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Saturday… Launching the activities of the third phase of the international project “Cultural Heritage in Cyberspace”

Inas Saad

Tomorrow, Saturday, the first activities of the third phase of the international project “Cultural Heritage in Cyberspace” will be launched, and the Cornerstones and Pillars Conference will be held

Under the patronage of the Minister of Culture, Dr. “Enas Abdel Dayem,” and with the participation of a group of international experts and academics from Egypt and Germany.

The conference will be inaugurated by Dr. Hisham Azmy, head of the Supreme Council of Culture, acting on behalf of the Minister of Culture, head of the Islamic Studies Department at Marburg University in Germany, Albrecht Voss, former Minister of Antiquities, Dr. Mamdouh Eldamaty, and director of the German Academic Exchange Service, Isabel Mering.
The conference is held to announce the international scientific project “Cultural Heritage in Cyberspace: Education, Preservation and Access,” which is being held within the framework of the Egyptian-German continuous cooperation that aims to promote progress. The project is implemented by the Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies at Philips University of Marburg, with cooperation agreements with major universities The Egyptian government and the concerned ministries are funded by the German Academic Exchange Service.

The project manager, “Albrecht Voss,” explained that the “Cultural Heritage in Cyberspace” project aims to establish strong cooperation with the Egyptian institutes of higher education and memory, and focuses on targeting the fields of Islamic and Arabic studies, Middle Eastern studies, oriental manuscripts, heritage studies, and digital humanities.
He added that the project works to promote informed development in quality research, continuous exchange of knowledge, preservation of cultural heritage and the creation of continuous progress in the areas of teaching and technical capabilities within the institutes targeted by the project.

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For her part, the international coordinator of the project and the Egyptian researcher in the history of political art and heritage preservation, Dr. “Hala Ghonim,” said that the project aims to build the first Egyptian-German digital library of oriental manuscripts and launch joint master’s programs in the fields of digitization of cultural heritage and information systems for heritage, as well as digital humanities.
She indicated that each stage of the project targets a specific type of heritage, including written or tangible heritage, such as the holdings of libraries and museums, antiquities and architecture, but also intangible cultural heritage such as folklore and music. There are specialists involved in archeology and museum sciences.

She indicated that the project’s meetings are scheduled to last for five days, and include discussions with senior officials in Egyptian universities, the Ministries of Culture and Communications, Cairo University, Ain Shams University, the Supreme Council of Culture, and the House of Books, and the development of effective mechanisms to enhance cooperation.

The event includes two sessions, the first of which includes key lectures on current relevant issues with senior officials on the topic of “Cultural Heritage in Cyberspace”, related projects, and recent trends in the relevant fields, and the second session focuses on setting up actual working groups to identify and implement academic digitization projects and actual.

The project includes three phases, all of which aim to inform participants, experts and researchers, of the latest findings of those responsible for curating library holdings and manuscript collections in Egypt and Germany of modern methods for digitizing, preserving and making these holdings available, and finding new ways to develop research programs, training, and developing an effective plan for joint cooperation for the years. next.

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The first phase of the project began in May 2019 with a visit by a high-level Egyptian delegation headed by the President of the Supreme Council of Culture, Dr. “Hisham Azmy” and a number of Egyptian university deans and professors, to many libraries, universities and manuscript collections in the Federal Republic of Germany, and concluded its activities with a celebration at the headquarters of the Egyptian Embassy in Germany under the auspices of Ambassador “Badr” Abdel-Aty” at that time.

A preliminary plan for cooperation was developed, and a workshop was held at the beginning of 2020 at the Dar al-Kutub headquarters in Cairo, in which representatives of German educational and academic institutions participated. made available to researchers.

Then coordination and development of future educational and technical exchange programs took place, which include scientific exchange programs for Egyptian tabla and researchers in German universities.
Last December, a project workshop entitled “Stages, Techniques and Programs of Digitization” was held via the Internet, in which a group of senior specialists from the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, Dr. From the Egyptian and German side, including the head of the Supreme Council of Culture, Dr. Hisham Azmy, the specialists from Dar Al-Kutub, and the head of the Islamic Studies Department at the University of Mabroge in Germany, which is implementing the project, Dr. “Albrecht Voss”.