Along the Line على طول الخط

CLUSTER, an independent urban design and research platform in Cairo with over 10 years of track record promoting community-led projects and design interventions for civic engagement, has inaugurated the project, Along-the-Line in the 6 October Community Garden in Agouza, to revitalize the concept of Arts in Parks and open up public space to wider community members and civil society organizations. Along-the-Line brings together art, culture and education along with leisurely and entertainment activities, catering to different age groups and social backgrounds. 

For 5 months, Heba ElCheikh was partnering with CLUSTER to curate the cultural program for the Along-the-Line project. The Cultural program diversified the events to attract all kind of public audiences, it included music concerts, storytelling, clowning, animation and shorts screenings, and full entertaining days for children

Ezbah Theater | مسرح العزبة

Curated and produced by Heba elCheikh | Implemented by Mahatat

Located on top of one of Cairo’s very few hills, the neighborhood of Ezbet Khairallah is structurally and topographically unique. The densely entangled community envelops its bustled activities tightly.

This project is one of the components of the “Access to Art Program”, organized by Mahatat for contemporary art, from 2014-2018. This community art project is a combination of artistic, architectural, and performance-based project, incorporating the skills and materials of the craftsmanship-rich community of Ezbet Khairallah.

The resulting artwork gives off an iconic presence but also catalyzes neighborhood-bound performance and entertainment activities. The Stage is an outcome of 3-week workshops. It hosted its first performance on 20th of October 2017 and it will be hosting future performances.

The stage stayed in place run by the Community of Ezbet Khairallah till late 2018.

Partners and Artists

Rana elNemr – Curator

Samir el Kordy – Architect

Eslam Hegazy

Ruwwad for Development

Tawasol NGO

The community of Ezbet Khairallah


Drosos Foundation

Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship Online Platforms

Through her experience, elCheikh grew a strong knowledge of creative enterprise, social innovation, and the wider creative economy where she has developed methodologies and approaches in the field and shared the knowledge with peers and potential prospects.
Since 2019, she was the main content developer and reviewer of online platforms exchanging knowledge about art and creative entrepreneurship developed by:

EBTEDY.COM – Goethe Institute – Egypt
Community Learning site – British Council – Nigeria

– The craft toolkit platform – British Council – Cairo / Thailand

She has developed as well, online training and mentorship sessions for:

  • e-learning platform, Goethe Institute
  • Garage El Mahrousa incubation program, Nahadet El-Mahrousa

She conducted as well need assessment for the culture entrepreneurs for the AUC Venture Lab in order to enable them to develop their program to incubate the culture entrepreneurs.

In 2018, she was one of the associate trainer of NESTA, in Egypt, where she delivers a three days ideation program for creative entrepreneurs, in collaboration with the British Council Cairo.

Mahatat for contemporary art

produced by Mahatat

Mahatat for contemporary art [2011-2019] was a Cairo-based social and cultural enterprise founded in 2011, and co-founded by Heba elCheikh.

Under the leadership of elCheih, Mahatat has unleashed inspiration and creativity and spread joy and entertainment amongst 40,860 audiences, 279 artists, and participants in their activities.

Mahatat offered a unique artistic experience by organizing performances in public spaces and streets, 34 performances in 20 locations! decentralizing the arts by working in the Delta Region as well as Cairo. 

Mahatat shared knowledge and learning experiences related to art in public space and participatory art through the development of open-source publications and workshops targeting emerging art operators and entrepreneurs. They have produced 7 publications on toolkits.

for more info:

City Shadows

Designed by Heba elCheikh, produced by Mahatat for contemporary art

video filmed and edited by Omar Manjounah | produced bt Mahatat

Villa Fernand on Abdel Salam Aref street stands amongst Port Said’s neglected cultural heritage. The building behind Villa Fernand was a colorful old building that is now in the process of demolition. An open and empty space behind these two structures stood idle and unused with the exception of hosting trash. This was the space chosen for the City Shadows event, part of a creative action research with the European Cultural Foundation (ECF) to explore the ways abandoned spaces in cities can be revived through art. In a short time-frame, this discreetly hidden space in Port Said was cleaned-up, revamped and transformed. The exhibition revolved around Port Said’s popular culture and how the citizens are entangled in their city’s heritage and history. With the support of Artistic Consultant Rana El Nemr, curator and visual artist Nadia Mounier brought the space back to life through old and new photos, video installations and collectibles from Port Said. Audiences were invited in and free to move around as they wish, slowly discovering items such as the paper crafts by artist Nervan Talha. Curators and musicians Nancy Mounir and Omar Mostafa flooded the space with experimental music tracks that faintly spread to the neighbouring streets. For many of the over 300 Port Said residents that attended, it was their first time to hear that Villa Fernand even existed. As a lead up to the event, the group from Port Said Ala Adeemo designed walking and bike tours around the city to take people around significant cultural and historical places including those that have been abandoned.

This event was developed to support in the creation of a Do-it-Yourself toolkit on how to revive abandoned spaces and redirect their use towards artistic learning and expression, developed by Shaimaa Atef. The research has been supported by the European Cultural Foundation and was initiated during the 2015 Idea Camp. The event is developed in partnership with the Drosos Foundation under the umbrella of the Access to Arts/Shababeek program with Mahatat for contemporary art.

Check out the toolkit here:


Rana El Nemr (Artistic Consultant), 

Nadia Mounir (Visual Artist & Curator), Nancy Mounir (Musician),

Omar Moustafa (Musician),

Nirvan Taha (Origami artist)

Shaimaa Atef (Researcher)

Project Partners

Drosos FoundationEuropean Cultural Foundation (ECF)


Jan – June 2016