Egypt’s Most Exciting Events in 2020-2021
By Jailan Dahab
We can do exciting things even in our darkest moments! Egypt, like the rest of the world,
has had its low points over the last two years, but it has also had its high points. Here is a list of spectacular events that took place in Egypt in 2020 and 2021.
Eliahu Hanavi Synagogue
The two-story Eliahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria was reopened on January 10, 2020, after a three-year renovation and rehabilitation. The restoration of Egypt’s oldest Jewish religious site, which was built in 1881 after the Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church donated a plot of land for its construction, demonstrates Egypt’s desire to preserve its religious and civilizational heritage. According to the American magazine “Engineering News – Record,” the project for the restoration and documentation of the Jewish Synagogue “Eliyahu Hanavi in Alexandria” won the award for Best International Project, Renovation/Restoration in the 9th edition of the international competition for the year 2021.
Baron Empain Palace
The Baron Empain palace, which is located in Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt, was inaugurated in June 2020, following the completion of its renovations over two years. It was established by the Belgian businessman Edward Joseph Empain in the early 20th century.
Royal Mummies Parade
On April 3, 2021, Egypt surprised the world with the most fascinating parade ever that’s dubbed “the Pharaohs’ Golden Parade”. It has transported 22 of its ancient royal mummies, including Ramses II who ruled Egypt in the 13th century BC for 67 years and Queen Hatshepsut who was the second female Pharaoh in ancient Egypt, from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir square to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Al-Fustat. The parade started with the ruler Seqenenre Taa II of the 17th Dynasty and ended with Ramses IX who ruled Egypt in the 12th century BC.
Cairo International Art District (CIAD)
The Cairo International Art District that took place from September 15, 2021, till October 27, 2021, was a novel event of its kind in Egypt. It was the first time to devote up to 12 spaces in Downtown Cairo, such as Kodak Passage, Access Art Space, Cinema Radio, and The Factory to embrace independent projects and host group exhibitions. The artistic works of a group of esteemed artists from Egypt, UK, USA, the Netherlands, Brazil, France, Greece, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Sudan, and Germany were displayed in this event. In parallel with showcasing the arts of the artists, the event hosted many public lectures, discussions, and workshops at the premises of Rawabet Space.
Forever Is Now
The Forever is Now exhibition, which took place from October 21, 2021, to November 17, 2021, was the first contemporary art exhibition at the Pyramids of Giza, with participation from the Prime Minister of Albania, the Royal Family of Luxembourg, Christian Dior’s CEO, Pietro Beccari, Pharrell Williams, Fatma Saeed, and Darren Aronofsky. It is the first of its kind since modern and contemporary artists such as JR, Alexander Ponomarev, Moataz Nasr, Stephen Cox, Sherin Guirguis, Lorenzo Quinn, Gisela Colon, and others were able to showcase their works at Egypt’s most historic site, creating a marvelous blend of ancient heritage, culture, and contemporary art.
Avenue of the Sphinxes
The ancient Avenue of the Sphinxes, the Path of the Gods, Rams Road, or the King’s Festivities Road that dates back to 3400 years was reopened in a spectacular parade on the November 25, 2021, with the participation of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and prominent figures from around the world. Besides modern and ancient musical performances and chants, the opening ceremony featured the displaying of a documentary film about this site and a simulation (replication) of the autumn festival “Opet”, one of the ancient festivals and celebrations to celebrate both the River Nile and fertility in the presence of ancient kings.