Images of Alexandria Library Brought to Life by Director General Dr. Ismail Serageldin

In partnership with the MN Friends of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina , BFA was honored to host Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Director General of the Alexandria Library in Egypt, for a presentation on the history and current role of this historic institution. Also on hand for the occasion was special guest His Excellency Mohamed Tawfik, Egyptian Ambassador to the U.S.

Dr. Serageldin received a standing ovation for his engaging, informative, and visually stunning presentation, capping a wonderful night of learning and fellowship. The crowd also heard remarks from Ambassador Tawfik, Dr. Aida Khalafalla, Chair of the MN Friends of the BA, Prof. Rosalie Cuneo Amer, and BFA Executive Director Dr. Patrick Plonski.

Ambassador Tawfik, Dr. Plonski, and Dr. Khalafalla address the crowd.

Ambassador Tawfik and Dr. Serageldin also attended a business meeting in coordination with the MN Trade Office. Several major Minnesota-based companies were in attendance, including Cargill, 3M, and Medtronic. The assembly discussed past and future U.S. investment opportunities in Egypt, and highlighted the rapid economic growth and ambitious goals that have been laid out for trade and industry by the current administration.

In this article , penned for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Ambassador Tawfik focuses on the heritage of the Library, and the future promise of Egypt.

Ambassador Tawfik addresses Minnesota business leaders

Books For Africa has been working with the BA for several years to further develop the impressive expanse of materials already on hand in Alexandria. Working in partnership with Dr. Khalafalla and the MN Friends of the BA, these shipments have included:

  • A 2010 shipment of 15,000 books containing a large quantity of children’s materials
  • A 2012 shipment of 22,000 books, including a brand new Thomson Reuters law library
  • A 2014 shipment of 22,000 books valued at $242,000

All together BFA has delivered nearly 60,000 books valued at approximately $814,000 to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, and the future offers promising opportunities to continue this successful collaboration.