Located in El-Arish, the capital and largest city of the North Sinai Governorate, El-Arish Culture Palace returned to its activities after a decade of closure.
The reopening was marked with a grand ceremony held at its stage earlier this week, attended by the Minister of Culture, Ines Abdel Dayem; Governor of North Sinai, Mohamed Abdel-Fadil Shousha; chairman of the Cairo Opera House, Magdy Saber; head of the General Organisation of Culture Palaces, Ahmed Awad; the latter's deputy, Hisham Atwa, among other figures from Egyptian cultural scene.
Over the past years leading to its reopening, the palace went through several expansions and renovations, supervised by the culture ministry and the General Organisation of Culture Palaces.
As the culture minister reiterated during the ceremony, bringing back to life of the palace coincides with the Sinai Liberation Day which falls on 25 April.
The new face of the palace will alow it to reinvigorate the cultural activities for the benefit of El-Arish and the North Sinai inhabitants, the minister added.
During the opening ceremony Abdel-Dayem also mentioned several artistic projects and activities that will be held by the palace. They include developing talents of North Sinai children and youth, such as implementation of Start Your Dream (Ebda Helmak) workshop which aims to developing the theatrical potentials of its participants, reinvigorating of the cinema hall, organisation of cultural weeks in coordination with the concerned authorities, among other artistic and literary activities.
The palace will also become a hub for rehabilitation of crafts created by the local women, providing them with the space, professional trainings and modern technologies to preserve and further develop their skills.
The evening included a concert showcasing the artists from the Cairo Opera House with an orchestra conducted by Alaa Abdel Salam.
Reopening of El-Arish Culture Palace is part of the ministry's larger project aiming at decentralisation of the culture, allowing the many governorates to benefit from the creative riches that they are already holding or those coming from the capital.
Over the past three years, the culture ministry in cooperation with concerned bodies, has restored, reopened or launched venues equiped to present cultural activities in over 20 cities outside the Cairo governorate, including sites located in Sinai.
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