Egypt's Minister of Culture Ines Abdel-Dayem was awarded a shield of recognition from the Catholic University of Milan by its President Mario Gatti at the end of the fourth edition of the Arab Language and Culture Festival organised at the university.
The festival was held earlier this week under the title 'Sheherazade Outside The Palace'.
The ceremony was attended by an array of writers, intellectuals, poets and ambassadors, including Ambassador Ehab Abu-Sari, Egyptian General Consul in Milan Ahmed El-Ameri, chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority and Ambassador of the UAE to Italy Emad Abu-Ghazi, writer and former minister of culture Hussein Mahmoud, as well as students from the university and members of the Egyptian community in Milan.
Egypt's Ambassador to Rome Hisham Badr (in the middle) with Culture Minister Abdel-Dayed (third from the right) and Italian cultural and artistic figures
Abdel-Dayem was granted the award in recognition of her role as a model for creative Arab women and the first woman to be appointed as Egypt's Minister of Culture, and in appreciation of her long artistic and administrative career.
In a speech, Abdel-Dayem thanked those who teach the Arabic language and support spreading the language and the Arab culture. She also praised the initiatives taken to preserve the Arab identity, spreading its culture and its values among university students, and expressed gratitude to the Italians and Europeans who are interested in it.
A scientific committee at the celebration consisted of Francisca Krau, professor of Arabic language and culture at Louis University in Rome, Salah Fadl, professor of Arabic Literature at Ain Shams University, Wael Farouk, professor of Arabic Language and Literature at the Catholic University, Christina Gatty, director of the Arabic Language Studies Institute at the Catholic University, Giovanni Gopper, dean of the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature at the Catholic University, and Maria Teresa Zanola, president of the European Council of Languages.
During her visit to Italy, Abdel-Dayem also met with her Italian counterpart Alberto Bonisoli in Rome with the aim of strengthening cultural relations between Egypt and Italy. The meeting was attended by Egyptian ambassador to Rome Hisham Badr.
Abdel-Dayem said that her meeting with the Italian minister of culture dealt with the possible ways of enhancing the cultural and artistic relations between Egypt and Italy, stressing that the cultural ties between the two countries have always had a positive effect on the Egyptian artistic scene, especially on the Egyptian opera.
They also discussed a number of suggested proposals to organise joint cultural events and activities between the two countries.
Abdel-Dayem invited her Italian counterpart to visit Egypt at the end of the year.
Meanwhile, ambassador Hisham Badr declared that head of the Italian Foundation SIB Eugenio Benedetti held a special celebration for the Egyptian minister of culture, which was attended by the head of the Napoli Opera -- the oldest opera in Italy -- as well as a number of cultural and artistic figures in Italy.