Egypt has completed the construction of a New Suez Canal and scheduled to host a grand inauguration ceremony on Aug. 6 this year, which is expected to be attended by the leaders of many countries of the world as ‘leaders from all corners of the world’ have been invited to the dedication ceremony.
This was disclosed at a luncheon reception hosted by Ambassador Dr. Hany Selim Labib of the Arab Republic of Egypt and Madam at their residence in Hannam-dong, Seoul on July 23, 2015 to celebrate the 63rd anniversary of the National Day of Egypt.
Ambassador Labib said: “The New Suez Canal, along with the preceding one, will increase the average number of vessels passing through it from forty-nine per day to ninety-seven. It will minimize passing time from eleven hours to just three. And Egypt’s participation in international trade is expected to increase from twelve percent to twenty.” (See excerpts from the speech at the end of this Article.)
Many distinguished guests attended the party from all walks of life, especially the government and business community as well as the Seoul Diplomatic Corps.
Among the Korean guests were Deputy Minister Lee Sang-kyu Performance Evaluation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chairman Chung Yong-chil of Korea-Arab Society and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post with Honorary Editorial Writer Madam Kim Eun-suk who heads the Support Center for Migrant Women of Global Sarang Namnum (Love-sharing charity and welfare organization), who looks after immigrant women needing help. The organization spends some 30 billion won (US$26 million) a year in providing support and assistance for the needy people around the world as well as those in Korea.
From the diplomatic community came many mission chiefs with their spouses, who included Ambassadors Albino Malungo of Angola, Jorge Roballo of Argentina, Ramzi Teymurov of Azerbaijan, Guadalupe Palomeque de Taboada of Bolivia, Suth Dina of Cambodia, Hernan Brantes Glavic of Chile, Tito Saul Pinilla Pinilla of Colombia, Sylvestre Kouassi Bile of Cote d'Ivoire, Tomas Husak of Czech Republic, Grecia Fiodalicia Pichardo of Dominican Republic, Oscar Gustavo Herrera Gilbert of Ecuador, Dibaba Abdetta (Dr.) of Ethiopia, Filimone Kau of Republic of Fiji, Carlos Victor Boungou of Gabon, Rolf Mafael of Germany, Nikoloz Apkhazava of Georgia, Dionisios Sourvanos of Greece, Gustavo Adolfo Lopez Calderon of Guatemala, Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla of Holy See, Hassan Taherian of Iran, Mohamed Abdi Gello of Kenya, Dato Rohana binti Ramli of Malaysia, Mohammed Chraibi of Morocco, Zahid Nasrulah Khan of Pakistan, Ceferino Adrian Valdez Peralta of Paraguay, Calin Fabian of Romania, Zoran Kazazovic of Serbia, Nozuko Gloria Bam of South Africa, Mohamad Abdelaal of Sudan, Mohamed Ali Nafti of Tunisia, Vasyl Marmazov of Ukraine, Abdulla Khalfan Alromaithi of the United Arab Emirates, Dr. Alba Florio Legnani of Uruguay and Botirjon Asadov of Uzbekistan.
It was also a good occasion to gain a glimpse into the culture and art of Egypt from the sculptural works and photographs on display on the walls of the reception room standing in places at the venue, including that of Pharaoh.
And, of course, it provided a rare chance to sample genuine traditional Egyptian delicacies as the buffet luncheon table was laden with plenty of mouth-watering traditional Egyptian food and beverage.
Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Labib:
Sixty-three years ago, Egypt entered its second phase of modernity. The 1952 Revolution emancipated the nation from foreign occupation, corrupt monarchy, and social injustice, and a new state was born--a state seeking development through industrialization and fair distribution of income and wealth.
I welcome you all to this occasion celebrating the sixty-third anniversary of the great revolution. The spirit of the revolution lives on, inspiring Egypt’s journey towards sustainable development, all the while still heeding the nation’s responsibility as a pivotal regional actor, an important international actor, and a pillar of peace and security.
However, Egypt faces difficulties presented by an immense terrorist campaign, which threatens not only the land of the Nile but also the rest of the world.
Despite the struggle, the State has declared that not a single drop of blood shed in the name of black terrorism goes unavenged.
The Egyptian army will keep taking action until terrorism is no more.
In light of recent military operations, as it happens, it seems the realization of this dream is already near.
This year, Egypt will celebrate its 63rd National Day with a special event.
The first nation-state in the history of mankind--home to the descendants of those who built the Great Pyramids thousands of years ago--will continue to enrich the world. For, on August 6th, Egypt will inaugurate the New Suez Canal.
After only a year of excavation, the New Suez Canal, along with the preceding canal, will increase the average number of vessels passing through from forty-nine per day to ninety-seven. It will minimize passing time from eleven hours to just three.
And Egypt’s participation in international trade is expected to increase from twelve percent to twenty.
Leaders from all corners of the world have been invited to share with Egypt this historic occasion, with President Park being among the first.
Should Her Excellency President Park be able to honor us with her presence, the event would not be her first or last encounter with Egypt.
At the most recent United Nations General Assembly session, President Park and President El-Sisi exchanged greetings and invitations.
President El-Sisi hopes to visit the Republic of Korea before the end of this year, and the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs will visit Seoul this October.
Mutual visits as such--as well as events similar to this--express Egypt’s enthusiasm in establishing a strong, viable, political and economic partnership with the Republic of Korea.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I once again welcome you to this celebration. And I beg your pardon for the limited space. However, as the Egyptian proverb goes, love has plenty of space. Today, we welcome you with a love by which you may feel as though space is doubled or even tripled, depending on how much you share it.
이경식 기자 firstname.lastname@example.org
<저작권자 © 코리아포스트, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>