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About History, Culture and Food… A Few Words with His Excellency, The Ambassador of Egypt

Creative Romania would like to offer our readers the same wonderful experience that our team had listening to His Excellency Salah Eldin Abdel Sadek Ahmed, the Ambassador of Egypt to Romania. His Excellency is definitely a story teller and a great narrator of history. We are more then grateful for the opportunity given to us for this extraordinary interview. Mr. Salah offered us lessons in life, philosophy, as well as historical facts that show how closely our two countries are linked together.

 

Your Excellency, I would like to start by extending our welcome to you and your honorable country’s presence in Romania. Having familiarized yourself with Romania, it’s culture and commerce amongst other things, what similarities do you see between our two nations and what are some of the collaborations that the two are engaged in?

The similarities between our two nations are the multi-cultural assets. [Egypt and Romania] are two mixed race countries. So when you say similarities, you have to be proud that you are a mix of multicultural civilization, because you always renew yourself. I believe [that] we have this in common. We are warm hearted, warm acceptance countries. Multicultural civilizations, it’s what gives us strength.

In Egypt, there are many things to see considering that it has one of the oldest civilizations. Can you tell us about some of the most important tourist attractions in your country?

I will tell you a story: 1500 years ago, one of the Kings of Romania, [the] King of Valhi, sent Romanian knights to protect end serve Saint Catherine’s Monastery in Mount Sinai. They went with their families, stayed there and never returned. These days, the Egyptian tribe called [the] Jebeliya come from Romanian blood, Romanian roots, according to Oxford University UK. Up to this moment, the people from the Jebeliya Tribe have built their houses, places where they put [their] animals the same way like in Romania, plus they have the same traditions like the Romanians. It’s an academic research, so you see… [this is] part of your question, speaking about the Egyptian and Romanian history. I believe if you forget your past, you’re lost in the future. [The] past determines what’s coming. I suggest to the tourists, go and visit Abydos.

What are some of the traditional celebrations of Egypt? Also can you please tell us about your food culture and traditional dishes?

Do you like ‘sarmale’? It’s one of our [most] common food. Your food, Romanian traditional food is heavy and rich, ours is the same. Also, what I can say is that we are the biggest consumers of wheat. About traditions, it’s difficult, because we are a mix-cultural country, so we have loads of traditions in food, culture and in meeting people. We have a saying and I am translating in English: “meet me, don’t feed me”, it’s more important to us how you meet me, then how you feed me, because this is what sticks to people’s minds. Not food, it’s education and health.

Ambassador, we would like to thank you for your hospitality in welcoming us for this interview.

We want to complete this beautiful experience by telling our audience that before the interview started, His Excellency offered us a cup of coffee and a glass of water; he then explained to us that in Egyptian tradition, the offer of the glass of water, is the gift of life.

Interview by: Cristina Vasile

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