On Sunday 15 January the Egyptian Heritage Preservation Organisation (ECHO), headed by Maged al-Raheb, in cooperation with the Supreme Council of Culture held an event to launch the campaign “Egyptian and Proud” at the Cultural Centre of the Opera House.
Archeologist Abdel-Rehim Rihan, spokesperson of the organisation, said that the campaign aims at honouring and promoting the Egyptian identity. For this purpose, a plethora of issues and activities were discussed. These included a call for amending educational curricula to build a generation of Egyptians that would be well-aware and proud of its civilisation and historical legacy; promotion of domestic tourism among Egyptians, especially to little-known archeological sites; the support Egyptian traditional handcrafts which are now threatened by modern industry; and encouragement of filmmakers to use archeological and historical sites in Egypt as filming locations.
A number of Egyptian NGOs interested in heritage, archeology, and culture participated in a campaign. Among them was the Egyptian Organisation for Enlightenment represented by Ishaq Hanna, Isis Foundation for Cultural Services represented by Azza Soliman, the Institute of Coptic Studies represented by Adel Fakhry, the Association of Mashrabeya and Arabesque Arts represented by Mohamed al-Deeb; the Egyptian Noaris Association represented by Yusra Ashraf; the association Les Amis des Copts represented by Sinout Shenouda; and Civil Egypt Movement represented by Sami Harak.
Public figures who took part in the event included General Bishop Anba Martiros; Salwa Bakr, member of the Supreme Council of Cultur; Muhammad Abdel-Latif, Professor of Islamic and Coptic antiquities at Mansoura University; Abdel-Rehim Rihan, General Manager of archeological researches, studies and scientific publications of coastal areas and Sinai at the State Ministry of Antiquities; Loay Mahmoud Saeed, head of the Coptic Studies Centre at Bibliotheca Alexandrina; Monica Hanna, professor of archaeology; and Nasser al-Kalawi, head of Archeological Awareness Department at the State Ministry of Antiquities.
The event ended by forming an advisory board for the activation of the initiative.
16 January 2017