CAIRO: India will significantly expand the 'India by the Nile' cultural festival in Egypt to build a new bridge of friendship between both the countries, India's envoy here today said. "There will be 15 different themes, over fifty shows spread over eight weeks and four cities," India's Ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharyya said.
For the first time this year, the event will feature a football match between the under 16 teams of India and Egypt. The new activities aim at building a new bridge of friendship between both the countries. The festival, which is a celebration of Indian music, dance, theatre, visual arts, food and wellbeing, is the largest foreign festival in Egypt showcasing 70 events across the country.
"We believe that youth of Egypt will be the bridge between Egypt and India," the envoy said. A puppet performance on 'The message of Mahatma Gandhi' would be performed in the festival. From March 8 to 14, a handicraft exhibition to promote Indian and Egyptian handicrafts was organised.
"We had a spectacular opening of the crafts festival in the Pyramids which was considered as a free propaganda for tourism in Egypt," the Ambassador said. 'India by the Nile', which runs until April 27, will also include a food festival where an Indian chef will present famous Indian dishes in one of Cairo's top hotel.
An economic seminar would also be organised in the British University in Egypt. Counselor of the Minister of Tourism Samy Mahmoud said, "the relation between India and Egypt is very deep since the time of late president Gamal Abdel Nasser and India's former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru".
"Around 100,000 Indian tourists visit Egypt annually and we are working to double this number," Mahmoud added.