The National Organisation for Urban Harmony (NOUH) celebrated Sunday the fifth edition of the annual Turathi Photo and Arts Competition.
Ines Abdel-Dayem, Egypt's minister of culture, handed out certificates of honour to the winners and launched the official opening of the virtual exhibition of all artworks submitted to the competition.
“This year, 314 photographs were submitted as well as 175 paintings,” explained Mohamed Abu Saieda, chairman of NOUH.
The jury included prominent artist Mohamed Abla, Ahmed Hanno, dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, and prominent photographer Sherif Sonbol.
The winner of first prize in photography was Saad Al-Azhari.
“This photograph is from inside the Mosque of Abou Hereba, in Al-Darb Al-Ahmar district. The same scene is printed on the Egypt's 50 pounds bill. This is where I saw this boy as if mesmerised by the light, at the meida of the mosque (where people wash up before prayers). I called it “Getting Out Of the Light,” he told Ahram Online.
Minister Ines Abdel-Dayem with Saad Azhary (Photo: Amira Noshokaty)
In third place in photography was Lamia Sherif, with a photo of the statues carved at one of her favourite palaces of Downtown Cairo: Said Halim Palace, also known as Champollion Palace.
“This is the third time for me to apply in this competition and the first time for me to win. It is a very exciting competition for me because I love to document the architectural designs of old buildings. I love details, but the existence of the Hoopoe by the statue made it really special,” she told Ahram Online.
Lamia Sherif (Photo: Amira Noshokaty)
The event also honoured two great icons in the realm of heritage: archaeologist Ali Raswan, and Saleh Lamei, founder of the Centre for the Revival of Islamic Architecture.
Abdel-Dayem and NOUH also honoured the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat for his efforts in supporting NOUH in its initiatives.
The celebration ended on a special note with the launch of the official website of Hekayet Share (Street Story) initiative by NOUH, where blue signs are put in several districts with a short history of the name of the streets.
This initiative comes in line with the Lived Here initiative that documented some 400 cultural figures and martyrs, adding signs on buildings where they lived with a QR code that opens to a mini biography of the figures.
These initiatives come under the umbrella of the Memory of the City project that aims to safeguard the intangible heritage of Egypt. This project started off by documenting the Island of Zamalek.