The European Union Delegation to Egypt

Highlighting contemporary lifestyle in Egypt through photos

14/12/2018 - 13:41

The European Union (EU) in Egypt honoured the winners of its 11th annual photography competition entitled "Description of Modern Egypt" in a ceremony on 13 December at Bayt Al-Sinnari, organised in cooperation with Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA). Mr. Ivan Surkoš, Ambassador of the EU to Egypt, and Dr. Khaled Azab, Head of the BA Central Projects and Services Sector, attended the ceremony and inaugurated an exhibition showcasing the best 30 photos, which will be open to public until 19 December.

1st Winner, Mohamed Wardany Mostafa

This year's edition witnessed participation from 197 photographers, submitting more than 530 photos. The theme aimed at recording the Egyptians’ lifestyle during the 21st century as part of the celebration of the 210th anniversary of the publication of "Description de l'Égypte" (Description of Egypt) by "Institut d’Égypte" in 1809. The book documented and encompassed cultural, environmental and geographical aspects of life in Egypt at the time, and is considered among the most important historical studies in the history of modern Egypt.

In his remarks at the ceremony, Ambassador Surkoš said that "the photos succeeded in highlighting the contemporary lifestyle in Egypt from different perspectives by portraying the diversity of Egyptian people or outlining the nature of contemporary jobs, handicrafts, means of transportation, and relationships among family members." "These photos will constitute a part of our attempt to record Egypt’s visual memory, which will be held as a witness of the Egyptians’ life in our current time," he added.

The EU Ambassador thanked the BA for hosting the event and the exhibition at Bayt Al-Sinnari, which was the residence for several members of Egypt’s Sciences and Arts Committee "Institut d’Égypte" who produced the valuable paintings published in "Description de l'Égypte".

The top three winners Mr. Mohamed Wardany Mostafa, Mr. Ali Raafat Ali Mahlies and Mr. Mohamed Mostafa Reyad Saleh received their preference of photography equipment. The top 30 photographers received certificates of appreciation and a catalogue featuring their work. Moreover, top 12 photos were printed in a desk calendar for 2019 issued by the EU in Egypt.

"The history of cooperation between Egypt and the EU is prosperous with many common achievements. Egypt is rich in its cultural heritage, and that's why the EU has funded several projects to support preserving it," said Mr. Surkoš. "For example, we launched a project that aims at reviving the Shali Fortress in Siwa. We also participated in funding the initiative of renovating the Egyptian Museum of Tahrir Square."

The judges for this year's competition are Mr. Ashraf Talaat, Ms. Shaima Alaa and Mr. Mostafa Darwish. Mr. Talaat is a fellow of The Royal Photographic Society (FRPS). He works as a professional photographer for National Geographic magazine. His work has been exhibited in many countries. He won several awards, among them the photographer of the year at Venice International Photo Contest 2005. Ms. Alaa is a professional artist and photographer. She has participated in several competitions and exhibitions and won various awards, including the Grand Prize in AL Sharjah Photography Contest in 2014. Mr. Darwish is a photojournalist. He received several awards and was among the top three winners in the EU Photography Competition in 2014. Currently, he is working as a freelance photographer with several international news agencies, such as the Associated Press.

2nd Winner, Ali Raafat Ali Mahlies
2nd Winner, Ali Raafat Ali Mahlies

3rd Winner, Mohamed Mostafa Reyad Saleh
3rd Winner, Mohamed Mostafa Reyad Saleh

Group photo of top 30 photographers with Ambassador Surkos
Group photo of top 30 photographers with Ambassador Surkos
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