Diplomatic briefs

09-03-2013 07:23 PM

Mary Fikry - Maged Samir - Antoun Milad

* Zimeray in Egypt
*First smartclass in Egypt
* USDA allows strawberry imports from Egypt
* Supporting women business owners
*School meals in Upper Egypt
*Origami in Egypt

Zimeray in Egypt
François Zimeray, Ambassador for Human Rights, visited Egypt from 5 to 8 March 2013 on the occasion of the International Day of Women##s Rights.
During his visit, Mr Zimeray met with the Minister of Justice and the President of the Committee on the Human Rights Advisory Board, which provides support to civil society organizations engaged in the protection of women##s rights and the fight against sexual harassment. 
Zimeray also addressed two lectures on March 6 to French-speaking students at the University of Cairo, and March 7 at the French Institute on the topic of “The Place of the Woman in the World of the labour Market in Egypt”.
First smartclass in Egypt
India’s largest education company Educomp has launched a pilot of its globally renownedFirst smartclass in Egypt.jpg digital classroom programme Educomp smartclass at the Naguib Mahfouz Experimental School in Shubra, Cairo. The class is the first of its kind in Egypt. The pilot project was launched in association with Inspire Egypt, the exclusive partner of Educomp in Egypt, and aims to introduce the students of the school to digital learning.
Tarek al-Tobely, CEO of Inspire Egypt, explained that “The programme provides educational solutions using education technology and e-learning in ways that are compatible with Egyptian curriculum.”
Education Minister Ibrahim Ghoneim has formally inaugurated the pilot project. He praised the solution and said that it was being applied in three experimental schools and three excellence schools.
Mr. Navdeep Suri, Indian Ambassador to Egypt was also present on the occasion to lend support on behalf of the Indian Embassy to the programme. Ambassador Suri explained that in India, solutions such as Educomp smartclass have made a tremendous impact by helping fill the gap for quality education. 
USDA allows strawberry imports from Egypt
US imports of Egyptian strawberries have been approved by the US Department ofUSDA allows strawberry.jpg Agriculture. APHIS has permitted the entry of commercial strawberries from several countries in Asia, Europe, and South America with similar lists of pests of concern,” according to the USDA said.
Measures include a requirement that shipments must be imported in commercial consignments, that strawberries should be inspected for selected pests in Egypt and subject to inspection upon arrival in the U.S.
Egypt, with more than 8,800 acres of strawberries cultivated in recent years, already exports fruit to the European Union and numerous Middle Eastern countries. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation statistics show Egypt ranked as the world’s eighth exporter of strawberries in 2010, exporting USD48 million worth of the fruit. 
Supporting women business owners
Supporting women business.jpgFifteen business mentors and over 30 entrepreneurs engaged in a one-on-one mentoring event sponsored by the US Government’s Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) and the Association for Women’s Total Advancement and Development, in cooperation with the Women Business Development Centre.
“Supporting women business owners is crucial to promoting increased prosperity for Egypt’s families,” said Mary Ott, Mission Director of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) which is funding the GEP program.  “Mentoring helps new entrepreneurs address barriers they face in growing their businesses in realistic and powerful ways.  It provides them with valuable networks to build their businesses and create jobs.”
Mentoring brings experienced women business owners together with new entrepreneurs to provide a deeper understanding of the business world.  It helps them address challenges such as lack of business skills and lack of access to modern technologies, market linkages, and financing.  It can help women across Egypt who have entrepreneurial ideas and inspiration turn those ideas into successful businesses. 
School meals in Upper Egypt
School meals in Upper Egypt.jpegThe UN World Food Programme (WFP) has received USD100,000 (EGP670,000) from Western Union Foundation to support thousands of children and their families in Upper Egypt through the WFP’s school meals programme in Upper Egypt.
The Western Union Foundation concession will advantage more than 22,000 children attending early education classes (nursery) in Assiut, one of a Egypt’s poorest regions.
The school meal programme encourages the enrolment of children in schools by providing them with a daily healthful breakfast enriched with iron and vitamin A.
“Feeding minds starts with feeding bodies with decent nutrition,” Western Union Foundation President Patrick Gaston said. The programme also grants the children’s parents monthly allotments of dry foods, provided the attendance rate of the children in school is 80 per cent. Since most families let their children work at a young age to help support the family, it is hoped that by allotting the families monthly rations of food, they will be induced to keep their children in school and out of the labour market. The take-home rations make about about 20 per cent of a family’s monthly food requirement. 
Every year, on average, the WFP feeds 90 million persons in more than 70 countries. 
Origami in Egypt
Origami in Egypt.jpgDuring the months of February and March, Egypt has been hosting three of the most famous origami (Japanese paper-folding) artists, Makoto Yamaguchi and his two assistants Eiko Matsuura and Kamiya Satoshi. The Japanese artists are holding workshops in Cairo and Alexandria to teach the art of paper-folding. The event is part from the Japanese Grand Modern Festival for Japanese Culture organised by the Japanese cultural centre in Cairo. The lectures and workshops will be conducted in Japanese with Arabic translation. 
Origami started in China during the age of Ham (202 BC – 220 AD) and was transferred to Japan in the beginning of the 7th century. As paper manufacture developed, the “washi” paper was made. Origami was used for practical purposes such as covers and small paper containers in the 10th century. Later on, origami was used in wrapping presents and for decoration. 
Watani International
9 March 2013
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