Wednesday,19 June, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1378, (25 -31 January 2018)
Wednesday,19 June, 2019
Issue 1378, (25 -31 January 2018)

Ahram Weekly

City lights

1-smallest woman in the world

1-Tallest man in the world

The “Crossing Egypt Challenge” aims at raising awareness about the importance of reproductive health services, scaling up family planning programmes, and educating Luxor residents about the importance of youth participation including women in the labour market. Luxor is one of the most densely populated governorates in Upper Egypt with one million people and a fertility rate of 3.4 children per woman.

One of the most important challenges facing Luxor is the high unemployment rate among young people, which has reached 37.9%. Women’s participation in the labour market is also very low, at 13.5%. It has the third highest unemployment rate among Egyptian governorates at 8.5%.

One Egyptian who accepted the challenge is Helmi Al-Said. Al-Said, 27, is in the Guinness World Records after crossing the European continent by bike – 6,100km in 29 days and five hours. He is the official ambassador of sport in the Egyptian Cycling Federation and is participating in the challenge to contribute actively to raise awareness of the importance of sport and its positive impact on life.

Abdullah Hussein, an Egyptian entrepreneur who has 26 years of experience in developing the talents of children and young people at the Utopia Academy, is one of the founders of Cairo Runners in 2012. Hussein is participating in the challenge to prove that sports is an integral part of the development system and raises awareness and culture of Egyptian youth in order to employ sport in achieving the goals of sustainable development.

The challenge is organised by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in partnership with the European Union, Swiss government and the Norwegian Embassy in Egypt.


Helmi Al-Said

Helmi Al-Said

In a unique attempt at finding the past, Torathak Amana (Protect Your Heritage) seeks the help of ordinary Egyptians who might possess a recorded piece of history right in their own home. The idea’s unveiling was held by Culture Minister Ines Abdel-Dayem at the Egyptian National Library and Archives, attended by director Ahmed Al-Shawki. 

Abdel-Dayem stressed that preserving the rich treasures of Egyptian cultural heritage was the responsibility “of all Egyptian patriots who possess important, rare documents”, inviting them to donate such valuables to the library to be preserved academically and to have their names recorded and certificates of appreciation issued. 

The minister gave special acknowledgement to Hoda Abaza, French literature professor at Ain Shams University and the great granddaughter of  Noqrashi Pasha, Egypt’s former prime minister of the then Egyptian Kingdom.

At the event Abaza released a number of rare documents that belonged to her great grandfather. Al-Shawki gave away a parchment from his personal collection that dates back to the 19th century.

Abdel-Dayem also thanked the minister and the library for submitting documents which included pages from his diaries documenting crucial parts of Egyptian history, as well as a letter from Hassan Al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood sent to King Farouk attacking Al-Noqrashi. The letter was dated 6 December 1948. 

The event followed a tour of the National Library. A planned museum of documents and parchments will hold a number of original printouts and edicts that date back to the Ottoman era and the Mameluk Sultanate. 

Al-Shawki added that Protect Your Heritage targets Egyptian households that may contain historic rarities which will be studied by a specialised committee which will also create a digital copy of the approved documents and rebuild decayed parts. He also announced that Mohamed Abdel-Rahman had given the museum a document dating back to 1919.

Miroslav Lajčák with his external advisors

On 20 January, UN General Assembly President Miroslav Lajčák twittered on his account: “I met with my External Advisers in Rome for an all-day retreat on my priorities for 2018, in particular peace and prevention, UN affairs, the importance of dialogue and multilateralism, and current global affairs.” One of Lajčák’s external advisers is Nabil Fahmi, founding dean of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at The American University in Cairo (AUC), and ambassador to the United States from 1999 to 2008.

On 31 May the UN General Assembly elected Lajčák as president of its 72nd session, which spans from September 2017 to September 2018. At the time of his election, Lajčák was serving his third term as Slovakia’s minister of foreign and European affairs, a position he held since April 2012. From 2012 to 2016, Lajčák also served as deputy prime minister of his country.

5-Serbia in Egyptian Eyes book compilers

Serbia in Egyptian Eyes book writers

The cover of Serbia in Egyptian Eyes book

The board of directors of the Egyptian Diplomatic Club and the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs held a seminar and a roundtable to review the new book Serbia in Egyptian Eyes: Diplomatic Memories and Cultural Memoirs.

On Wednesday 17 January at the headquarters of the club, the book’s

authors were invited to speak, as were heads of Egypt’s Diplomatic Mission in Belgrade, Ambassador Hussein Hassouna, Ambassador Hani Khallaf, Ambassador Ashraf Aql, Ambassador Bassem Khalil as charge d’affaires, Ambassador Adel Naguib, Ambassador Ali Galal Bassyouni, Ambassador Menha Bakhoum, and Ambassador Ezzeddin Fahmi.

Authors of the chapters in the section entitled “Cultural Notes: Serbia by Egyptian Pens” included Zahi Hawass, the famed Egyptian archeologist who visited Serbia, novelist and radio anchor Mai Khaled who is also the author of Egypt in Serbia in 2013, Al-Ahram writer and president of the Sharm El-Sheikh European Film Festival Gamal Zaida who conducted several interviews in Belgrade, as well as Mervat Al-Suweifi, professor of ceramics and a former lecturer in Belgrade.

Artists participating with paintings in the book are Ibrahim Ghazala, professor of art at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Minya University and general facilitator of the International Luxor Forum for Photography,

together with Lamia Al-Sayed who previously held an exhibition called “Impressions about Serbia” at the Mahmoud Mokhtar Cultural Centre in 2017. The book is edited by Ambassador Amr Al-Gweili. (photo: Ayman Barayez).   

Abdel-Dayem grants Al-Namnam a memorial shield

In a gesture that reflects the true face of Egyptians, newly appointed Culture Minister Ines Abdel-Dayem honoured former Minister of Culture Helmi Al-Namnam in recognition of his achievements during his term of office and his strong relationship with the ministry’s officials and employees.

Abdel-Dayem granted Al-Namnam the ministry’s memorial shield in the presence of the ministry's senior officials. Al-Namnam then gave a speech in which he thanked Egypt’s political leadership for supporting him during his term of office and wished Abdel-Dayem the best of luck in her new mission. He also said he was happy Abdel-Dayem was taking over the culture portfolio as the first woman to occupy the post, and that he called for the idea when he was a journalist covering the ministry. Al-Namnam stressed the leading role of the Ministry of Culture throughout its history. His address preceded Abdel-Dayem's meeting with the ministry's senior officials to start preparing future plans.

Zamfir honoured by Abdel-Dayem

The Guinness Book of World Records has announced that two of its world record holders are to visit Egypt between 26 and 29 January.

The tallest man in the world, Sultan Kosen from Turkey, at 251 centimetres, and the shortest woman in the world, Jyoti Amge from India, at 62.8 centimetres, are to visit Egypt for the first time on a tour of Cairo and to hold an international press conference in a hotel in the capital. 

Ahmed Makled, chief executive manager of B Premium, the official partner of Guinness Records in Egypt, said the purpose of the visit by the world records holders, who were added to the book in 2011, was to “energise the tourism wheel of development in Egypt” by giving a positive impression to visitors, braiding the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism and the Egyptian Tourism Development Authority supported by Guinness records.  

The stories of the records holders are to inspire the young with their success stories, raising the spirit of competition by putting forward two challenging stories admired by the world. 

Makled said there would be more events and initiatives arranged to attract more Egyptian individuals and corporations who would like to apply for the Guinness World Records to project a brighter picture of Egypt on how safe and secure it is for many tourists in a bid to improve the image of the country globally. 

Omar Talal, regional Middle East and North Africa director of Guinness Records’ official partner, announced that the records founded over 60 years ago were of great interest in holding various events in vital and developing regions like Egypt, adding that the Middle East is a leading sector of the world when it comes to flourishing businesses. Talal said the MENA region jumped to 68% growth in the number of record-breaking applications within the last three years.

Internationally celebrated Romanian pan flute musician Gheorghe Zamfir, 76, featured in two concerts on 18 and 19 January. At a press conference held at the Heliopolis hotel where the performances were held, Zamfir said how thrilled he was to be in Egypt and for giving a charity concert supporting cancerous tumor treatment since, he added, he was very interested in medicine and noble purposes. He expressed his happiness at being part of the charitable event in "the land of the Pharaohs". Zamfir also spoke about the effect of music on certain diseases. The concerts were part of the 10th Breast, Gynecological and Immuno-oncology International Cancer Conference (BGIICC), which took place on 18 and 19 January at the same hotel. Attending the conference was the president of BGICS, Prof. Hesham Al-Ghazali.

Present at the concert was Culture Minister Ines Abdel-Dayem who granted Zamfir the shield of recognition for his charitable initiatives.

Also on hand was head of the Media Committee Osama Heikal and his wife Editor-in-Chief of Al-Ahram’s Nisf Al-Donia magazine Amal Sorour, as well as Egyptian actors Sabri Fawaz, Safaa Galal and singer Hanan.

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