Rotary Club Launches Initiative To Highlight Egyptian Culture
The Rotary Club of Cairo North launches a new initiative to raise awareness of Egyptian culture among local students.
On a breezy March day, a group of students from the Illiteracy Eradication program huddled around Zahi Hawass, former minister of antiquities, at the foot of the Cheops Pyramid on the Giza Plateau, spellbound as he told them tales about the ancients, their culture, their phenomenal achievements and the Egyptian heritage they’ve passed on to generations. As he came to an end, the students, who all excel in local schools and in literacy classes within D-2451, launched a barrage of questions for the Egyptology guru about Ancient Egyptian civilization and its architecture and construction. Hawass then surprised them all by giving each student a copy of his book The Builders of the Pyramids.
The field trip was organized by The Rotary Club of Cairo North to mark the launch of its initiative “Know Your Country” under the leadership of President Mona Bahgat. The initiative’s first field visit was organized by RC Cairo North members Hanaa El Sadat, Indjie Hafez, Mahmoud Nasr, Shireen Nabih, Noureddine Bassiouni and Sherief Zaher.
Chairman of Suhba Foundation Mona Demerdash, along with members of the Committee on Education and Culture in Medhat al-Sharif’s office, Parliamentary Representative of Heliopolis, joined the RC Cairo North initiative, bringing in local classes from Heliopolis to attend the lecture at the Giza Plateau.
The idea is to bring changes in behavior through hands-on experience and real-time learning through trips and school activities. The team joined the Rotary initiative through their program “Learn the History of Egypt,” which launched with an open-air museum walk through the local sites in Heliopolis, beginning with the Virgin Mary tree, through to the Alfy Mosque and the Basilica Church, and ending with the Baron Empain Palace. The “Know Your Country” initiative is a program aiming to educate children and enhance their sense of belonging while introducing a hands-on approach to education through field trips.
The initiative gave students in the literacy classes of the Rotary Club of Cairo North an opportunity to mingle with students from other local schools under one unique theme: Egypt.
Egyptian State Television also joined the initiative along with members of other media and members of the civil service community. The students from the literacy classes and local schools were accompanied by their teachers for the enriching cultural experience.
After the lecture at the pyramids, the group split into two – the RC Cairo North Literacy Class went on to the Pyramid of Menkaure and students from the Heliopolis local schools continued to the Sphinx.
The “Know Your Country” campaign was officially launched on April 13. The ceremony was organized by the Rotary Club of Cairo North in cooperation with the Rotary Club of Rhine-Nile under the auspices of Adel Hafez at Marriott Hotel with Hawass as guest speaker. The event was attended by Markus Leitner, the Ambassador of Switzerland, civil society members, representatives of Credit Agricole and a host of Rotarians and members of D-2451.
In his speech and presentation, Hawass emphasized the prominence of Egyptian civilization not just to Egypt but to the world, as well as the importance of preserving, maintaining and passing on this civilization and its teachings to future generations. Culture must go hand in hand with education to create well-rounded, knowledgeable leaders for the future, Hawass said. Hawass was given the Rotary Shield and was awarded an honorary membership to RC Cairo North in a show of appreciation for his work with Rotary and for Egypt.
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