On a rooftop in Cairo’s disadvantaged neighborhood of Saft El-Laban, the tips of the Pyramids of Giza visible in the distance, are engaged and energetic students arguing about world history, politics and philosophy. They laugh, talk over one another, ask questions. Often the students are so excited for class that they push each other to get through the door. This is a typical scene at Mish Madrasa. Mish Madrasa in Arabic means “Not a School.” We are, in fact, not just a school. Mish Madrasa is a community-based alternative focused on positive youth development, social emotional learning, and English language proficiency. We utilize interactive and multi-media pedagogies and project-based learning.
Serving primary and secondary year youth and operating in the ashwai’iyyat – or irregular community – of Saft El Laban, Mish Madrasa promotes a culture of tolerance,inclusion, gender equality, individual empowerment, community service, and teamwork. While we implement new education pedagogies we also teach traditional subjects such as history, applied reading and writing and math.