Egypt's Agricultural Museum Documents Egyptian-Chinese Friendship
Photo: Ahmed Gomaa/Xinhua
Cairo — Occupying a massive area of land with eight premises separated by large gardens near downtown the capital Cairo, Egypt's Agricultural Museum is a distinguished destination for those seeking knowledge and entertainment at the same time.
Despite the name suggestion, the museum is not only about the history of Egyptian agriculture, but also an encyclopedia of sculptured and stuffed objects portraying the Egyptian life from the time of the Pharaohs until the modern age, including the agricultural tools, the habits and traditions as well as the animals, reptiles and birds of different times.
"The museum is considered the first one worldwide specialized in agriculture. It portrays the history and development of Egyptian agriculture throughout ages. It was established in 1930 and was opened to visitors in 1938 by King Fouad I at the estate of Princess Fatma Ismail. So it was a palace turned into a museum," Mamdouh Mostafa, the general manager of the museum, told Xinhua.
In the middle of the museum lies the Scientific Collections Museum, the central one of its eight sections, where the first floor depicts the everyday life and social habits of the Egyptian countryside, and the second contains a collection of scientific objects including skeletons of whales, camels, sheep and other mummified mammals, reptiles and birds.
The main hall on the first floor displays statues of a wedding procession, where a bride on a camel's back is leaving her parents' house to her husband's. The left and right sides show a variety of rural craftsmen such as basket makers, glass furnace workers, tattoo makers, candy sellers and others.
His veiled wife Nagwa said she liked the rural life part most.
"It depicts exactly the wedding in the countryside. When my cousin was a bride, she left her parent's home to her husband's on a camel's back compartment just as portrayed in the museum," she told Xinhua.
Of the rest of the seven premises, the recently-established Egyptian-Chinese Friendship Museum is most worth mentioning.
The Egyptian-Chinese Friendship Museum is located right near the main gate of the Agricultural Museum, with a 3x2 meter ceramic painting of the Great Wall of China at the entrance which leads to black-and-white and colored photos of meetings of Egyptian and Chinese leaders.
"I like the museum so much, especially the part about Egyptian-Chinese friendship, because it displays beautiful and attractive Chinese photos, paintings and ceramic works. The museum is generally amazing as it features artifacts that we cannot see anywhere else," said Tasneem Mohamed, a prep school female student.
Many of the contents of the Egyptian-Chinese Friendship Museum have been furnished by the Chinese side, and the displayed Chinese paintings were granted to the museum as a gift after China joined an art exhibition in Egypt.
"This special section was initiated by the Egyptian-Chinese Friendship Association and it was opened to the public in 2013," said Gamal Ramadan, the manager of the Egyptian-Chinese Friendship Museum.
"It is meant to document with photos and arts the depth of the Egyptian-Chinese ties and emphasizes the cultural interaction between the Egyptians and the Chinese as nations of two ancient civilizations," the manager told Xinhua.
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