By: Ali Abu-Dashish
CAIRO, Dec. 31 (SEE)- The Egyptian culture between achievement and ambition.The revival of the state theater, achievement of cultural justice, promotion of positive social values, discovery of talented people, support of cultural industries and the restoration of Egypt’s leadership are the most important achievements of the Ministry of Culture in 2018.
Since Dr. Inas Abdul Dayem has taken over the tasks of The Ministry of Culture last January , huge achievements on the cultural and artistic events were organized; the cultural field in Egypt witnessed a remarkable interactive movement that included many events and achievements inspired by Egypt’s ancient civilization which reflects distributing the activities and events to different parts of the country, the Egyptian intellectual and artistic leadership on the regional and international levels emerged.
The Egyptian culture file, based on the principle of transparency, was reviewed during a year. The ministry’s general vision was to achieve positive cultural values system in Egyptian society that respects diversity and enables the Egyptian citizen to acquire knowledge and interact with new technology.
The ministry exerted efforts to preserve Egypt’s cultural heritage, to enable the citizen to choose, practice and produce culture. The positive elements in culture should be a source of strength for achieving development and a precious value to the national economy; it is a basis for Egypt’s soft regional and global power according to The General Strategy for Sustainable Development 2030 of the Arab Republic of Egypt which aims to build the Egyptian individual through the mechanisms of interaction included in the Government’s first major program which are: stating cultural and civilization identity, which rely on the idea of how cultural and community development enhances and national income.
To achieve these goals, Culture Ministry has taken a number of public policies based on innovation, anti-decentralization. Cultural work got concentrated on the capital, as well as the search for new sources of funding which was the problem of the implementing the cultural activity.
Cultural values focused on the implementation of targeted programs to promote positive values in society through the following initiatives:
- “Know Your Army ” was launched by the cultural production sector – the theater’s Artistic House in cooperation with DMC channels. In which several theater performances were presented such as the “An Order” which started from Port Said to rotate all the governorates of Egypt.
-The competition for national participation in the field of theatrical composition, where prizes were distributed to the winners with in big celebration on the occasion of ” October 2018 victories.
- Launching the second season of the “Ana El Masry” competition for the national song for youth (singing, compositing, music and melody)
- The competition ” Mazal Al- Nile Yagry” in article and poetry, so that children can learn the importance of the Nile River and the value of water in our lives and how to protect the Nile from pollution, risks and damage, and to educate them how to rationalize consumption.
-” The Great Knowledge Gate
Project that helped in publishing the latest scientific knowledge series entitled “Ma” to address the people from 14 to 30 years old in the preparatory, secondary and university stages, it aims at gauging their science, knowledge, arts and creativity including: (philosophy – history – art – music – poetry – cinema – scientific thinking) , whose price ranged from 3 to 5 pounds ..
- Organizing ” cultural and artistic week” for the children of Halaib and Shalatin in with cooperation of the children of the general organization of culture palaces , organizing a visit to Cairo from 30 to September 6 October, plus, organizing a cultural workshops (drawing – narration – theater) which reflect the children’s mental impressions about the Egyptian civilization.
- Opening the doors of theaters, circuses and museums free of charge in the celebration of the 30 June revolution.
-The project ” Story of a Street”: This project comes within the framework of reviving the national and historical memory of Egyptian society by learning the new generations about our history.
- ” He Lived Here” initiative include putting a picture of each artist in the place he lived and the painting contains the date of birth, death and address, and applied electronically by QRL on mobile applications
The Ministry of Culture , according to the prime minister’s decision, strives to develop the architectural buildings in the various fields in order to improve the visual image of the public spaces such as Ismailia Square, as well as the “Farmer” statue in Al Haram District .
-The campaign of Urban Harmony for safeguarding the heritage buildings, it is worthy of note that 308 infringement were monitored in the governorates of Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Port Said and Ismailia.
- Organizing the ” Egyptian Writers Conference ” in Marsa Matruh Governorate – The General Organization of Culture Palaces- December 2018.
-To achieve cultural justice , the following activities were organized:
- Re-operating the Locomotive library project in Al Asmarat and The Social Care House in Abu Qatada – from March to September 2018, moving to Ahmed Orabi Street- in Cairo in cooperation with the Cultural Palace organization, the New Egypt Association, Egypt Library in preparation for its launch on February 2018 in all governorates of Egypt.
- The activation of “The zoo library ” from August until now.
- Organizing large number of festivals and art exhibitions such as : Treasures of our Art Museums ” Exhibition from 2 to 9 March2018
-National Festival of Egyptian Theater from 19 , July to 2 August2018
National Festival of Egyptian Cinema, October 2018-
- Festival of Traditional patrimonial Crafts, October 2018.
Youth Salon – 29th Edition, November2018.
- In addition to the number of book fairs and activities has also increased. The opening of the 49th Edition of the Cairo International book Fair and the participation of all the Ministry’s sectors February 2018.
- Holding the third edition of Damanhour Book Fair in March 2018.
- Organizing the fifth edition of Desouq Book Fair at the City Council Park in Kafr El-Sheikh in April 2018.
- Faisal Book Fair in May 2018.
- Special needs Program where the blind people’s halls for music and arts in Dar Al Kut were equipped with computers and dozens of Braille books.
- Forming “Sun” special abilities Troupe in its permanent headquarters in the International Garden Theater in Nasr City. This troupe presented the two plays “Antica, the story of Rouh produced by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture.
- Directing all heads of sectors to rehabilitate the theater buildings to serve the special abilities people , taking into consideration the new construction considerations May 2018.
- Award for “Golden Talents for Special Abilities” in solo and group Singing – Musical playing, organized by the Cultural Development Fund July 2018 .
-Third Conference of ” Documentation and Children’s Literature” , in Ali Mubarak Hall for Special Needs, in National Book and Documentation House, November 2018.
-The initiative “Theater in Your Hands”, which revolved around the universities of Egypt, presenting the plays ” Al Syra Al Holamya “in Cairo university and “the 40 the rules of love” in Ain Shams University. The artistic House of the Theater sector February 2018.
-The initiative “Theater of Confrontation and Roaming” that aims to presenting artistic shows throughout the Arab Republic of Egypt, like the play of ” the Country Sons ” in Port Said Governorate- the artistic House of the Theater sector August 2018.
- South Valley Development Project presented 157 activities in 11 villages in South Valley Governorate. The activities included training workshops on heritage crafts, human development courses, as well as art shows and workshops for children, targeting the governorates of Qaliubia, Fayoum, Minya, Sohag, Suez – Luxor – Aswan, -Cultural Development Fund sector.
-Signing up Several programs of integration and cooperation with the various ministries concerned with cultural activity ,including:-
- Protocol of cooperation between The Ministry of Culture and The Ministry of Education to participate in organizing the awards ceremony for students of technical education and vocational training, which was held at the small theater in the Egyptian Opera House
-Preparing a draft cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Antiquities.
-Preparation of a draft agreement between The Ministry of Culture and the Foundation of “Misr Al- Khier”.
- An Agreement with ” Electronic Reservation Company” to activate the booking service for the museums of the plastic arts with museums marketing stimulation.
-“The First Forum of youth of the universities” at Al Qanater Al- khierya Culture Palace with the participation of 650 student from 6 universities :- Suef, Cairo, Ain Shams, Helwan,6 of October, Benha, Beni suif. It discussed the intellectual and creative attitudes of Egypt’s young people. Accordingly, the Ministry of Culture responded to the youth’s demand to establish of the forum in all cultural regions inside Egypt – November 2018.
-The Ministry of Culture has also developed programs for the gifted and talented people, aiming at:
- Supporting and increasing the classes of talent development to be distributed to all governorates of Egypt, targeting the talents from 6 to 18 years old. Thus talents development classes were inaugurated in Tanta Culture Palace, plus , Talents Development Centers in Cairo, Alexandria and Damanhur June 2018 .It is worthy of note that this activity is about to be generalized to all the governorates in cooperation with Egyptian Opera House.
- The inauguration of classes for those of special abilities in all of “Talent Development Centers” that received 64 students.
- The State Awards organized by The Ministry of Culture – The Supreme Council of Culture – that aims at discovering and supporting the talented in all field – Nile Awards – State Encouragement Awards – State Appreciation Awards – Naguib Mahfouz Award – Excellence Award. The Naguib Mahfouz Award was transferred to an international prize for creativity, with increasing its financial value, broadening its candidature and relying on arbitration committees from inside and outside Egypt 2018.
- “Start Your Dream” project was implemented, the first batch of acting workshop was completed and they presented the play ” look And Expand ” –August2018
-The second batch has been accepted and the project is being applied to the rest of the governorates of the Republic. It includes (workshops for music, workshops for theatrical writing and workshops for narrative play and the electronic marketing of theatrical performances.
-The activities spread regionally and globally to stress on the cultural leadership of Egypt’s soft power, including:-
Representing Egypt in the inauguration of the 24th edition of the International Book and Publishing Fair in Casablanca (Morocco), with Egypt as the guest of honor- February 2018.
- -Representing Egypt in the declaration of Muharraq AL- Bahrain as the capital of Islamic culture 2018, succeeding the Sudanese city of Sennar 2017, as the invitation of Sheikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa- Chairman of Al- Bahrain Culture Authority2017.
-The agreement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to transmit the Egyptian cultural experiences to the Kingdom to provide pioneering cultural assistance- April 2018 through establishing the artistic workshops and classes for the development of talent in the Kingdom, similarly to the work of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, and sending the artistic and cultural experts in all fields to the Kingdom.
In addition to exchanging artistic troupes and performances of :-The opera House Troupes , folklore troupes and others. The artistic troupes of the Egyptian Opera House were already participating in the events of “Okaz Market”, representing the Arab Republic of Egypt as a guest of honor in this festival June 2018.
-The signing up an Egyptian-Saudi agreement for cooperation in handicrafts- December2018.
-The inauguration of the Artistic and Cultural activities in Italy –in Viterbo city – Rome- for 6 months until December 2018, aiming at enabling the Italian society to know more about Egyptian culture, including inaugurating an exhibition of ancient Coptic and Egyptian art with the participation of some folklore and opera troupes. The Academy of Arts in Rome also participated in promoting the Egyptian art and culture through its unique platform, which became a mirror reflecting the artistic and cultural movement of Egypt and boasting of Egyptian important creations and discoveries.
-Holding the 25th session of the Arab Music Complex in Cairo within the activities of the Arab Music Festival at the Egyptian Opera House – announcing the artistic creativity award
-Announcing the artistic excellence award for the excellent universities of the Academy of Arts for the first time in Cairo.
-Presenting theatrical and artistic performances that reflect the authentic heritage of Egypt.
Organizing Workshops for children-
-Organizing ” Egyptian civilization Tours” in the streets of Rome.
-Preparation of the Egyptian pavilion in Venice International Biennial of Art.
- Egypt Presidency of the Arab Music Complex.
- Holding the 25th session of the Arab Music Complex in Cairo within the activities of the Arab Music Festival in the Egyptian Opera House on November 2018.
Establishing “The First Cairo International Conference of the University Theater” under the patronage of Mr. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, the President of the Republic. The events were held from 1 to 7 October 2018, with the name of the great artist Yahya Al Fakhrani , organized by ” The Culture And Arts Association ” in Al Qubba Theater in Cairo University .
-Holding The Twenty-First Edition of the Arab Ministers of Culture under the auspices of the President of the Republic Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and through the invitation of the Arab Organization for Education, Culture and Science(ALECSO)in Egypt From 14 to 15 October 2018.
-Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture on October 2018.
-Egypt participation in the Conference of Arab Ministers of Tourism and Culture in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina December 2018..
-The participation of Egypt in the cultural days in the city of Wajda Morocco, celebrating choosing Egypt as the capital of Arab culture December 2018.
-The Egyptian international participation in international specialized exhibitions such as:
-International Exhibition for Publishing and Writers at its
24th Edition in Casablanca from 7 to 17 February2018- Egypt Guest of Honor.
-The 23rd Edition of Muscat International Book Fair from20 February to 2 March 2018 .
Riyadh International Book Fair from 14 to 24 March 2018.
-28 Amman International Fair from 26 September to 6 October- Egypt Guest of Honor.
Sharjah International Book Fair from 31 October to 10 November 2018.
Furthermore, several international festivals were organized, including: Ismailia International Festival of Folkloric Art.
Sharm El Sheikh International Festival for Youth Theater
Sharm El Sheikh International Film Festival
Symposium Aswan International Sculpture
-Ismailia International Documentary and Short Film Festival
Aswan International Women’s Film Festival
27th Arab Music Festival and Conference
Experimental Theater Festival
Cairo International Film Festival
In the field of translation:
There was an expansion of preparing translated books to Arabic language in addition to launching the translator’s library in the Center’s Headquarters, as well as the exerting more efforts to export the Egyptian culture abroad through the development of the Egyptian and Arabic books through stating a plan for translating the Egyptian Publications to various foreign languages.
It also continues to prepare for future events, including
-The Preparation for Egypt – France year 2019 . As for the general suggestions for Egypt and France year 2019, there are suggestion of putting the celebration of the 150 anniversary of digging the Suez Canal, the Ministry of Culture has stated activity plan for a year including , the production of a joint ballet between the Egyptian Opera House and the Paris Opera as a joint production between the French Institute and Cairo Opera, in addition to presenting an artistic show in the Egyptian Opera in Paris on the sidelines of the visit of His Excellency the President of Egypt to France. Plus, inaugurating the exhibition of Tutankhamun in March, and choosing France as the guest of honor for Aswan international sculpture symposium.
Cairo International Biennial April2019, under the title ” Towards the East” ,it is an integral exhibition of all kinds of arts:- (sculpture – photography – photography – graphic – video – composite works, plastic arts).
Organizing fiftieth Edition of Cairo International Book Fair and the preparations for the Golden Jubilee January 2019.
the 11 Edition of The Arab Theater Festival from 10 to 16 January2019, hosted by Egypt under the patronage of the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, assuring the important role of theater in raising awareness and developing the national identity; Stating of the strategy of theatrical development adopted by the Arab Ministers of Culture, approved by the meeting of Arab Ministers of Culture in Riyadh and Tunisia in 2015 and 2016, which is in line with the Enlightenment Plan of the Ministry of Culture and the directions of the Arab Theater Authority to activate, publish and document the Arab theater.
In the field of achieving cultural civilizations dialogue in 2019, The Ministry of Culture gave great importance to the promotion of positive social values and supports bridges of communication with the cultures of the world. Therefore, many of its activities were specified during 2019 to emphasize Egypt’s cultural leadership on the regional and international levels to promote civilizations and intercultural dialogue. Thus, Egypt is presiding the African Union during the eleventh Edition of the Islamic Countries Organization 2019.
With regard to the role of the Ministry of Culture in supporting Egypt’s presidency of the African Union, the Ministry has set an agenda for 2019.
These includes proposals to activate:
The organization of “the African pavilion” during the fiftieth session of the Cairo International Book Fair in January 2019.
-Organization of the first international conference of library managers and the role of national archives in Africa..
-Organizing Culture and Arts Festival in Aswan Governorate in February.
-Hosting African artistic troupes in the Egyptian Opera House within ” the Castle Festival” and ” the Summer Festival ” , ” nights of Ramadan” , as well as sending troupes from the Egyptian Opera House to participate in festivals and cultural events in the countries of Africa .
-Participation in the International Sculpture Symposium that will be held in Aswan during January and March2019
-The Academy of Arts, in cooperation with the Theater Artistic House, organizes the African Theater Festival..
Organizing art exhibitions by Egyptian and African artists throughout the year to highlight the importance of Egypt’s historical role and the cooperation between the African countries (Karma Ben Hanee and African Biennale).
-The establishment of a monument to Egyptian-African relations in Aswan. (Suggestion).
-The activities will be organized throughout the year within the proposed activities agenda .
-Conference on Sustainable Cultural Development and Human Building.
The Development of cultural institutions
Re-opening the national theater .
-Re- operating of The National Circus in 15 May City, to turn it to a Culture and Arts Center for developing talents in April 2018.
-The reopening of Tanta Palace after the completion of the development works June 2018 .
-Re-opening the theater of Mohamed Abdel Wahab in Alexandria after its development on August 2018.
-Re-opening of Shikha Bani Mur Palace of (Gamal Abdel Nasser) in Assiut Governorate October 2018.
-Inaugurating Sharm el-Sheikh Culture Palace (October 2018
Inaugurating Desouk Culture Palace in Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate in December2018.
Projects to be inaugurated include:
-” Al- Bahr Al- Azam “Culture Palace in Giza
Belbeis Culture House in Al- Sharqya Governorate-
-” Hod Al Raml” Culture House in Luxor Governorate
Hager Al – Adaysat Culture House in Luxor GovernorateAbraq Culture House in Halaib and Shalatin in Red Sea Governorate
Abraq Culture House in Halaib and Shalatin in Red Sea Governorate
Hadrabah Culture House in Halaib and Shalatin in Red Sea Governorate
Derb Negm Culture Palace in Sharkia Governorate
-Inaugurating Bab El Khalk Book House (waiting for a proposed date to inaugurate it).
-The most important projects that are being implemented:-Al-Talea Theater – Cairo Puppet Theater – Al Ayem Large and Small Theater – Lysee El-Horreya Theater in Alexandria – Naguib Mahfouz Museum (opening on March 2019).
Supporting cultural industries-
Reforming the National Cinema Center.
First, the study of the development and restructuring of the National Center for Cinema was prepared. It was decided that the National Center for Cinema should be separated from the cultural production sector and that its structure should be modified due to this context.
Second: The financial procedures have been taken to start the development plan and then addressing the Central Authority of Organization. The subject has been taken into consideration for six months now.
Third: A ministerial decree was issued to start the project of establishing the Egyptian Heritage Film Registry as one of the main branches of the Center. The project is already under preparation. It aims to protect, preserve the Egyptian cinematic heritage..
Fourth: There is a coordination with the chamber of film industry and the authorities concerned, in order to choose the best ways to achieve the establishment of the register .
Fifth: The intellectual ownership was preserved by registering the works owned in the register of the Egyptian film heritage according to the rules that guarantee their rights and acquisitions and fulfill their ambitions ..
Sixth: The project “Cinematique” is being established as one of the branches of the National Cinema Center, similar to cinematic in France and some European countries.
-Reforming the Artistic Censorship Authority .
First, the project of the development and restructuring of the Artistic Censorship was prepared as well as the project for the protection of intellectual property. The first project was started with the development of the headquarters of the Artistic Censorship on Al-Qasr Al-Aini Street
–Second: Establishing Branches in several governorates to supervise the works and prepare the cadres by giving them training courses, and the study of the increase of these branches is being studied in order to ensure the activation of the supervisory role on works throughout Egypt.
–Third: The process of supplying montage equipment has been completed. The state provides huge amounts that were paid to carry out the work in the local market and can be used to achieve huge revenues.
–Fourth: The headquarters is being set up and ready for opening during the coming period.
–Fifth: A huge project for the protection of intellectual property and activating the role of supervision on artistic works is being prepared. The project was discussed at the meeting of the Supreme Council of Culture.
-Cinema Company for production, distribution and cinema halls. -The Prime Minister’s Decree No. 20151594 states: “studios, cinema and films were transferred from the Egyptian Company for Sound, Light and Cinema of the Holding Company for Tourism, to the supreme Council of Culture to take the necessary measures to establish a company to direct the cinematic activity and to take over the management these assets.
-The Prime Minister’s Decree No. 439
“Holding Company for Investment in Cultural and Cinematic Fields” wholly owned by the Ministry of Culture, the Supreme Council of Culture and other public legal persons .
Third: Several committees have been formed by ministerial decisions, the latest of which are Resolutions that were endorsed, to verify the estimation of the assets of the studios, cinema and films from the Egypt Company for Sound, Light and Cinema of the Holding Company for Tourism, Hotels and Cinema. Endorsed Ministerial Resolution for the preparation of the financial statements and final accounts for each financial year separately with the identification of all responsible.
-Issuing the Articles 393of 2018to establish ” the Holding Company for Investment in Cultural and Cinematic Field.
Fifth: The procedures of forming the General Assembly of the Holding Company shall be taken in order to be formed in accordance with the requirements of the Company for its functions and purposes for which it was established.
Holding an exhibition and training workshops on traditional crafts 7 governorates, including 129 crafts in safeguarding and promotion of cultural heritage.
1- Heritage initiative, which aims to gather and document rare collections, manuscripts and audio and visual information tools, and add them to the treasures of the national heritage, which is concerned by the General Authority of the National Library and Archives.
-Restoration of the short manuscript in the history of the1
author ” AlQufey” of London –August 2018
2-The restoration of a manuscript owned by the last Mamluk rulers of Ghouri .
3- The project of conservation of intangible heritage in cooperation with UNESCO. Activating the agreements signed with UNESCO 2003-2005 for tangible and intangible heritage listed on the list of UNESCO, –The Arajuz was actually registered November 2018.
-Launch of the National Heritage Project.
Under the auspices of the President of the Republic, a Higher Committee for the project was established under the chairmanship of the Minister of Culture and membership of national experts in these projects to implement the following:
Setting a project schedule
Setting the required budgets
Celebrating World Heritage Day in cooperation with Cairo Governorate, National Committee for Development and Protection of Cairo Heritage and UNESCO Regional Office in Cairo.
The ambitions of the Ministry of Culture in its various sectors will continue to be achieved during the coming period, in order to suit the status and history of Egypt, its present and future, according to the Government’s strategy, the hopes and aspirations of the Egyptian citizen.