23 April 2017       Download

In a quest to highlight the looming threat of a global water crisis and UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 “Clean water and sanitation,” Australian Entrepreneur Mina Guli makes a stop in Egypt as part of her historic 40-day run on six continents

Mina Guli, an Australian corporate lawyer and entrepreneur turned global water advocate, is making stops in Luxor, Aswan and Cairo on her historic #Run4Water expedition, a 1,688 km run across six continents in six weeks to raise awareness about the global water crisis.

“Running along the banks of the amazingly beautiful Nile River in Luxor, Aswan and Cairo has been an incredible experience,” said Guli. “I’ve run in the Amazon, in the U.S., in China and now in Egypt. Every place I’ve been is different but I find the Nile, the world’s longest river, and Egypt, the home of irrigation, to be particularly relevant to what I’m trying to accomplish in terms of raising awareness about water.”

“Without water there is no life and the most obvious place to show that is the Nile because when you look at your river you see that everything around the river is green and everything outside that is brown. I think people in Egypt understand the meaning of water scarcity,” explains Guli.

Guli, who is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and the founder and CEO of Thirst, a non-profit dedicated to addressing the water crisis, began her #Run4Water initiative on World Water Day, March 22nd in Las Vegas. Since then, she has run the equivalent of nearly 40 marathons as she tirelessly makes her way around the world to talk about water. After years of work as a climate change activist, she founded Thirst in partnership with the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders, a multi-stakeholder community of more than 700 young leaders who share a commitment to shaping the future on many different fronts.

“I decided to embark on this run across the globe because I’m very worried that the world is running out of water. I wanted to make people aware of the simple fact that by 2030 there’s going to be a 40% difference between the demand and supply of water. I wanted the world to understand that we have a big water problem, and we all need to work together to solve it,” said Guli.

Guli and her organization have been highlighting some stunning realities concerning the finite nature of our water resources, like the fact that global water demand in manufacturing alone will increase 400% between 2000-2025, that 60% of European cities with more than 100,000 people are using groundwater faster than nature can replenish it, and that 1.8 billion people will experience absolute water scarcity by 2025.

Qalaa Holdings is lending its full support to Guli during her visit to Egypt. The firm’s backing of the #Run4Water initiative comes within the framework of Qalaa Holdings’ overall commitment to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Qalaa Holdings believes that both its investments and corporate engagement strategy should align with the SDGs to ensure inclusive economic growth with a particular focus on education, community development and environmental sustainability. The company, which is a founding member of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Network in Egypt, has always been committed to rationalizing consumption with all of its investments, especially water. Its subsidiary Dina Farms, for example, is using the world’s most technologically advanced and efficient irrigation systems on its 9,500 feddans of land in Egypt.

“We are very pleased to be hosting an inspirational activist like Mina Guli in Egypt and supporting her #Run4Water initiative. The work that she has done to raise awareness on water scarcity is truly remarkable, and we are proud to be doing our part to spread the message,” said Qalaa Holdings Co-Founder and Managing Director and Young Global Leader Hisham El-Khazindar.

Commenting on the importance of creating dialog around the SDGs, Qalaa Holdings’ Chief Marketing Officer Ghada Hammouda said, “The SDGs offer us an important set of guidelines to follow on everything from education to healthcare, gender equality, innovation and managing our natural resources such as water. The private and public sectors must work together with civil society to ensure that these goals are being addressed.”

“We wholeheartedly support Guli’s #Run4Water initiative and the positive message that it sends about Egypt as a safe and culturally diverse tourist destination,” she adds.

“It’s amazing how well we have been received and how receptive people have been to the messages we are trying to deliver. As soon as I tell anyone here that I’m raising awareness about water, they are extremely helpful. I feel honored and privileged to have an opportunity to run in such a culturally-rich country with so much to offer,” said Guli.

Key Qalaa Holdings executives including El-Khazindar and Hammouda, along with Engineer Hisham Saber, Head of the Central Administration for Water Awareness and Public Relations representing the Minister of Water Supply and Irrigation, were in attendance at a press conference held in Guli’s honor. In addition to hosting the press conference, Qalaa Holdings was a participant in and supporter of Guli’s run through the Cairo district of Garden City.