Egypt’s Expo 2020 Dubai pavilion heralds a future well-grounded in the past

Since the inception of World Expos in the 19th century, Egypt has consistently taken part in the event, and always been a major attraction. Dubai 2020 is no different. (AFP)
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Since the inception of World Expos in the 19th century, Egypt has consistently taken part in the event, and always been a major attraction. Dubai 2020 is no different. (AFP)
Since the inception of World Expos in the 19th century, Egypt has consistently taken part in the event, and always been a major attraction. Dubai 2020 is no different. (AFP)
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Since the inception of World Expos in the 19th century, Egypt has consistently taken part in the event, and always been a major attraction. Dubai 2020 is no different. (AFP)
Since the inception of World Expos in the 19th century, Egypt has consistently taken part in the event, and always been a major attraction. Dubai 2020 is no different. (AFP)
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Since the inception of World Expos in the 19th century, Egypt has consistently taken part in the event, and always been a major attraction. Dubai 2020 is no different. (AFP)
Since the inception of World Expos in the 19th century, Egypt has consistently taken part in the event, and always been a major attraction. Dubai 2020 is no different. (AFP)
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Since the inception of World Expos in the 19th century, Egypt has consistently taken part in the event, and always been a major attraction. Dubai 2020 is no different. (AFP)
Since the inception of World Expos in the 19th century, Egypt has consistently taken part in the event, and always been a major attraction. Dubai 2020 is no different. (AFP)
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Since the inception of World Expos in the 19th century, Egypt has consistently taken part in the event, and always been a major attraction. Dubai 2020 is no different. (AFP)
Since the inception of World Expos in the 19th century, Egypt has consistently taken part in the event, and always been a major attraction. Dubai 2020 is no different. (AFP)
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Since the inception of World Expos in the 19th century, Egypt has consistently taken part in the event, and always been a major attraction. Dubai 2020 is no different. (AFP)
Since the inception of World Expos in the 19th century, Egypt has consistently taken part in the event, and always been a major attraction. Dubai 2020 is no different. (AFP)
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Since the inception of World Expos in the 19th century, Egypt has consistently taken part in the event, and always been a major attraction. Dubai 2020 is no different. (AFP)
Since the inception of World Expos in the 19th century, Egypt has consistently taken part in the event, and always been a major attraction. Dubai 2020 is no different. (AFP)
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Since the inception of World Expos in the 19th century, Egypt has consistently taken part in the event, and always been a major attraction. Dubai 2020 is no different. (AFP)
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Updated 14 November 2021

Egypt’s Expo 2020 Dubai pavilion heralds a future well-grounded in the past

Egypt’s Expo 2020 Dubai pavilion heralds a future well-grounded in the past
  • Ever since the first World Expo in the 19th century, Egypt has wowed visitors with a blend of heritage and vision
  • At Expo 2020, Egypt uses its pavilion to showcase its national story, while curating an ambitious vision for its future

DUBAI: The Egypt pavilion has proved, unsurprisingly, a major attraction of Expo 2020 Dubai. Since the inception of World Expos in the 19th century, the country has consistently taken part in the event, attending as a marquee participant in the 1851 Great Exhibition in London.

Egypt’s pavilions and displays at previous World Expos have historically been among the most popular and prominent, often focused on the nation’s agricultural and industrial growth as well as its rich history.

For instance, one guidebook from the 1851 show mentions “a fine exhibit of Egypt’s chemical products.” Then, between 1876 and 1904, Egypt used World Expos to stimulate interest in its cotton industry and the infrastructure that supported it, such as bridges and railroads.

But above all, Egypt has always been ahead of the game in developing an experiential format for World Expos, adding sensory richness and a feeling of “being there” to its displays.

Again, looking back to 1851, one commentator noted: “The Egyptian exhibit was one of the larger exhibits … its entrance consisted of an arch suggesting entry into an ancient Egyptian temple.”




Since the inception of World Expos in the 19th century, Egypt has consistently taken part in the event, and always been a major attraction. Dubai 2020 is no different. (AFP)

Similarly, media reports from the St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904 said: “The greatest attraction of all, undoubtedly, is the ‘Streets of Cairo’ with its 180 men, women and children, theaters, camels, donkeys, and dogs.”

Little of this showmanship has been lost in the decades since. At Expo 2020 Dubai, Egypt again used its pavilion to showcase its national story, while carefully curating an ambitious vision for its future.

Designed by Egyptian architect Hazem Hamada, the pavilion covers 3,000 square meters and combines the authenticity of Egypt’s remarkable history while simultaneously highlighting its ambitious Vision 2030 agenda.

The four-story pavilion has a prime location close to Morocco and Saudi Arabia in the Opportunity District. In a nod to its heritage, the building is imprinted with hieroglyphics, while three sharp angles near the entrance are indicative of its iconic pyramids.




Designed by Egyptian architect Hazem Hamada, the pavilion covers 3,000 square meters and combines the authenticity of Egypt’s remarkable history. (AFP)

The structure stands in stark contrast to its neighbor Switzerland, whose pavilion is a mix of steel, cubic architecture, and a mirrored facade — old and new, standing side by side, each bold and unique in their own way.

Upon entering the Egyptian pavilion, visitors are taken through a 15-minute guided tour of a series of displays drawing on the key moments of Egyptian history. Visitors are both guided by a “real life” host and welcomed by a virtual guide, highlighting Egypt’s duality of authenticity and modernity.

The opening display welcomes visitors in music and cascading projections of golden hieroglyphics that flow down the walls like rain. Alongside these digital manifestations of modernity are the famed artifacts of Egypt’s past.

One notable exhibit is the sarcophagus of the priest Psammitic, son of Pediosit, recently discovered in the archaeological dig sites of Saqqara. An instantly recognizable replica of King Tutankhamun’s golden funerary mask is accompanied by replicas of three of his sarcophagi.

FASTFACT

* 3,000sqm - Area of the Egypt pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, standing at 19m in height & spread across 4 levels.

* 3 - Original antique Pharaoh statues on display, offering a glimpse of what’s in store at the Grand Egyptian Museum. 

* 4,000 - Years of trade & innovation attached to Egypt’s name — a unique brand to attract new investment.

These pieces offer visitors a tantalizing glimpse of things to come when Cairo’s much-anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum finally opens its doors, where the largest collection of Tutankhamen relics will be put on display together — several for the first time since their discovery.

As with Egypt’s previous World Expo forays, the 2020 pavilion is carefully balanced to leave not only a lasting cultural impact but also to convey a bigger message.

Several displays emphasize Egypt’s Vision 2030 agenda and the range of sustainable development opportunities it has to offer. Organizers are keen to present Egypt as a favorable investment destination connecting the world to the African continent.

The Suez Canal Economic Zone, Egypt’s smart cities, and its tourism developments are just a few of the nation’s investment vehicles of choice.




The pavilion’s “finale” brings everything together in a digital collage of art, music, and dance, combining tradition with vision, old with new. (AFP)

By telling the story of its ancient civilization, the Egyptian pavilion’s message to investors is this: Let history be our guide. With some 4,000 years of innovation and trade attached to its name, Egypt can argue its vision is built upon raw experience.

The pavilion’s “finale” brings everything together in a digital collage of art, music, and dance, combining tradition with vision, old with new, water with desert, green landscapes with blue oceans, and modern trade with ancient crafts. It is a bold, unique, engaging, and impressive display.

Throughout the six months of Expo 2020 Dubai, the Egyptian pavilion will host important figures from science, sport, the arts, and culture. It is staging more than a hundred events on topics ranging from urban development and tourism to sustainable development, agriculture, and quality of life for women and young people.

In addition, it is hosting nine exhibitions on antiquities, education, real estate, and investment, which will feature workshops, seminars, networking events, and cultural salons.

Given its long and proud history of World Expos, it is scarcely surprising that Egypt’s organizing committee knows how to draw a crowd. And with such a jam-packed program of events on offer, it will no doubt build on this well-earned reputation, in this and many World Expos to come.


Israeli president to make first-ever state visit to UAE

Israeli president to make first-ever state visit to UAE
Updated 26 January 2022

Israeli president to make first-ever state visit to UAE

Israeli president to make first-ever state visit to UAE
  • The visit comes some 16 months after the wealthy UAE broke with decades of Arab consensus and forged diplomatic ties with Israel

JERUSALEM: Israel’s President Isaac Herzog will make a historic visit to the UAE at the end of the month, his office said Tuesday, in the latest high-profile diplomatic trip since the countries normalized ties.
Herzog’s office said the president, who will travel with the first lady, will meet United Arab Emirates’ Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan during the January 30-31 trip.
“We have the privilege of making history by making the first visit of an Israeli president to the United Arab Emirates,” Herzog said in the statement, adding that the countries were “laying the foundations of a new shared future.”
Herzog is also scheduled to meet with the ruler of Dubai and senior government officials, and visit the Dubai Expo, his office said.
The visit comes some 16 months after the wealthy UAE broke with decades of Arab consensus and forged diplomatic ties with Israel.
The move was part of a series of US-brokered deals known as the Abraham Accords, pacts that have angered the Palestinians.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett made history last month when he became the first Israeli head of government to visit UAE, in a trip that partly focused on international talks on Iran’s nuclear program, a top Israeli security priority.
Herzog, whose position is largely ceremonial, will be the first Israeli head of state to officially visit the UAE.
He vowed “the bold new partnership” between the countries “will transform the Middle East,” with Israel keen to expand the list of Arab nations that sign on to the Abraham Accords.
The deals were negotiated under former US president Donald Trump but endorsed by President Joe Biden’s administration.
Bahrain and Morocco have also normalized ties with Israel under the accords.
Sudan has agreed to do so but formal diplomatic relations have not emerged amid roiling instability in Khartoum.


Yemen army liberates land, hits Houthi targets

Yemen army liberates land, hits Houthi targets
Updated 26 January 2022

Yemen army liberates land, hits Houthi targets

Yemen army liberates land, hits Houthi targets
  • On Tuesday the coalition launched a series of attacks against Houthi targets overnight, destroying a communications system and weapons depot in Marib

DUBAI: Government forces in Yemen liberated a large swathe of land in the Taiz governorate, after heavy clashes with the Iran-backed Houthis as coalition forces struck more militia sites across the country.

Backed by air cover from the coalition, government troops pushed deeper into Houthi-controlled territy and liberated Azla and Khouloud.

Meanwhile, battles continue raging south of the city of Marib between the government-backed forces and the Houthi militia.

Dozens of Houthis were killed in heavy fighting with government troops west and south of Marib amid intensifying coalition airstrikes, according to state-owned news agency SABA.

On Tuesday the coalition launched a series of attacks against Houthi targets overnight, destroying a communications system and weapons depot in Marib.


Qatar emir to meet with Biden in Washington Jan 31: White House

Qatar emir to meet with Biden in Washington Jan 31: White House
Updated 26 January 2022

Qatar emir to meet with Biden in Washington Jan 31: White House

Qatar emir to meet with Biden in Washington Jan 31: White House
  • The two sides will discuss ‘ensuring the stability of global energy supplies’

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden will receive Qatar’s emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad at the White House on Jan. 31, his spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Biden and the Gulf state leader will discuss security in the Middle East and “ensuring the stability of global energy supplies,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.
The meeting comes as Washington and its European allies are seeking to shore up energy contingency plans should Russia squeeze supplies due to tensions with the West over Ukraine.
The US and its EU allies accuse Russia of seeking to upend European stability by threatening invasion of neighboring Ukraine, a former Soviet republic striving to join NATO and other Western institutions.
The European Union sources about 40 percent of its supply from Russia, and Washington and its European allies have been scouring global markets for alternative energy sources.
Qatar, a close US ally, has huge gas reserves and is the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas.
Psaki said Biden will also thank the emir for Qatar’s support to the United States in safely transporting US citizens, permanent residents and Afghan partners out of Afghanistan in the wake of the US withdrawal last year.
Qatar has played a significant role both in diplomacy and evacuations at the end of nearly 20 years of war in Afghanistan.


UN Security Council condemns Iraq terror attack, urges all nations to help seek justice

UN Security Council condemns Iraq terror attack, urges all nations to help seek justice
Updated 25 January 2022

UN Security Council condemns Iraq terror attack, urges all nations to help seek justice

UN Security Council condemns Iraq terror attack, urges all nations to help seek justice
  • At least 11 Iraqi soldiers were shot dead in their sleep on Friday by suspected Daesh gunmen

NEW YORK: The UN Security Council has unanimously condemned “in the strongest terms” a recent terrorist attack in Iraq’s Diyala Province, and called for all “perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism” to be brought to justice.
At dawn on Friday, Jan. 21, at least 11 Iraqi soldiers were shot dead in their sleep during an attack on their barracks by suspected Daesh gunmen, according to reports citing Iraqi security officials. It happened in the Al-Azim district, a mountainous area more than 70 miles north of the capital, Baghdad.
The Security Council urged all states to actively cooperate with the Iraqi Government in seeking to hold the perpetrators to account, in line with their obligations under international law and the council’s resolutions. It reiterated that terrorism is one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.
In a joint statement, council members reaffirmed that “any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.”
They highlighted the need for all states “to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.”
Council members also shared “their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the government of Iraq, and they wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured.”


Refusal of nations to repatriate children from Syria ‘beggars belief,’ says UN rights expert

Refusal of nations to repatriate children from Syria ‘beggars belief,’ says UN rights expert
Updated 25 January 2022

Refusal of nations to repatriate children from Syria ‘beggars belief,’ says UN rights expert

Refusal of nations to repatriate children from Syria ‘beggars belief,’ says UN rights expert
  • More than 700 child citizens of 57 countries, including France, Germany, the UK and the US, are detained at Al-Ghuwayran prison, which holds Daesh militants and their families
  • Fighting continues at the prison, where almost 300 detainees have been killed since a deadly jailbreak attempt by hundreds of Daesh insurgents began last week

NEW YORK: A UN human rights expert on Tuesday voiced serious concern for the well-being of more than 700 children incarcerated at Al-Ghuwayran prison, in Al-Hasakeh in northeast Syria, and called on all countries to repatriate their young citizens held in the country.
The prison was the scene of a deadly attempted jailbreak by hundreds of Daesh insurgents last week.
“Boys as young as 12 are living in fear for their lives amid the chaos and carnage in the jail,” said Fionnuala Ni Aolain, the UN’s special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism.
“They are tragically being neglected by their own countries through no fault of their own except they were born to individuals allegedly linked or associated with designated terrorist groups.
“The treatment of hundreds of boys who have been detained in grotesque prison conditions is an affront to the dignity of the child and the right of every child to be treated with dignity.”
Almost 300 detainees have been killed during days of fighting at Al-Ghuwayran, which began last Thursday with the detonation of two car bombs. Clashes are continuing at the prison, which holds more than 5,000 alleged Daesh militants from almost 60 countries. The insurgents had seized control of the children’s section of the facility.
Fighters from the opposition Syrian Democratic Forces are said to be closing in on the final section of prison still held by Daesh attackers, as the situation becomes increasingly worrying for inmates.
Humanitarian groups have renewed calls for all governments to repatriate their citizens from Syria.
“The abject refusal of states to repatriate their children is a contributory factor in the security and human rights morass that has ignited in Al-Hasakeh in recent days,” said Ni Aolain, who last year sent official letters to 57 governments of countries believed to have citizens in Syrian camps. They include France, Germany, the UK, Finland and the US.
The failure of governments to repatriate detained children, who are victims of terrorism and in need of protection under international law, “beggars belief,” Ni Aolain said.
“Many of these boys, forcibly separated from their mothers and family members in recent years, have been denied their most fundamental human rights their entire lives,” she added.
“They have been held arbitrarily and never participated in any legal process that would justify depriving them of their liberty, and in conditions that constitute torture, cruel and degrading treatment under international law.
“Treating boys as a distinct class, refusing to recognize in practice their rights as children, is a form of gender discrimination that has had horrific consequences for these children now caught up in the violent confrontation at Al-Hasakeh prison.”
Ni Aolain called on all states and other entities active in northeastern Syria to ensure that civilians are protected, and for those involved in regaining control of the prison to protect the children held there and prevent further harm coming to them.
Special rapporteurs are independent experts who serve in individual capacities, and on a voluntary basis, on the UN’s Human Rights Council. They are not members of UN staff and are not paid for their work.