Mohamed El-Gawy awarded the title Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature by French ambassador Marc Bar ty
The title was bestowed on El-Ghawy two weeks ago at the headquarters of the French Embassy in Cairo in the presence of family members, friends, the AFCA Arts Centre crew and those involved in the arts and cultural scene in Egypt.
Mohamed El-Gawy, French ambassador Marc Baréty and the French embassy cultural attache David Sadoulet
El-Ghawy was honoured for his significant contributions to the arts scene in Egypt with special emphasis on his contributions to promoting the arts among children and young audiences.
Addresssing El-Ghawy directly, French ambassador Marc Baréty said, “your goal is to make high quality performing arts accessible to every child. You are convinced that it is their right to enjoy, to discover, to participate and to live such experiences with their families, or in their schools, or with NGOs or with friends without discrimination for any reason whatsoever”.
El-Ghawy, on the other hand, delivered an acceptance speech in which he thanked the French ambassador and French President Emmanuel Macron. He also expressed gratitude towards the Ministry of Culture in France and the French Embassy in Egypt "for this high honour."
He added that he was standing on the "shoulders of those who came before [him] and [who] enriched the arts that tell of the diverse stories of our country."
El-Ghawy spoke of the importance of the arts to younger generations, stressing that “it is through arts that younger generations can get a sense of their surroundings, connect to their humanity and tell their stories."
The arts open children's eyes to the world around them, he said, "helping them grow to become fully fledged individuals hopeful for a future where they can be an artist, a musician, a doctor, a storyteller or maybe even a knight.”
Speaking of the influence of French culture on his career as an artist, El-Ghawy said “French arts and culture not only influenced my upbringing but also my work, through this cross cultural experience."
He also noted that he had had the privilege throughout the years of being supported by the embassy and the French Institute in Egypt and that he hoped he could help younger generations benefit from similar privileges.
"I have been privileged in my younger years and I am only hopeful that such support continues for our young,” El-Ghawy said.
El-Ghawy concluded his speech by thanking those who have accompanied him throughout the journey and who have made "it an exciting, loving, devoted and worthwhile experience."
He also thanked his family and friends for their "undying and constant support."