By: Toka Omar
Giza Zoo, the brainchild of Khedive Ismail Pasha, was built in 1891 to be the first and largest zoo in Egypt, covering 80 Feddans, and includes some rare animals, plants, and buildings, like the one-of-a-kind suspended bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel. The zoo was neglected for years, lacking any renovations or restorations until initiatives like Designatshow decided to help in making the place look brighter for visitors.
Aiming to make Giza Zoo look more welcoming with colors and drawings, the Designatshow team has just finished decorating the wall of the new petting area at the zoo, an area specially created so children can interact with the animals.
After the success of their wall murals two years ago, the zoo officials contacted the team to decorate the wall of the new petting division. “The thing that I’m proud of the most is that the officials contacted us when they decided to add new divisions inside the zoo, and we, of course, welcomed the idea,” said Heba Mohamed, the founder of Designatshow.
The Designatshow team consists of more than 10 designers who started their journey two years ago when they decided to beautify 14 walls at the historic Giza Zoo. Their initiative was part of their practical projects while studying at the Faculty of Art Education at Helwan University. Now, they continue their work as an initiative that aims to add beauty to public places through their drawings and work of art.
Heba also told us that her team is preparing for a new project with the zoo where they will restore the walls they painted before. They are now working on using new materials that can last longer.
Over two weeks the team worked on the wall of the new division where children can pet and play with different types of animals. The new part of the zoo will include farm animals, such as rabbits and ponies, and some wild species that are harmless enough to touch and feed, such as turtles. It will also include the first 3D reptile house in the zoo which will add to the value of the place.