President Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus, President Prokopis Pavlopoulos of Greece along with Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi inaugurated the “Nostos: Reviving Roots” initiative in Alexandria on Monday.
The cultural festival will be held for one week in Alexandria, Cairo and the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, from 30 April to 6 May, with the participation of Greeks and Cypriots who once lived in Egypt.
The Greek word “nostos” means “return to the roots.” It is a theme used in Ancient Greek literature, which includes an epic hero returning home by sea.
This is why Egypt's Minister of State for Emigration and Egyptian Expatriates' Affairs Nabila Makram and her counterparts from Greece and Cyprus chose this name for the event.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many Greeks and Cypriots emigrated to Egypt, especially Alexandria, to live and work in the country.
However, most left Egypt in the 1950s and 1960s.
Nostos will give an opportunity for Greeks and Cypriots who once lived in Alexandria to return to their old homes in the Mediterranean harbour city, which was originally built by no other than Macedonian King Alexander the Great.
“The imprint of these foreign communities, especially the Greeks and Cypriots, on the city of Alexandria in particular cannot be overlooked; it is an imprint that is part of the colourful and diverse profile of the city. It is a diversity that has always been cherished, and not just by Alexandrians who had lived with these communities,” Makram, who was herself born and raised in Alexandria, told Ahram Online in a recent interview.
Egyptian, Cypriot and Greek ties have strengthened since President El-Sisi assumed office in 2014.
Since 2014, the countries’ leaders have met in five tripartite summits.
The three partners are cooperating closely on several regional and international issues, chief among them security in the Mediterranean.