The idea of Egypt on the Banks of the Ganges River, a festival to take place in the second half of 2018, came during a meeting of the joint Egyptian-Indian committee headed by Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Indian counterpart, Minister Sushma Swaraj, on 23 March in New Delhi.
Participants at the meeting also also covered several common political, economic and cultural issues joining the two countries.
The two sides discussed the possibility of increasing the number of scholarships granted by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, opening an Arabic language instruction centre in India under the auspices of Al-Azhar University and increasing the role of Al-Azhar in training India's imams in order to spread moderate religious thought and push back against extremist ideas.
The meeting of the cultural committee was presided over on the Egyptian side by Hisham Mourad, Head of the Foreign Cultural Relations Sector at the Ministry of Culture, with the participation of Amir Tadros, Director of the Cultural Agreements Department.
The Indian side was led by Shefali Shah, Secretary-General of India's Culture Ministry.
The Egypt on the Banks of the Ganges River festival was inspired by the India by the Nile Festival, which wrapped up its sixth edition in several Egyptian cities on 17 March.
The festival showcased Indian contemporary and classical music, dance, puppet theatre, visual arts, food and yoga. This annual cultural festival was held in Cairo, Alexandria and Port Said.
It is the biggest foreign festival in Egypt and provides audiences with an authentic Indian cultural experience while encouraging artistic collaboration between the two countries.
Fourth from left Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry with members of the Egyptian delegation (Photo: courtesy of the Egyptian Centre for Foreign Cultural Relations)
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