Arts & Culture

Egypt is Set to Build First Ever Religious Tolerance Museum

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Egypt is Set to Build First Ever Religious Tolerance Museum

A German museum, Story of Berlin, held an exhibition which explored ‘Faith and Tolerance’ and how the three Abrahamic religions shaped the history of the city of Berlin. Credit: Dreamstime

The Minister of Antiquities has announced that a committee will be appointed the task of creating Egypt’s very first museum of religious tolerance.

The news of the museum was reported on Thursday, via Egypt Independent; it will supposedly be located in the New Administrative Capital, near the city’s main mosque.

It will also include pieces from the ancient Egyptian period as well as the Islamic, Coptic and Jewish civilizations all while highlighting Islam’s teachings of tolerance and Egypt’s diverse religions.

The council is undergoing an election process of centerpieces  that will be made ready for display at the time of the museum’s construction, under the supervision of a panel of professionals.

According to local news, those on the panel are the General Director of the Tahrir Egyptian Museum Sabah Abde Razik, General Director of the Islamic Museum Mamdouh Othman and ex-Antiquities Minister and Egyptology Zahi Hawass.

Currently, there exists the Coptic Museum in Old Cairo, as well as Islamic Art Museum near Tahrir, in Cairo’s downtown. Although there is an extremely small number of Jews in Egypt, the country  boasts a few synagogues, namely Ben Ezra which is open to the public unlike the others.

Magda Haroun, head of Egypt’s Jewish Community Council is said to be attempting to also create a national Jewish Museum.

Egypt has one of the oldest civilizations in the world; its contrasting landscape of lush Nilotic landscape with the desert created the optimal conditions for culture to thrive both in the South and North. Since then, the country has undergone various political and religious changes until becoming majorly Sunni-Muslim.

As it stands, the country’s population  is 10% Coptic Christian, although it is claimed s that the percentage is more around 15%.

There are also Bahai’s, Catholics, Shia Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus as well as atheists that live in Egypt.

Last year, a temporary exhibition depicting religious tolerance since the early ages  called ‘One God, Three Religions’ was on-going at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square. It was one of the Ministry of Antiquities’ attempts to highlight religion in Egypt since ancient times; particularly from the monotheistic era of King Akhenaten (New Kingdom) to the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

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Cairo-based and with nine years of experience in journalism, Sara is deputy editor-in-chief and managing editor of Egyptian Streets. She holds two Bachelors (Egyptology and Journalism) from the American University in Cairo (2011). Her interests include history, comparative archaeology, gender, religion, minority rights, science fiction, and the environment.

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