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Speech by SHA at MOU signing ceremony


Following is a speech by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho, at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Cooperation between Hong Kong and Egypt today (January 19) (English only):

The Honorable Consul General,

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

This is a great day for both Hong Kong and Egypt as we have taken an important step to strengthen our cooperation in the fields of culture, the arts and education. As we all know, Egypt and China are among the world's four ancient civilisations blessed with rich and marvelous cultural heritage. That provides a sound foundation for our cultural exchanges. Indeed, cultural exchanges between China and Egypt can be dated back to around 1,200 years ago. What about modern Egypt and urban Hong Kong? I note with interest the subtle resemblance between the two places - both are open and receptive towards other cultures. This provides another level of significance for the signing of the memorandum.

Some may not be familiar with modern Egyptian culture. Indeed, there have always been cultural exchanges between the two peoples. Just in the past two years, Hong Kong people have had the chance to enjoy performances by an Egyptian folk dance troupe, a watercolour and photograph exhibition showing scenes of Egypt, and showing of Egyptian films. While scholars from Egypt visited Hong Kong to give lectures, Hong Kong students also organised study tours to Egypt. In the future, we'll explore the possibilities of fostering cooperation in such areas as an exhibition on Egyptian art and an Egyptian Film Festival in Hong Kong, display of Hong Kong's museum collections in Egypt, and music exchange programmes. I am sure these programmes will further enhance our understanding and knowledge of Egypt.

I look forward to the furtherance of cultural exchange between Egypt and Hong Kong. Thank you.

Ends/Monday, January 19, 2004


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