Egyptians Minister of Culture Ines Abdel-Dayem met this week with Minister of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates Affairs Nabila Makram, Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali, and Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany, to prepare an initial plan for Makram’s proposal to organize events to mark the celebration of the month of Egyptian civilisation in Canada in July.
Sheref Sabawy, a member of Ontario’s provincial parliament, has submitted a bill to the body which would make July Egyptian Heritage Month. It will be discussed on 6 June.
Makram said in the meeting that organising a month celebrating Egyptian civilisation in Canada comes as a result of the efforts of Sabawy, and confirms that Egypt supports its children abroad.
“Egypt values the expatriate community in Canada, which is a positive model that promotes the achievements and history of Egypt in Canada,” she added.
She also said that this event represents, for the first time, the official recognition of the active role of the Egyptians in the Canadian national community, and is a major development in the political activity of the Egyptian community which reflects their strength and their political influence.
Makram also praised the Canadian government’s recent decision to update the guidelines for its citizens on travelling to Egypt.
Wali, the social solidarity minister, said that the participation is the first activity by the ministry in Canada.
She proposed an exhibition of traditional handicrafts such as pottery, ceramic and clothes produced by Egyptian women, to reflect the diverse nature of Egyptian heritage, in addition to an exhibition showcasing products made by homeless children.
Wali said that these exhibitions will move parallel with the artistic events to be presented in a number of Canadian cities.
The minister of antiquities, Khaled El-Enany, said that this event is a free promotion of Egyptian civilization and provides an opportunity to introduce the achievements made in the country and the huge projects it has implemented.
He suggested that the events include a number of lectures about the history of Egypt dating back to the Pharaonic era, shedding light on its cultural heritage.
In addition, he suggested the idea of launching an invitation in various Canadian circles to visit Egypt and to get acquainted with its heritage and ancient civilisation.
Abdel-Dayem, the culture minister, said that event is a new victory for Egyptian soft power, as it achieves the state’s strategy in restating the identity of its citizens abroad and strengthening the spirit of belonging to the homeland in the hearts of the new generations, as well as building bridges of communication with the other nations to highlight Egyptian leadership in various fields.
She said that the initial vision of the event includes the organisation of cultural events highlighting the distinctive character of Egyptian civilisation and creativity. These include a book fair, traditional characters, a variety of artistic performances, and literary and poetry evenings with the participation of a group of media and young intellectuals and writers.
The ministers agreed to put the proposal to the Egyptian prime minister after the Ontario parliament makes a decision on 6 June.