Egypt and Tunisia Know the history of cultural relations between the two countries?

Tunisian President Kais Said is visiting Egypt, in one of the important visits that everyone celebrates at the official and popular levels. The Egyptian-Tunisian relations are distinguished by their ancient roots and the diversity of their fields, given that the two countries have one history that unites them, especially in the Arab and Islamic cultures.

The relationship between Egypt and Tunisia is a relationship with an extended and deep historical heritage, as the Egyptian-Tunisian cultural participants are very close, if not identical in some issues. Both countries are united by the North African region and the Mediterranean civilization, as well as by the Arabic language and the diverse and accumulating cultural and civilizational identities. They are also united by the aspirations of the two peoples for a “decent life .. free and fair”, and they both fall under almost the same political-economic pressures.

According to the official website of the State Information Service, geographically, Egypt was the main crossing point for the movement of pilgrims from Tunisia and the Maghreb countries, and this resulted in human interaction and cultural exchange between these pilgrims and the Egyptian people, and historical writings refer to the migration of the tribes of “Bani Hilal” and Bani Salim to Tunisia. This generated a literary trace of one of the oldest popular biographies, known in Tunisia as the “Hilal Jaziya”, and in Egypt as the “Sira al-Hilaliyyah”.

One of the most prominent examples of the depth of cultural relations is the presence of the scholar Abd al-Rahman ibn Khaldun in Egypt. Where he assumed the position of judge of the Maliki judges in Cairo.

In the same context, a number of Tunisian creative people and intellectuals moved to Egypt, and some Egyptians to Tunisia. Some of these were pioneers in their fields or prominent innovators. Among them we mention Bayram al-Tunisi, the true founder of modern Egyptian vernacular poetry, as well as his role in developing the Egyptian and Arabic song that “Umm Kulthum” sang, and a number of Egyptian singers and singers. During the current period, some Tunisian artists, actors and directors have become famous in Egyptian cinema, or in Egyptian drama. Such as artist Hend Sabry, Dora Rizk, Zafer Al-Abidin, Latifa, Feryal Youssef, director Shawky Al-Majri, and many others.

Among the scholars, Egypt received Sheikh Mohamed Al-Khidr, a Tunisian born, and the sheikh of Al-Azhar, during the period from 1952-1954; Egypt granted him its nationality, assumed the highest religious positions, and chose him among the first generation of the founders of the Arabic Language Academy, and appointed him a professor at the College of Fundamentals of Religion.

During recent decades and in the current period, Egypt is keen to participate in Tunisian artistic and cultural festivals, such as the Carthage Film Festival and the Tunisian International Book Fair.

Among the most prominent facts of the Egyptian-Tunisian cultural relations are the following:

In December 2020, Egypt participated in the 31st edition of the Carthage Festival, and the artist Abdel Aziz Makhyoun was honored for his entire work.

In December 2019, Egypt received the torch for the inauguration of Cairo as the capital of Islamic culture for the year 2020, succeeding the Tunisian capital, in the celebration held by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) in the City of Culture in Tunis.

In September 2019, Tunisia participated in the third edition of the El Gouna Film Festival, with two films; They are the documentary film “Africa Camera” by Farid Boughadir, and the feature film “Noura Dreams” by Hind Boujemaa.

In 2019, Egypt participated in the 30th edition of the Carthage Festival with the film “Habib” by Shady Fouad and the film “With the knowledge of arrival” by director Hisham Saqr.

In 2016, Egypt participated in the Carthage Days Theater Festival with three theatrical performances; It is the play “Zay Al-Nas” by Hany Afifi, “Ya Sam” by director Sherine Hegazy, and another Egyptian show of street theater.

In January 2012, Tunisia was the guest of honor at the forty-third Cairo International Book Fair in the fairgrounds in Nasr City.

In April 2010, the Egyptian Modern Dancing Troupe of the Opera House participated in the International Festival of Contemporary Dance in Tunisia with a presentation of “The Story of the Virgin Butterfly” about Egyptian cinema.

In November 2009, Egypt participated in the activities of the Egyptian Cultural Week in the city of Kairouan on the occasion of its celebrations as the capital of Islamic culture 2009.
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