La Greca Magazine
"No! I will say it in my own words!" I exclaimed as the Greek history teacher was trying to convince me to memorize 200 pages of battles and political decisions in times of turmoil for the university entrance exams... And guess what? Although I boldly defied a well-established education system, MY own words got me into college and through all stages of writing a PhD thesis I now take pride in.
Perhaps education could actually foster thinking out of the box. The questions are: How? Does everyone have the capacity to be innovative or does everybody really need to? True, leaders as well as followers are a vital part of any society or organization. But one thing is certain: Every single person – be him creative or not - has to be aware of their right to speak up, which is still a luxury for certain parts of the globe. This was my instinctive reaction, while listening to the speech of Elisa Sednaoui at the opening benefit gala of the first Knokke Fashion Weekend on 11 March 2016.
“Friends with Benefits” which hosted exclusive guests from the fashion and design world of Belgium and beyond, took place at the luxurious halls of the Casino in Knokke. The Cirque-Du-Soleil-like dance and live music shows by BILLIE, GUSTAPH & LADY LINN, the exquisite floral-embellished dinner by SERGIO HERMAN & NICK BRIL (The JANE, Antwerp), a luxury prize lottery, an auction of exclusive products and services conducted by PIERRE BERGÉ, as well as the electrifying dance party, composed a night to remember.
"We try to promote creativity and the expression of one's ideas through art" explained the enchanting model/actress in a sturdy, confident voice. She continued her story of the evolution of her foundation (Elisa Sednaoui Foundation) candidly and passionately. Her cause being noble and her methods innovative, she has been going around the Arabic world to light the flame of enquiry and intellectual liberty inside young people’s minds and souls. Art is used as a medium for raising awareness and training children and youth to express their deepest and wildest thoughts. In lands such as her homeland, Egypt, freedom of expression, female emancipation and creative initiative are not always self-evident.
Therefore, the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation has found fruitful ground for planting the seeds of inspiration in the minds of the next generation. We always put our faith in children as a better projection of ourselves. They carry the hope which we may lose on the way to adulthood and they are like sponges that can absorb any incentive they are given. Working in education myself, I have come to realize how important it is to trust in the capacity of a person, even more a child. There are no mistakes in Art. So children gain more confidence when they create something of their own. And the more self-confident they become, the more conscious they get of their power to express themselves. “It is about empowerment” the model/actress with the mystical, sparkling eyes stated from the podium.
As a result, Art lovers who were present that evening not only acquired limited precious items, such as a unique Delvaux bag painted by graffiti artist André, a diamond bracelet by De Grisogono, an unconventional Reverso watch by Jaeger-LeCoultre, a photo-artwork by Alex Salinas and a customized signed pair of Louboutins, but most importantly, they generously empowered the foundation with the soaring amount of 82.500 EUR!
Author: Marianna Lagakou - Van Zandweghe