World Refugee Day 2005: Egypt

World Refugee Day, 20 June 2005

  • On 19 May a day of activities was organized with the Egyptian Comboni School. Twenty-five refugee girls participated, together with 50 Egyptian girls from the school. Each group put on a show of traditional dances and songs, and took part in games that followed. The day was a great success in breaking the ice between the two communities. Refugee and Egyptian girls were on the same teams cheering each other on throughout the games.
  • An art competition was held between five refugee learning centres over a period of two months. More than 70 children participated and produced over 100 paintings. The best 13 will be used in UNHCR's Arabic calendar for 2006. Townhouse Gallery, one of the most popular art galleries in Egypt, exhibited the paintings for free as part of their support for the refugee cause. UNHCR's Goodwill Ambassador Adel Imam inaugurated the exhibition on 14 June, an event that was covered by local and regional media. The young refugee artists walked through the exhibition with Imam, explaining their drawings to him. Postcards were developed from four portraits drawn by the children and are being distributed in popular restaurants, coffee shops, clubs and many more public places in Cairo. The exhibition ran from 14-21 June 2005.
  • Imam also recorded the Arabic version of the WRD radio spot, which was broadcast on the two most popular radio stations, Negoum FM and Nile FM. The two stations agreed to broadcast the spot for free from 12-20 June. This was the first time Imam had been heard on the radio and the fact that he was doing it for refugees made an even more powerful impact on the listeners.
  • UNHCR supported the annual WRD celebrations held at the American University in Cairo. This year saw many children's activities like drawing, singing and games. UNHCR also had an information booth where its booklets and information were distributed.
  • On 20 June, an SMS campaign was launched, with messages sent out in Imam's name.
  • UNHCR Cairo sponsored a seminar titled "Problems of Refugees in Africa", organized with Cairo University. The Regional Representative and the Assistant Regional Representative both participated in the seminar held on 20 June. Over 70 participants from NGOs, government organizations and researchers participated in the seminar.