The Outer

Russian House in Cairo holds an Egyptian-Russian intellectual meeting

By Manal Abdel Fattah

Intellectuals from Egypt and Russia met to discuss cultural exchange, bilateral relations, and the Israeli war on Gaza at the Russian House in Cairo this week.

The Russian House in Cairo organized a roundtable discussion this week entitled “Human Values in the Contemporary World” with the participation of Valery Fadeyev, Advisor to the Russian President for Civil Society Affairs and Human Rights and Director of the Institute of Heritage and Contemporary Society at the Russian University for the Humanities; Professor Sherif Fakhry, President of the Egyptian-Russian University; together with Ahmed Taher, Head of the Dialogue Centre Dialogue; professor Alexander Besbordov, President of the Russian University for the Humanities; professor Taras Varakhatov, Head of the Department of Philosophy and Methodology at the Faculty of Philosophy at Moscow State University; professor Albena Dodareva, envoy of the Russian Women’s Union; professor Dimitri Mikolsky, chief scientist of the Institute of Oriental Sciences at the Russian Academy of Sciences; and professor Andrei Germanovich, Vice President of the Arabic Language Department at the Asia and Africa Institute of Moscow State University.

At the Russian House in Dokki, the discussion was moderated by Sherif Gad, President of the Egyptian Association for Graduates of the Russian and Soviet Universities, and attended by the Director of the Russian Cultural Centers in Egypt Marat Gatin.

Fadeyev spoke about the importance of strengthening Egyptian-Russian cooperation for mutual understanding, stressing that “this rapprochement is in the interest of our peoples in light of the severe crisis that the world is experiencing. We see the loss of credibility of international institutions such as the United Nations, the double standards of which have now been exposed, all while we are witnessing the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Charter of Human Rights. Friendly countries must find mechanisms for direct cooperation to overcome common obstacles.

Fakhry pointed out that the Egyptian-Russian University is the result of a cultural cooperation agreement between Egypt and Russia signed in 2005 and is a symbol of the strength of bilateral relations.
Participants at the meeting discussed the crisis in Gaza at length. According to Fakhry, the Palestinian people are victims of Israeli aggression, supported by countries that claim to champion democracy and human rights. The President of the Egyptian-Russian University hopes that these facts become known to all peoples of the world.
Mikolsky spoke about Sheikh Mohamed Ayyad El-Tantawi from Tanta, who became the first teacher of the Arabic language after Egypt’s ruler Mohamed Ali sent him to St. Petersburg, pointing out that the Arabic language has been taught in Russia since the second half of the 19th century. He added that still today, there is a wide interest in learning Arabic among young Russians.

Gad discussed the importance of developing cultural ties between the two countries and proposed exchanging teams of folk artists, ballet dancers, and other artists.

It is also necessary, Gad pointed out, to support Egypt’s Russian language university departments, and to repeat more meetings of this kind.

Students from the Russian University for the Humanities participated via Zoom, asking questions to the participants.

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