Prokopios Pavlopoulos, President of the Hellenic Republic, met with Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador and Founder of the Centre for Hellenistic Studies at the Library of Alexandria, and Mostafa El Feki, Director of the Library and Chairman of the Board of the Centre for Hellenistic Studies, at the Presidential Mansion on Tuesday 27 August 2019.
Mrs. Vardinoyannis and Dr El Feki briefed the President of the Hellenic Republic on the operation of the “Alexandria Centre for Hellenistic Studies” which was founded in 2008 at the initiative of Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, in order to allow young people from all over the world to study the achievements of Hellenistic Alexandria.
“I welcome you to the Presidency of the Hellenic Republic. For us Greeks, the New Library of Alexandria constitutes an extension and symbolises the spirit of the iconic Old Library of Alexandria. When the other Pharos of Alexandria existed, a global beacon of Intellect and Civilisation for that era. Under these circumstances, the New Library of Alexandria can and must contribute to the path of Global Civilisation, particularly as a “hub” for intercultural dialogue. And everyone understands that this Dialogue is necessary in these troubles’ times, especially in support of Human rights for Peace, Democracy and Justice. In addition, in your capacity as Chairman of the Board of the Centre for Hellenistic Studies at the Library of Alexandria, I want to reassure you of the tremendous significance that this Centre has for Greece. At this point, yet again, I would like to praise the work of my dear friend Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, Founder of the Centre. Dear Marianna, we are all proud of the “Alexandria Centre for Hellenistic Studies”, this extraordinary creation which now constitutes a valuable asset of the Greek Spirit and Greek Culture,” said the President of the Hellenic Republic at the meeting, who also congratulated Mrs. Vardinoyannis on her recent appointment as Honorary President of the “Alexandria Centre for Hellenistic Studies”.
Dr Mostafa El Feki stressed: “Dear President, we are extremely grateful to you for welcoming us. I am here in two capacities, that of Director of the Library of Alexandria, but also as the Chairman of the Board of the Centre for Hellenistic Studies. We truly feel that the conditions here are very good for us. Greece is the country that is closer to Egypt than any other, both from a cultural and geographical standpoint. We would like to sincerely thank you, particularly for our close collaboration, under the auspices of Mrs Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, who has truly helped us. In the context of this international collaboration, we have done a lot at our Centre and we hope that the reorganisation of Alexandria, which has been started by our country’s President, will be completed. That said, there are thoughts of occupying a Mansion, a palace, the Villa of Antoniadis, which was built in Alexandria over 100 years ago and which may become the headquarters of the Centre for Intercultural Dialogue. If this is achieved, Greece and Egypt will be the two pillars of this dialogue. Indeed, in the coming week, a meeting will be held between government officials and provincial officials (of Alexandria) who will discuss how the spirit of Greece can be activated even more, because you should know that Greece is always extremely welcome in our country; we all recall what the Greek people have offered our country and what they have done for us. And of course I would like to thank Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis for her work, and for her exceptional collaboration. She is always by our side and we believe that she is an avid supporter of Greece, Egypt and humanity. She has dedicated her life to the noble cause of promoting civilisation and international collaborations. We feel she is an amazing friend and a guardian angel between the two nations”.
“As a Greek woman and as a citizen of the world, I
am proud of the mark that Hellenistic Alexandria has made on the history
of humanity. I am particularly honoured
and happy with the fact that through the ‘Alexandria Centre for Hellenistic
Studies’ my family was able to contribute in order for young people from
all over the world to be able to study the achievements of Hellenistic
Alexandria and for this amazing part of Ancient Greek Civilisation to
become better known throughout the world. Our Foundation founded the ‘Alexandria
Centre for Hellenistic Studies’ in 2008 further to the request that I made
to the Chairman and Members of the Board of the Library of Alexandria,
in which I have participated since 1998.
The Centre is attended by students from all over the world, Egypt, Europe, the Middle East, who are able to obtain a Bachelor and Master’s Degree and from this year will be able to obtain their Doctoral Degree.
In the last 5 years, 91 students studied at the Centre, while we have organised various events that further strengthen the ties between Greece and Egypt. The most recent event was the Centre’s 10-year anniversary, which was held in the Athens Academy’s Events Venue last December with the presentation of the Volume of the Hellenistic Conference that we had organised earlier on. The Centre’s 10th anniversary will be celebrated in Egypt on Monday 21 October 2019 and will be attended by international personalities. That said, Mr President, we would like to invite you to this event. Your presence would be an honour for us and it would be a way for us to thank you for your collaboration.When I go to Alexandria or Cairo, I truly feel like I am at home”, stated Mrs. Vardinoyannis.
It is worth mentioning that the Board Members of the “Alexandria Centre for Hellenistic Studies” of the Library of Alexandria convened in Athens on Monday, 26 August. During the meeting, in the presence of Dr Mostafa El Feki, Director of the Library of Alexandria and Mr Mohamed Farid Monib, Ambassador of Egypt, an overview was presented of the work that has been carried out so far, and plans were made for the next steps and the Centre’s goals for the upcoming period.