Catherine Exists provides support & empowerment to St. Catherine’s protectorate and its people, creates a space for intercultural dialogue and in doing so Catherine Exists is proving a development & sustainability model for replication. We are focusing on implementing & proving a model for social inclusion to then be replicated globally; developing & sustaining indigenous communities while preserving their culture, shed light on marginalized communities, advocate for eco-tourism, create intercultural dialogue & human connections between the public & indigenous communities and promote the use of art for social-change.