Although Egypt has been around for centuries, with a whole section of “Egyptology” in every library in the world, there are things you only know when you dive deep into the Egyptian culture in the Rotaract way.
1- “Rotaract is a way of life”
When Egypt expanded to be an independent District “2451”, it became very obvious that it is a way of life; it’s not just something extra. It is not rare to find that people who dedicated their lives to Rotaract, are now professionals in their industry thanks to their Rotaract experience, or through the immense networking between the bonded district. On another more personal note, half the couples in our community have come together through Rotaract. Truly life changing.
It is not uncommon that the North and South of a country have drastic differences whether in traditions, habits or rituals, but the core is the same. In Egypt, the tribal life still exists. In upper Egypt, the Nubian culture has its own history, language and marital traditions, as well as every oasis in the western desert. RYLAs have a different taste in Egypt, because every location has its natural magic to complement a rich itinerary. Crossing Egypt is like experiencing the whole width of a spectrum, when you dig deep, away from the mainstream cities. Sponsored by Rotary Alexandria Cosmopolitan, springs the idea of crossing Egypt through Cross Egypt Challenge with motorbikes; a much recommended adventurous side of Egypt
3- The Nile
Well that one is a bit obvious. The Nile river plays a central role in how unique Rotaract in Egypt is. Centering the efforts and minds of Rotaract projects onto the source of life in the country, gives Egyptian projects a new purpose. Throughout history, celebrating phases of the Nile has been part of the culture. Rotaract Tahrir had launched the initiative of water connections to homes that had no source for sanitary water, needless to say the countless health hazards their project has impacted in 2015. The project’s prominence attracted the UNICEF to create a joint committee with Rotary Tahrir to commence the project. Modern day beach cleanups are common around the Mediterranean, but the District Nile clean up in 2019 is just something else.
Every single place you go, you will find traces of a ruin of a different Era and culture. You will stubble upon Greco-Roman ruins in the home of Alexander the Great, and then pass by the memorials in Alamein for the German and Italian during World War II. Cairo is home to Ottoman, Pharaonic, Bizantine, and Coptic history. Damanhour, a rural country side, is home to one of the largest Jewish Synagogues. You can stumble upon things as ancient as pre historical water creatures that raced the evolution of whales from their dinosaur era features in Fayoum, 1 hour from the capital.
Throughout the last half century, Egypt has been evolving and coping with changes within Rotaract until it has expanded enough to become its own district. The first Rotaract club in Egypt was part of District 245; Mansoura, chartered in 1968. District 245 was Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, Lebanon, Bahrain and Cyprus.
The District changed from 245 to 2450 in 1991 when Georgia, Armenia and UAE were added to the District. District 2451 was inaugurated for Egypt in 2012/13 with 80 Rotary clubs.
Egypt has joined the Rotaract Mediterranean as one of the founding countries, being part of District 2450. The last MED event hosted in Egypt was M2R Egypt Fall 2018 with the participation of over 80 participants from 9 countries. Egypt has always been an advocate for international events such as Interota, a triennial worldwide Rotaract convention organized by Rotaractors. It was held in Hurghada, Egypt in 2011 (18-22 Nov). The event hosted 350 participants coming from 34 different nationalities (with an attendance cape 350 attendees).
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BY Salma El-Assal