The Egyptian intelligence service has celebrated its anniversary for the first time in its history by screening a special documentary about the organisation.
The documentary, aired on Tuesday, was promoted by an extensive advertising campaign, which even reached billboards around Cairo.
The one-hour documentary, A Nation's Word, focused on the organisation's history since 1954 as well the history of the region since 1948.
There was a quick history of the Israeli occupation of the Sinai Peninsula and how the service was founded after the coup that brought Gamal Abdel-Nasser to power in 1952.
Successful operations against Israel by Rafaat El-Hagan and Gomaa El-Shawn were highlighted, as was the arrest of enemy spies, such as during the Lavon affair.
Successful anti-terrorist operations, such as the arrest of a terrorist cell that attempted to blow up a Nile cruise boat, were also praised.
Dr Mohamed Moghad El-Ziyat, the head of the National Centre for Middle East Studies, told state news agency MENA that broadcasting the documentary was not only to celebrate the service's 57th birthday, it was also to present the real history and value of the organisation to the Egyptian people.
“The foreign ministry and the intelligence service are working in parallel in the best interests of the country,” El-Ziyat told MENA, highlighting its work on the Palestinian issue and on relations with Nile Basin countries.
Dr Tarek Fahmy, head of the Israeli Studies unit at the National Centre for Middle East Studies, said it was notable that the documentary was produced by the intelligence service itself.
“It is important that the public know the role of the intelligence service from the organisation itself," Fahmy said.
Ambassador Mohamed Ibrahim Shaker, chairman of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, stated: "The screening of this documentary came at a perfect time considering the huge political changes taking place in Egypt. It was important to introduce the role of the security apparatus, especially to show there are threats and challenges facing the country.”
The screening of the documentary comes after the controversy created by an advertising campaign warning Egyptians against speaking with foreigners and sharing information online for fear they would be recruited by foreign intelligence.