Under the patronage of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Minister of Culture Ines Abdel-Dayem and Port Said Governor Adel El-Ghadban launched the celebration of Port Said, the Capital of Egyptian Culture 2021.
The extensive celebrations spanned over two days, 4 and 5 March, with numerous activities taking place indoors and outdoors.
Following the launch, over 100 events, including theatre performances, music, dance, literary seminars, symposia, arts and crafts activities, among others, are planned to take place throughout the year in Port Said. The activities are held in cooperation between the ministries of culture and tourism and the Port Said governorate.
The festivities kicked off at the Port Said Culture Entertainment Centre with a folkloric performance by a troupe consisting of Port Said’s children and youth.
The evening continued with a visit to the exhibition set inside the theatre and presenting pictures and documents embodying the historical stages of Port Said and the city’s role in national struggles and developments, as well as its history with the Suez Canal.
Abdel-Dayem also spoke about the importance of the ministry’s ‘Start Your Dream’ project, an initiative that provides six-month long theatre workshops to young people interested to explore their talents in a variety of Egyptian governorates.
The culture minister revealed that the project’s upcoming seasons will also include Port Said.
During the same evening, seven renowned personalities were honoured.
The first day concluded with a concert featuring known Egyptian singers Yasser Suleiman, Rehab Motawa, and a special segment by Hany Shaker accompanied by an orchestra conducted by Mostafa Helmy.
As the activities continued through the second day, the culture minster inaugurated the street named after late artist Mahmoud Yassin, marking the area where the actor was born and spent his childhood years.
The Port Said wing of the Egyptian General Book Organisation has also been reopened, providing a rich selection of Egyptian publications on multiple of topics.
The tour included a visit to the Nasr Museum for Modern Art, an entity located at the Martyrs Square and operating under the fine arts sector. The museum includes works by Egypt's renowned artists, painters, sculptors, photographers, and graphic designers; all enriching the city’s cultural life.
The second day also featured a visit to the historic Faryal Garden, one of the best-known spots in the city, which has a history that goes back to 1869 and where celebrations for the opening of the Suez Canal took place.
Port Said’s Governor Adel El-Ghadban spoke about his efforts to develop the park. He shed light on the park giving special importance to the opening of the Suez Canal 150 years ago, with a plateau designed to show the course of the canal.
With the many facilities provided in the Faryal Garden, the location is a charming spot for the people of Port Said to relax in the open air. For her part, Minister Abdel-Dayem underscored the importance of invigorating the garden with cultural activities.
As the day approached its end, the minister visited the recently renovated cinema of Port Said.
Representing one of the important cultural landmarks of Port Said, the historic cinema was launched in 1940, making it one of the oldest cinema theatres in the country.
The edifice suffered many deteriorations due to neglect which led to it closing. Among the culture ministry’s most recent projects was to renovate the venue and infuse it with creativity.
According to Abdel-Dayem, the location is now ready to present many films. She suggested the launch of an annual film festival that would attract the local, regional, and international cinema communities to the city.
The evening ended with the screening of a documentary film about Port Said and the Suez Canal.
In the following months, among the attractions of Port Said, the Capital of Egyptian Culture 2021, are theatre, music, folkloric art shows, film screenings, book fairs, exhibitions, seminars, cultural salons, workshops for traditional crafts, literary meetings, and storytelling, in addition to tours across the architectural gems of the city, Suez Canal, and museums.
Initially, the celebrations of Port Said, as Egypt's capital of culture, were to take place last year, however, due to the pandemic it was moved to 2021.
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