Egyptian business tycoon and MP Mohamed Abul-Enein received the 2018 Mediterranean award for economy and international diplomacy from the Fondazione Mediterraneo on Saturday.
The award ceremony was attended by Egypt's ambassador to Italy Hisham Badr, the general consul of Tunisia in Rome Beh Abdel Baky, Fondazione Mediterraneo’s founder Michele Capasso, and the foundation's secretary-general Abdel-Haq Azouzi.
In his speech, Abul-Enein said that the idea of having Egypt's name “soaring high in international forums” is one of the sincerest wishes of every Egyptian, adding that this was achieved by receiving this award.
"I feel very honoured – not only because of the award, but because both countries have a civilisation which extends for 7,000 years," he said.
He spoke of his achievements in his business over the past 30 years, which include his foundation of Ceramica Cleopatra in the 1970s, the first modern ceramics factory in Egypt.
Foundation founder Capasso said that this was the second time that an Egyptian had won the award, after novelist Naguib Mahfouz in 2003.
He added that the jury members chose the Egyptian businessman because he was a key figure economically, politically, and socially in the world, adding that his efforts has contributed in bringing together the people of the Mediterranean.
Established in 1994 in Naples, Fondazione Mediterraneo aims to promote dialogue and peace around the Mediterranean and the world.
It develops dialogue between society and cultures in order to affirm fundamental rights (civil and political freedom, and social, cultural and economic rights), democracy and justice, pursuing ethical values and reciprocal ethics of respect.
The foundation is also works on issues related to cohesion within the Mediterranean.