Dr. Mervat Abdel Nasser. Amira Noshokaty
Under the slogan Truth, Harmony and Hope comes the latest edition of the Thoth festival, which will be held at the premises of New-Hermopolis in Malawi, Minya (24-30 October 2021).
Yesterday, at the premises of the House of Egyptian Architecture, the press conference for the seventh Thoth festival was announced.
Thoth, or Tehuti, was the ancient Egyptian god of wisdom, divine words and the inventor of the hieroglyphs, symbolised by baboons and the ibis.
With the aim of reviving such concepts and having Egyptians reconnect with their ancient origins, Mervat Abdel-Nasser, a consultant psychiatrist, researcher in Egyptology and writer, founded the Thoth festival seven years ago.
"The ancient annual festival of Thoth was usually held on the 19th of Tut (the ancient Egyptian/Coptic month), but I pushed it to 28 October because it is the death anniversary of Taha Hussein," Abdel-Nasser explained.
Hussein was a renowned Egyptian thinker and writer, dubbed the “dean of Arabic literature.” Born in Minya, he always believed that the only way for a new Egypt to manifest is to reconnect with ancient Egypt, she added, explaining that it was Hussein who singlehandedly managed to save the papyrus of Naga Hamadi, Qena.
This year, the festival will take place in New Hermopolis, which is a village of creativity, as Abdel-Nasser describes it. New Hermopolis aims to be the revival of the concept of the ancient City of Hermopolis, known as the city of creativity, philosophy and enlightenment, where the Hermetic philosophical writing Hermetica was created in the first century BC.
"The festival's activities shall include ‘Gathering Hope’ activities, where the participants will follow in the footsteps of their ancient ancestors and scribble their wishes on pieces of pottery, or Ostraca, as it is known in Egyptology," explained Abdel-Nasser.
The festival will also see a documentation of Bygone architecture of the area, she noted. as well as an interactive theatre activity shall take place.