23 May 2018 04:46 PM

Statement by H.E. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the Inauguration of the “Nostos” Festival

Thursday، 03 May 2018 - 01:22 PM


In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate and the Most Merciful
His Excellency Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus,
His Excellency Mr.  Prokopis Pavlopoulos, President of Greece,
Honorable Ministers and Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps
Accredited in Cairo and Alexandria,
Ladies and Gentlemen Representatives of Cypriot and Greek Communities,

Allow me at the outset to extend sincere greetings and appreciation to all of you
and welcome you all on the land of Egypt and in the time-honored city of Alexandria that
occupies a special prestige in the hearts of Egyptians as well as the sons of the
Mediterranean.

I would like to express my overwhelming happiness that Alexandria is hosting this
celebration of reviving the roots of Cypriot and Greek communities in Egypt; there could
be no better evidence of the deep historic bonds that have long tied the three peoples
together than the city of Alexandria that was founded in 332 B.C by Alexander the Great
to be Egypt’s window on the Mediterranean and the meeting point for all civilizations to
melt together and be the incubator for all cultures and heritage to merge.

To date, Alexandria is still the vivid embodiment of values of tolerance,
coexistence and human communication; the values that encouraged hundreds of
thousands of peoples in the region to find in Egypt their destination that embraced them
without discrimination to live in, on top of which were thousands of Cypriots and Greeks,
who became part and parcel of the Egyptian society, thus opening the doors wide for a
great renaissance on economic, scientific and cultural levels in Egypt.

The ancient Greek legend “Nostos” narrates the story of an epic hero who once
upon a time embarked on an adventure that took him far from his homeland and along the
homeward journey, the hero went through certain experiences that tested him; however,
he never lost his deeply-rooted sense of affiliation to return home.

Today, we recall this legend that we chose to be the theme of our celebration not
only as a story but as a symbol of all peoples of the Mediterranean who chose, as the epic
hero of “Nostos” to move between its two banks back and forth until a Mediterranean
identity was born, founded on enhancing openness, moderation and faith in human
commonalities on the one hand and renouncing ideas of extremism and narrow-
mindedness on the other hand.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Throughout ages, history had witnessed immortal interactions between our
peoples; since the Hellenic and Ptolemaic eras, which presented to the world prominent
contributions, among which is Bibliotheca Alexandrina from where scholars had started

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spreading their science and culture such as the translation of important works from the
ancient Egyptian language, not to mention transferring the scientific achievements and
protecting the Hellenic civilization from destruction; the matter which had lately
constituted the foundation upon which Champollion had relied in deciphering the
Pharaonic civilization and revealing the ancient Egyptian history. In this vein, I would
like to thank my friend President Anastasades of Cyprus for returning a number of
Egyptian antiquities pieces that had illegally been taken out from Egypt.

Moreover, the Modern Greek and Cypriot migrations to Egypt late the 18th
century, had contributed to enriching the pluralism of the Egyptian society. In this
respect, the Greeks and Cypriots, beside their Egyptian brethrens, had contributed to
bringing about a commercial, cultural and artistic renaissance. They also worked in all
walks of life, including trade, industry, shipbuilding, marine pilot in the Suez Canal,
tourism, agriculture, printing and publication. Thereupon, the Egyptian governorates had
witnessed the establishment of organizations for the Greek communities in Menia in
1812, Zagaziq in 1950, Cairo in 1856, Mansoura in 1860 and Port Said in 1870.

During the past three years, the Egyptian-Cypriot- Greek mechanism of cooperation, we succeeded to launch and maintain its summits and technical meetings, has been a clear reflection of our strong relations and an example that should be followed in the whole Mediterranean Zone. No doubt, the frequent visits paid by our countries’ top officials, work as a vivid proof that we are determined to render this mechanism a success and put it forward in a way that shall guarantee security and stability of the Mediterranean and bring our people’s hopes of development and prosperity to reality.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In conclusion, I seize this opportunity to express the Egyptian people’s appreciation to your peoples, which embody the values of amicable ties, fraternity andcoexistence among civilizations and cultures. We are looking forward to your ceaseless
visits to your homeland Egypt as honorable brethrens and friends.

Thank You Very Much and Again You Are Welcome in Egypt

May Allah’s Peace and Mercy Be Upon You

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