Help open Cairo Strength!

Cairo Strength is a gym we have been dreaming about since 2015, born out of what we perceive as a need for a positive strength training space.

We are Sarah Carr and Mohamed Emad (Omda) personal trainers based in Cairo, Egypt.

Our aim at Cairo Strength is to widen the horizon of fitness possibilities. your eventual aim is weight loss? Great - but how about setting some mini-goals of getting stronger and fitter on the way? One of my first clients told me that after a few months of training she could hover over public toilets without having to hold onto something. I was made up! Does it get more functional than that? Our philosophy is that what you do in the gym should make your life outside it better. It shouldn’t be an entirely separate, grim, form of punishment for eating “bad” food or being “too" big. That’s why our motto is lift strong, live strong.

We want Cairo Strength to be different to existing gyms; a space where strength is about inclusion and not intimidation. Where strength comes in more than one shape and size. Where wellness is about more than just the size of your leggings. This won't be a gym where trainers shove clients on an in-body before telling them to eliminate carbs while climbing to nowhere on the Stairmaster, forever. It’s not that weight loss is not a valid goal - in some instances it of course is - it just shouldn’t always be the only goal. It shouldn’t be assumed that every female who walks in the gym is there to get smaller, or that every man should want a six pack. 

Cairo Strength is about creating a community built on strength in every sense. We want our clients to lift - but to lift more than weights, to lift each other and themselves up by building an environment where exercise is rewarding and fun, where everyone feels safe and where douchery is not tolerated. 

What does douchery mean? Sexual harassment, body shaming, bullying…behaviour that for us represents the absolute opposite of strength. None of these things will be tolerated. 

Gyms can be an awful experience for anyone who is not a large, strong man. When i first started working out i confined myself to the estrogen section i.e. the cardio area. I ventured into the free weights area perhaps 3 times before hot stepping the hell out of there. I quickly got bored of the gym and stopped going. Endless running wasn’t for me. No-one in the mainstream media at that time was saying it was OK for women to strength train anything more than 2kg, and I hadn’t found my way to the Internet sites that said otherwise. Those attitudes have changed, but not that much; I now work in that same gym, and the male:female ratio in that same free weights area remains skewed. We want Cairo Strength to balance that out.

We’re starting out small, but getting the equipment that will allow us to offer you fun and effective sessions with an emphasis on resistance training (cos we’re meatheads. And because everyone should lift). Our training format will be semi-private; between 1-5 people training at the same time, but each with their own individualised training programmes, guided by us. Semi-private training allows us to offer high quality sessions at an affordable rate. it’s also tons of fun because of the community aspect. 

We’ll also be offering private (1 on 1) training sessions for those who prefer that, and Omda will be giving boxing classes.

Why am i telling you all this? Well, if you have spent more than half an hour in my company you will know that 1. I love baby goats and 2. My partner Omda and I have started taking actual steps to opening cairo strength. Thanks to a donation from a very, very, very lovely person, we are about to buy equipment from the US that is either unavailable in Egypt or not up to standard. Because of the current state of the economy, this has eaten up a large chumknk of our budget. We are currently around $5,000 short of the cash we need for:

Equipment from abroad
A few bits of locally-made equipment

We’re so close! And that’s where you come in (you know what’s coming): we need your help to meet our target. 

If you’re one of our current clients, consider this your contribution to your gym, because it really is. We don’t exist without you. If you’re not a client but want to donate something - you’re the best! And you’ll be contributing to the existence of a positive strength training community where everyone is welcome.

To say thank you for donations we are offering a cairo strength t-shirt to anyone who donates over $50. We’ll also give a month’s free in-person training (once we open) to anyone in Egypt who donates over $300, and two months for $600. And honestly anyone who donates more than that can just install themselves in our squat rack for life where we will genuflect at their feet. 

Thanks for reading! 

Sarah and Omda
Lift strong, live strong

Photos above by Roger Anis
Photo below by unknown photographer, sourced from the صور قديمة لمصر Facebook group

Thanks to Parastou - our silent partner - for receiving the funds.

  • Hannah Riley
    • $20 
    • 45 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 46 mos
  • Ahmed Ashour
    • $100 
    • 48 mos
  • Ahmed Ashour
    • $100 
    • 49 mos
  • Rana El-Naqqash
    • $30 
    • 50 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Sarah Carr
Schenectady, NY
Parastou Hassouri

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