Arab League endorses Egypt’s Khaled El-Enany for UNESCO director-general post

Ahram Online , Thursday 7 Sep 2023

The Council of Arab Foreign Ministers of the Arab League endorsed on Thursday Egypt's former tourism and antiquities minister Khaled El-Enany as the Arab candidate for the post of director-general of the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - 2025-2029.

Khaled El-Enany
Khaled El-Enany. File Photo


The election for UNESCO’s top position is scheduled to take place during the last quarter of 2025.

In April 2023, Egypt announced the nomination of Professor El-Enany for the UNESCO director-general role.

Meet Professor Enany

El-Enany, 52, has been a Professor of Egyptology at his alma mater Helwan University since 2011.

He has over 30 years of experience in the fields of scientific research, Egyptology, antiquities, heritage, and tourism.

He has contributed to various major universities and research and scientific institutions in Egypt and abroad.

Meet Minister Enany

Khaled El-Enany served as the minister of antiquities from March 2016 to December 2019.

In December 2019, El-Enany became the first minister to oversee both the re-amalgamated tourism and antiquities ministries which had been separated since 1966, a position he held till August 2022.

As minister, he collaborated with governments, institutions, and organizations across more than 25 countries.

During his tenure as minister, El-Enany oversaw the inauguration of over 20 museums and the launch of 45 restoration and development projects for archaeological sites.

He also oversaw the restoration of 20 historical mosques, monasteries, and churches (including five locations along the Holy Family Trail).

The Eliahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria was also reopened under his stewardship.

He also contributed to the revision of various legislation to strengthen the cultural landscape of Egypt.

His tenure also saw a substantial increase in the number of archaeological missions and noteworthy discoveries, particularly those led by Egyptians.

It also saw the repatriation of more than 23,000 smuggled artefacts from over 20 countries back home to Egypt.

Third nomination

Egypt had previously nominated two candidates for the UNESCO director-general position.

The first was former minister of culture Farouk Hosny in 2009, who lost to Bulgarian former foreign minister Irina Bokova.

The second was former minister of state for family and population Moushira Khattab in 2017, who lost the bid to the current UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.

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