Ali points to attempts to establish dialogue between thinkers in Egypt, France
Renowned writer, Abdelrahim Ali, who is the Chairman of the Board of Directors and Editors of al-Bawaba News and the Centre for Middle East Studies in Paris (CEMO), described Friday the return of Ramses II to France after more than half a century as a 'golden opportunity' for the restoration of close relations between Egypt and France.
"There are reasons that cannot be mentioned here, because we are looking for what brings us closer and what we can cooperate on, not what divides us," Ali said during the seminar 'Egypt … Dawn of Conscience' which is organized by CEMO.
Held at the ancient French Le Creon hotel, which overlooks an ancient Egyptian obelisk, the seminar is organized on the margins of the opening of the Ramses II Exhibition at the Grand Halle de la Villette. The exhibition will last for five months.
Attending the event is a host of dignitaries, including Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Ahmed Essa, leading Egyptologist, Zahi Hawass, and Egypt's Ambassador to France, Alaa Youssef.
A host of chief editors of French newspapers attend the seminar, along with several French MPs, senior politicians and Egyptologists.
Ali said perhaps the initiative taken by a number of French and Egyptian writers and politicians in Cairo a few weeks ago to open the door for people dialogue is a sign of a new and in-depth people-to-people dialogue between thinkers and public opinion-makers in the two countries.
"This will be the key to understanding things that were not very clear in the past years," Ali said.
Egyptians, he said, have their own experiences in confronting terrorism, extremist ideas and political Islam groups.
"France desperately needs these experiences, and the whole West needs them, just as we need the experiences of France and the West in building modern democratic and liberal societies," the CEMO director said.
He pointed out that participation in the seminar is based on affirmation by French scholar, Jacques Berque, of the importance of the history of Egypt and France.
Each of the two countries, Ali said, has its own values and civilization, things with which they can benefit each other.