New Hermopolis is an individual non-profit social enterprise founded by Dr Mervat Abdel-Nasser with the mission of capitalizing on Middle Egypt’s heritage for the cultural and economic development of this region. Our founding is connected to the thought and philosophy of Ancient Hermopolis with its belief in the possibility of harmonious living and the power of art to transform society.
It is built on a privately- owned land close to its ancient counterpart in Tuna el Gebel village (20 KM from the main city of Mallawi/ 320 kilometres from Cairo). The area lies between village and desert landscape and is central to many archaeological and historical treasures, including ancient temples, monuments, churches, and museums. The architectural style is ‘vernacular’ and ‘ecological’, made of lime stone and wood and inspired by local ancient monuments.
New Hermopolis is a multifaceted integral model of development giving example of green farming, architectural eco-living, responsible hospitality and heritage inspired cultural evolution.
- The New Hermopolis Farm
New Hermopolis is set in 10 acres of reclaimed desert land cultivated with olive plantation. Our olive farm is meant to set an example of a kind of farming that is desert friendly and possibly wealth creating. One of our main goals is to provide training in desert agriculture and green farming, as well as methodology of agricultural organization and business management. We are also hoping to make our farm an attraction for agro-tourism and woofers volunteers.
- The New Hermopolis Retreat
The actual building started in 2007 and became operational in 2012. It consists of 16 individual studios surrounding a square shaped ‘Lotus pond’ (This is a revival of the Egyptian Blue Lotus that is currently threatened with extinction). It has a capacity for 40 visitors and is served by a large multi-functional reception room, dining room, swimming pool and a number of outdoor seating areas.
The entire work force of New Hermopolis including administrative, transport, housekeeping, hospitality, maintenance (electricians, plumbers, joiners etc), farmers, gardening and security are drawn from the local village of Tuna El-Gebel.
III.The New Hermopolis Cultural Space
The New Hermopolis cultural space, on the other hand is equipped with a library, seminar/conference facility and both indoor and outdoor performance areas. It offers the opportunity to host lectures, training courses, intercultural events as well as art exhibitions/ performances for the benefit of the local community and international visitors.
This cultural space acts as a creative medium/factory and is open to ideas and activities drawn from a wide range of sectors including design, music, creative writing, visual and performing arts. It carries the ethos of engaging with the local heritage and ethnic art to generate new ideas and experiences.
Stick dance by Mallawi group at NH