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Around the world in 15 minutes

Sawy provides an annual exhibition to allow people to get to know other cultures

The many booths of participating countries that filled the River Hall of Sakia attracted a large crowd (Photo by Thoraia Abou Bakr)
The many booths of participating countries that filled the River Hall of Sakia attracted a large crowd
(Photo by Thoraia Abou Bakr)

The concept of discovering the world and travelling far and wide is appealing to many, and yet it is not always an easy feat to achieve, especially for Egyptians. With demanding visa applications, inflated prices of flights and the floundering power of the Egyptian pound in the face of other currencies, travelling is becoming harder and harder. Given the current economical situation, this will probably not change any soon and could even worsen. Yet, not all is lost. On Thursday, 27 February, Sawy Culture Wheel launched the 11th annual Sakia Exhibition for Cultural Services.

The brochure explains the purpose of the exhibition as follows: “Culture is embedded in all human beings, in our mind, body and our collective memory. Culture is defined by everything from language to music, art, food, literature, fashion, humour, love and friendship. It is the seed of a society, the web that keeps us connected, the foundation of our roots and the nature of our existence. It is our footprint and our mark in history. It is an ideal that is generated, transmitted and developed over time. The 11th Sakia Exhibition for Cultural Services is where we gather different countries of the world for the sole purpose of giving you the opportunity to discover some of the most fascinating cultures of the world.”

The one-day fair offers Egyptians a chance to get to know other cultures, attend concerts and get souvenirs from all the participating countries. The fair was quite a success as the River Hall was packed with people trying to get to this or that booth while being serenaded by a band on stage.

Participating counties included Indonesia, Palestine, Pakistan, Latvia and Iran, among others. The Japanese booth was quite popular as it featured a calligrapher who wrote people’s names in Japanese. Oman’s booth was also popular as it offered visitors food. Politics also seemed to play a role in the exhibition, evidenced by the Turkish booth being disregarded by most. However, most booths had crowds of people clamouring to get to brochures and souvenirs offered.

When we arrived, the Hungarian New Age Ensemble was playing classical music from Hungary, which made for a nice ambience as we went through the fair. Other events included a fashion show from Pakistan and a traditional dancing show from Ghana as well as a movie screening from Serbia.

Overall the day was a big success, with many visitors exploring the different details of culture, getting a second-hand look now that a firsthand one is, for many, unobtainable.

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