EU grant to Egypt
Six agreements have been signed between the European Union and Egypt, whereby the EU grants Egypt 202.5 million Euros to support government policies. The agreements cover projects in water management, health services, modernising the judiciary authority and supporting cultural heritage at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
World Hindi Day
The Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC) affiliated to the Indian Embassy in Cairo celebrated Vishwa Hindi Diwas (World Hindi Day) on 10 January.
Hindi, India’s official language, is spoken by a majority of Indians and is the third most widely spoken language in the world. It is spoken not only in India but all over the world, wherever people of Indian origin have settled down, and with the increasing popularity of Indian films, particularly in Hindi, the language has become a familiar to many non-Indians.
Since 2006 World Hindi Day has been celebrated by Indian Embassies the world over to propagate the use of Hindi abroad. The programme on 10 January includes speeches in Hindi, recitations of Hindi poetry, recounting of experiences and jokes, and renditions of Hindi songs and Indian dance. The programme was organised with the active support of the Egypt-India Friendship Association and members of the Indian community in Egypt.
Identities at the Mashrabiya
The Mashrabiya Gallery of Contemporary Art in Downtown Cairo has been hosting an exhibition, Identities, from 18 December 2011 to 12 January 2012.
The exhibition features works by three artists from Hamburg, Germany: Gabriela Goronzy, Thomas Kleine and Ilka Volger. The artists’ work questions the forms and definitions of identity. “Is identity a result of family, nation, culture, religion, language, gender? Or is it a process of a lifelong learning, of interaction and communication? Is it possible to step beyond these boundaries, to free yourself from them?”
The elementary question “Who am I?”, the search for identity, the self-awareness, the reflection, the desire to present oneself and stereotypes are expressed and marked by different artistic techniques: drawing, painting, monotype, texts, photo cut-outs and paper cuttings.
Member of the Swedish Academy
Tomas Riad, a Swedish linguistic professor whose father is Egyptian, was formally installed last month as a member of the Swedish Academy, a cultural institution which, among other things, decides on the Nobel Prize winner for literature. Dr Riad was installed at a prestigious ceremony held at the old Stock Exchange House in Stockholm in the presence of King Carl Gustav XVI and Queen Silvia of Sweden.
Born in Stockholm in 1959, Tomas Riad has been professor at the department of Scandinavian languages at Stockholm University since 1992. He has also worked at Stanford University in the United States and the University of Vilnius in Lithuania. Last spring he became a visiting researcher at the University of Saint-Denis in Paris. Dr Riad is a keen violinist and studied at the Royal College of Music in London. For a period in the 1980s he worked as a full time musician.
The Swedish Academy is an independent cultural institution founded in 1786 by King Gustav III in order to advance the Swedish language and Swedish literature. Since 1901 it has been the institution that decides the winner of the Nobel Prize in literature.
Among the Academy’s members is Professor Sture Allén, who visited Egypt in October this year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nobel Prize Laureate Naguib Mahfouz, by presenting lectures in Cairo and Alexandria.