The Outer

Slovenian Ambassador to Cairo: The bilateral relations between our country and Egypt are excellent and friendly

By Manal Abdel Fattah

Ambassador Sasho Podelsnik, Slovenian Ambassador to Cairo, said that the bilateral relations between the two countries are excellent and friendly, which was reflected in the official visit of Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to Slovenia last month, during which the second session of the joint negotiating committee on economic cooperation was held, and cooperation in the cultural field was one of the Items discussed.

This came during his speech, at an evening entitled (Egypt.. Slovenia – Cultural Relations), held under the patronage of Dr. Nevin Al-Kilani, Minister of Culture, in the presence of Ambassador Yasser Hashem, Deputy Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Northern and Central Europe, and Salwa Hegazy, President of the Egyptian-Slovenian Friendship Association. , Girgis Shoukry, poet and theater critic, engineer Sherif Rashed, marketing director of the Slovenian port of Koper in Egypt, at the headquarters of the Supreme Council of Culture – the Egyptian Opera House.

The ambassador continued: The two sides agreed to continue strengthening cultural cooperation through artistic exchange, joint studies and research, to enhance exchange between cultural and creative institutions, and to develop cultural products and joint initiatives and programs to develop culture.

He added that in the context of Slovenian-Egyptian cultural cooperation, I should first mention a unique historical connection between the two countries, also called the Women of Alexandria, as the Women of Alexandria are considered part of the Slovenian cultural and historical heritage, something that is also officially recognized by the President of Slovenia in 2022.

He added that from the second half of the nineteenth century until the beginning of World War II, about 7,000 Slovenian women visited Egypt, especially in Alexandria, to work in wealthy families as servants and take care of children and teach them, while most of these women left their families and children in Slovenia, married Egyptians, had their children, etc. Their grandchildren still live in Egypt – we are proud to welcome one of them here today – and they form an important part of Slovenian society.

The Ambassador stressed that recent years have witnessed many events and activities in Egypt that enhance closer cultural cooperation and contacts between our peoples and our two countries, including a very successful sculpture exhibition “The Return of God Isis” by Bostjan Kavšić at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, and cooperation between the University of Ljubljana and Ain Shams University in preserving Cultural heritage, performances by Slovenian folk groups (also with the support of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture), and the participation of one of the most successful Slovenian writers in recent years, Goran Vojnovic, at the Cairo International Book Fair this year, are especially noteworthy.

At the end of his speech, he expressed his appreciation to the Ministry of Culture and the Supreme Council of Culture for inviting him to participate in the initiative to restore cultural relations.

The evening was moderated by Dr. Hisham Azmy – Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Culture and the Foreign Cultural Relations Sector, which was held in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the Diplomatic Club), where a short documentary film about Slovenia was shown during the evening. The evening also included an intervention via video conference by the Egyptian Ambassador to Slovenia, Nahla Al-Zawahiri. .

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