Since the herstory of time, the Garden was a space where the mystery of feminine knowledge could be found. Creativity, magic, and being in tuned with invisible forces were part of the natural arena of women’s knowledge. It is where the oldest forms of mathematics, science, and other phenomenons awaiting to be assessed by human capability, were created. The knowledge of women, her creativity, and seeing the mysteries of human nature, as intrinsic with the Earth, is the basis of mastery for exploring the Garden. Being in tuned with what was natural, allowing herself as an instrument to be used by nature; while discovering the mysteries of production, awaiting her.
The Garden is not only a captivating metaphor, but a nurturing reality at the American University in Cairo’s New Cairo campus. A paradise of fantasy, that was captured in reality. Comprised of waterfalls, colorful flowers (whose attractiveness invites you into the secrets of their interior), and sphere-shaped fruits hanging from trees, reminding observations of our circular nature. The institution is surrounded and reminded that knowledge was produced in nature. That knowledge production and creativity can never be separated from what is natural. This paradise of gardens at AUC New Cairo is an extension into the classroom. Not simply a metaphor, but a magical fantasy that has been re-created into reality. And its very existence alone, is a reminder of this archaic tradition of women’s knowledge.
Once entering into this Garden, a return to an innate sensory and animal nature is forced. Traditional practices of objectifying nature, where it can be dissected and studied, does not work within this particular classroom. Rather, visitors must allow themselves to become instruments, immersed in all sensory. Connecting with the invisible, and bringing it to be observed. It is not forced, rushed, or aggressive. Being in the Garden requires balance, patience, and a calming stillness. Lovers, friendships, courtships, colleagues, and casual acquaintances are found. And those individuals seeking answers, that only solitude can provide, too, are welcomed.
Leaving the cubicle, office, or interior of the academy, the pampering of the lyrical wind guides faculty, staff, and students back into garden’s paradise. Serving as nourishing relief against stresses that come with the complexities of University, faculty and student life.
Knowledge produced in the garden is rarely done in the modern world. Yet, for those who remember, who are willing to listen, the power to immerse in her existence reveals hidden worlds, and abundant wonders.