The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall Arrive in Egypt

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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to the Great Sphinx of Giza, on the third day of their tour of the Middle East. November, 2021.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to the Great Sphinx of Giza, on the third day of their tour of the Middle East. November, 2021.

THE PRINCE OF WALES AND THE DUCHESS OF CORNWALL VISIT THE HASHEMITE KINGDOM OF JORDAN AND THE ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT 

 Cairo, Giza

 Thursday, 18th November

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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will arrive at Cairo Airport from Jordan 

Their Royal Highnesses will be greeted by Gareth Bayley OBE, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Egypt, and his wife, Sara Fawcett. 

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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will arrive at Al-Ittahadiya Palace for a formal welcome with President Sisi and First Lady Entissar Amer 

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will meet the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and the First Lady, Entissar Amer, at Al-Ittahadiya Palace. There will be a formal photograph inside the main hall. The Prince of Wales and President Sisi will proceed to the Presidential meeting room for a private bilateral meeting.

Al-Ittihadiya Palace, also known as Al-Orouba Palace, is the official workplace of the Egyptian President. It is in Heliopolis, in north-east Cairo. The Palace was built by a French company and opened as The Grand Heliopolis Palace Hotel in 1910. It was designed by Belgian architect Ernest Jaspar, who introduced the ‘Heliopolis style’ of architecture, a synthesis of Persian, Moorish Revival, Islamic, and Neoclassical influences. During both World Wars it was used as a hospital for British Empire soldiers. President Mubarak restored it as a Presidential Palace in the 1980s. 

At the COP26 Summit, at the beginning of November, Egypt was formally appointed as COP27 ‘President designate’, taking over from the UK’s Presidency of COP26. President Sisi attended the World Leaders Summit, speaking on 1st November alongside other world leaders about the challenges and responsibilities ahead. 

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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit Al Azhar Mosque

Their Royal Highnesses will meet the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Mosque, Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb, accompanied by the Archbishop of the Anglican Province of Alexandria, Dr Samy Fawzy, and will take a photograph in the central courtyard. 

Al Azhar Mosque is one of the oldest Islamic buildings in the world. Their Royal Highnesses last visited Al-Azhar in 2006, when The Prince of Wales received an honorary doctorate from Al-Azhar University, the foremost Islamic institution in the Sunni Muslim world. 

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The Prince of Wales will attend an interfaith reception at Al Azhar Mosque

The Prince of Wales, accompanied by the Grand Imam and the Archbishop, will proceed to the Abassa room for a discussion on religion and climate change, before being joined by six Al-Azhar scholars. His Royal Highness will then proceed to the Large Prayer Hall to meet current students. 

The British Council’s Al-Azhar UK Academic Scholarship scheme began in 2015. It is championed by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Its aim is to promote mutual understanding among a new generation of Muslim and non-Muslim scholars. The Azhar scholars pursue degrees in Islamic studies at British universities before returning to Al-Azhar University to work as faculty members, drawing on the skills and experience gained through their studies in the UK. There are currently nine scholars studying PhDs or Masters at top-ranked UK universities. The first scholar graduated from SOAS university in 2020. 

The Prince of Wales is a Patron of the scheme and hosted six students from the programme in March 2018 at Clarence House. Two of these students (Ms Mariam Shehata, Mr Muhammed Al-Marakby) will be present at the Q&A session. 

The British Council’s English for Interfaith Dialogue programme at Al-Azhar University supports interfaith and intercultural dialogue through the teaching of English and leadership and cultural understanding skills. The British Council works with the teachers and students to develop a curriculum that focuses on thought-provoking discussions around identity, diversity and critical thinking. 

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The Duchess of Cornwall will visit Ezbet Khairallah

The Duchess of Cornwall will meet Ruth Cocks, Deputy Director of the British Council in Egypt, and Abdelfattah Nada, Project Lead and Volunteer. Her Royal Highness will then join a rooftop gathering and meet a group of women from Button Up, before viewing eco-friendly products made in the community. The Duchess will discuss a planting initiative with young community leaders and will then pot a plant herself. Finally, Her Royal Highness will watch a short performance by a group of women storytellers.

Ezbet Kheirallah is a low-income settlement established in the mid-1970s when immigrants from Upper Egypt and Delta cities came to Cairo looking for work. The British Council started work with the Ezbet Kheirallah community in 2017 through the Active Citizens programme, a youth social leadership training programme that promotes intercultural dialogue and community-led social development. 

The British Council started work with the Ezbet Kheirallah community in 2017 through its Active Citizens programme. Active Citizens is a youth social leadership training programme that promotes intercultural dialogue and community-led social development. As part of the programme (which included a study visit to the UK) Abdelfattah Nada developed a community initiative called El Ezbah 2025, into “Button Up” – a social enterprise working with women and children. Button Up’s work focuses on women’s economic empowerment, parenting and physiological awareness, literacy, reducing school drop-out rates and citizenship. It is all done through the prism of preserving the environment. Button Up works with 95 volunteers and has over 4000 beneficiaries. 

The women’s storytelling performance is the result of a collaboration between two Active Citizens community initiatives. Using an ‘arts-based’ approach, 15 women aged 20-60 from Ezbet Kheirallah have learnt how to use storytelling to reflect on the challenges they have faced and explain how they have overcome these situations. 

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The Prince of Wales will visit Beit al-Razzaz traditional crafts workshop

The Prince of Wales will meet Elizabeth White, British Council Egypt Director, at the Aqsunqur Mosque, before walking to Beit al-Razzazz and meeting Dr. Omniya Abdel Barr, Head of Development at the Egyptian Heritage Rescue Foundation (EHRF), and Abdelhamid El Sherif, Chairman of EHRF. His Royal Highness will view a small exhibition of EHRF’s conservation work, and will then meet craftspeople and students of The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts. The Prince will then meet Amm Hasan, Master Carpenter, whose woodwork he will view.

Beit al-Razzazz (House of Rice) sits in the heart of medieval Cairo. It dates from the Mamluk era. 

EHRF are cultural heritage experts passionate about preservation. They have been working on a project to document and preserve the Mamluk Minbars of Cairo (funded by the UK through a ‘Cultural Protection Fund’). 

The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts was launched in 2009 and is a major educational institute teaching young Egyptians skills in the traditional arts – Islamic geometry, drawing, colour harmony and arabesque studies, as well as specialised training in ceramics, glass and gypsum, metalwork and woodwork. 

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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx of Giza

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will meet Dr. Khaled el Anani, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, and Dr. Zahi Hawass, Archaeologist, Egyptologist and former Minister for Antiquities, at the base of the Great Pyramid (Khufu). Their Royal Highnesses will tour the outside of the pyramid with Dr. Hawass, with a photograph opportunity at the tunnel entrance, and will then proceed to tour the Sphinx. 

Both the Great Pyramid and the Great Sphinx date to c.2600 BC. The Pyramid is the oldest in Giza and the largest in Egypt, and stood at 146m high when it was completed. 

Known in Arabic as Abu Al Hol (Father of Terror), the sculpture of a man with the haunches of a lion was dubbed the Sphinx by the ancient Greeks because it resembled their mythical winged monster who set riddles and killed anyone unable to answer them. A geological survey has shown that it was most likely carved from the bedrock at the bottom of the causeway during Khafre’s reign, so it probably portrays his features. 

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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will attend a UK-Egypt reception at 9 Pyramids Lounge 

Their Royal Highnesses will be greeted by Dr. Khaled Al Anani, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, before proceeding into the reception where The Prince of Wales will give a speech. Their Royal Highnesses will then speak to the guests. 

9 Pyramids Lounge is the first phase of a $19m project to develop the Giza complex. Located on the southern side of the Giza plateau overlooking the pyramids, 9 Pyramids Lounge operates as a restaurant offering a unique dining experience for tourists, as well as serving as a private venue for events. 

The guests will represent a cross section of Egyptian society, including Egyptian government ministers and officials, the private sector, military, film and media, and other partners with links to the British Embassy.