Yasser El-Ghobeiry and Ahmed Sawan
Attendees at the “Egypt: The Dawn of Conscience” symposium were surprised by the participation of the grandson of famous French leader Napoleon Bonaparte, Prince Joachim Murat, who made it clear that he wanted to broadcast a message of love to Egyptian civilization and to the great archaeologist Dr. Zahi Hawass.
Prince Joachim noted that his grandfather, Emperor Napoleon III, had participated in the celebration of the construction of the Suez Canal, and his famous friendship with Khedive Ismail was well known.
“My wife and I have a great relationship with Egypt. We have many friends in Egypt, and we visit them constantly,” he added.
Then he spoke to Dr. Zahi Hawass and current Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Ahmed Issa, saying, “I appreciate the exceptional work that you are doing to return Ramses II to France, and this is a source of great pride and honor. In fact, Ramses has not left France since Champollion came and fell in love with Egyptian civilization.”
The Center for Middle East Studies (CEMO) in Paris organized the symposium on Friday, April 7, at the historic Hotel de Crillon overlooking the Pharaonic obelisk, under the title “Egypt: The Dawn of Conscience”.
Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa, famed Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass, and journalist Abdelrahim Ali, director of CEMO in Paris, spoke at the symposium, which was also attended by Egyptian Ambassador to France Alaa Youssef, a group of editors-in-chief of French newspapers, a number of French parliamentarians, as well as a number of senior politicians and Egyptologists. The descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte, Prince Joachim Murat, and his wife, Princess Yasmine, were also in attendance, in addition to former ministers, senior French writers and intellectuals, led by Gilbert Sinoué.
The symposium was also attended by Pierre Lellouche, former Minister of European Affairs; the great Arab poet Adunis; Yves Thréard, deputy editor-in-chief of Le Figaro; Jean-Sébastien Ferjou, editor-in-chief of Atlantico; and French Senator Jacqueline Eustache-Brinio.
The symposium was held on the sidelines of the Ramses and the Gold of the Pharaohs Exhibition, which kicked off on Thursday, April 6, in Paris and will continue for five months in the French capital.