Diplomatic briefs

10-05-2013 05:08 PM

Mary Fikry -Antoun Milad

Dakhleh desert maps
An exhibition of “Journey to Dakhleh – Desert Maps” by John O’Carroll opened on Thursday 9 May at the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo (NVIC). The exhibition, organized jointly

by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Cairo and the NVIC, takes place within the Huna Holanda (Here is Holland) programme which showcases the various cultural and business aspects of the Netherlands.
The exhibition was opened by Dr Salima Ikram, Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo, who also gave a lecture on the Dakhleh Oasis Project and the arts.
Exhibiting artist John O’Carroll was born and raised in the United Kingdom, but has lived in different countries during his professional life. He started working for the Dakhleh Oasis Project in Egypt almost 30 years ago, doing archaeological drawings but also collecting natural pigments. He often makes his own painting materials, resins and waxes in a “meticulous, almost alchemical preparation” process. John creates metaphoric works “about the landscape of change and transition”. He describes his time in Egypt as having been extremely influential to his “thinking on time, place, impermanence and transition.”
O’Carroll has lived and worked in the Netherlands and has been called an honorary Dutchman. He has works in several important art collections in the Netherlands, including in the personal collection of Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix.
The exhibition runs until 30 May.
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A new Greco-Roman museum
The Greek-Roman Museum of Alexandria will reopen thanks to a USD8-million cultural cooperation project between Italy and Egypt. Founded in 1892 by Italian archeologist Giuseppe Botti, the museum had Italian directors until 1952, and was shut down in 2005.
An agreement was signed between Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Ali Sayed, Stefano Grego, the dean of Universita’ della Tuscia in Viterbo, and Italian Ambassador Maurizio Massari, for the renovation of the museum.
The signing took place in Cairo, in the presence of Italian experts Edda Bresciani and Antonio Giammarusti who have been working in Egypt for years. Part of the funding will come from a debt swap program from the Italian development agency, Grego told reporters. The university will redesign the museum. 
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Nothing is only for men
Swedish journalist and photographer Mia Gröndahl, who has been based in Egypt for 12 years, gathered her female colleagues, Egyptian and Swedish writers and journalists, and asked them: “Would you like to write a story about an Egyptian woman who has made a strong impression on you?”
Mia’s initiative resulted in the book Inget är bara för män’ (Nothing is only for men). The purpose of the book was to inform the Swedish reader on the Egyptian woman in post-revolution Egypt, including the stories of women active during the Egyptian uprising. The portrayed women, despite coming from different backgrounds were, like so many others, brought together by a shared passion for change and, therefore, engaged forcefully and courageously in the revolution.
The book, published in Swedish, takes its readers beyond the headlines of the revolutionary process, and leaves them with a better understanding of women’s condition in Egypt.
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Korean cultural week
The ambassador of the Republic of Korea in Cairo Kim Young-soo said, as he opened the Korean cultural week in Cairo the last week of April, that there is much in common in terms of culture and civilisation between the people of Korea and Egypt, factors which promote mutual understanding. The Korean week, which moved on to Benha University in Qaliubiya north of Cairo, included a Taekwondo course for girls, a photography exhibition on Korea, and a show of the Korean traditional custom of Hanbok.
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New WFP project
All through April, the United Nations World Food Programme (UN WFP) launched a new four-year project that targets more than 137,000 farmers in the poorest areas in Upper Egypt, helping them to adapt with climate changes through modern agricultural technologies. The project, which also helps build the capacity of national and local institutions for successful planning and training on a country-wide and regional scale in the field of agriculture, cost stands at USD6.9 million.
Some 1.7 million people in Upper Egypt will benefit indirectly through learned lessons and best practices in the future. The project mainly focuses on improving irrigation methods through applying innovative agricultural practices.
The WFP strengthens government capacity to improve food and nutrition security for the most vulnerable regions, with the objective of reducing poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition. It attempts to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of national food-based safety nets, including food subsidies and national primary school meals programmes, as well as supporting the government in designing effective policies based on sustainable monitoring systems.
WATANI International
10 May 2013
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