News & Views

Investing in Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development
Cultural heritage is a global public good, which should be preserved and maintained for the future through a stream of investments by stakeholders and owner/guardians in a global cultural corporation. The viability of investments in the field of cultural heritage has been questionable for decades by many, especially once taken from a mere commercial/business perspective. Retail-like business firms tend to neglect socio-cultural ramifications in a trade off for short-run or hit-and-run gains with major departures, or perhaps negligence, of aspects of conservation and sustainable development of world cultural heritage. Investments in cultural heritage and development are undoubtedly of medium- to long-term horizons. However, numerous economic impact studies have proven that investment in cultural heritage provides substantial returns in terms of direct expenditures, new jobs, and additional tax revenue.  
The challenge facing citizens and experts in many parts of the developing world today is to convince the powerful triangle of governments, funding organizations (banks, insurance companies, venture capitalists, etc.), and the private sector including civil society, of the viability of medium to long-term investments, contrary to the current short-termism. Once this understanding is established, funding agencies will be ready to invest, learn and innovate in newly treaded, promising waters, without losing sight of limitations and constraints.
With this in mind, the first International Cultural Heritage Conference took place in Florence, Italy during 1999. The conference entitled Culture Counts: Financing, Resources, and the Economics of Culture in Sustainable Development was co-sponsored by the Government of Italy and the World Bank in cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It provided fora in which developing countries could address policies related to the economics of culture. A decade later, the Conference will be hosted once again in Italy during 2009, to evaluate the steps taken since the first international conference.  
In preparation for this international event, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina hosted a preliminary conference, 2-4 December 2008. The conference was entitled Investing in Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development, whichwas approached using Political, Economic, Social, and Technological (PEST) analysis factors, approaches and good practices to investments. As such, sub-topics have been identified and classified according to the mentioned principles; such as protection and preservation, development and sustainability and technology adaptation. These, in turn, are reflected in four tracks that are translated into parallel sessions throughout this Conference.
The Conference focused mainly on new ideas for financial architecture of financing projects and “Actions”; that is to say, the “operationalization” of the measures already taken or those needed to mobilize cultural heritage for development. This may include regional, intergovernmental, and inter-societal measures. One of these measures is the mechanisms for establishing Heritage Development Organizations made up of intellectuals and stakeholders to initiate the preparation of National Policy Statements as a lead to the formalization of National Cultural Heritage Acts identifying the institutions, financial and legal instruments aimed at protecting, conserving, managing and developing cultural heritage. The Conference also discussed the relationship between investing in cultural heritage and economic development. This includes the discussion of the current and proposed strategies for dealing with economic development in poor countries with an emphasis on establishing an integrated strategic approach that links economic development with human development added to the conservation of cultural heritage resources.
Consequently, the topic of presentation and interpretation of the links between cultural heritage policies, programs and projects were highlighted. This would invite contributions on a range of presentational styles and media for a variety of audiences. It would not only include the role of museums and exhibitions but also television and other media (film, radio, websites and music) and literature (fiction, advertising materials), among others, in presenting the materials, methodologies, lessons and challenges to the general public and specialized audiences.  
In addition, the role of local communities in the investment of cultural heritage should be discussed. This theme includes the relationship between local communities and society in the management of cultural heritage issues. Contributions may survey current situations and offer suggestions on how to engage local communities in all issues of cultural heritage management; how they can benefit from heritage assets, and how they can be better informed of the value and meaning of cultural heritage. Attention may be given to the role of policy-makers, heritage advocates, NGOs, governmental and intergovernmental organizations.
Furthermore, case studies and reports as well as new methodologies applied in different countries for the preservation of the cultural heritage and encouragement of investment in different cultural aspects, should be considered.
Cultural heritage development impact studies are investments on their own, and in order to be sustainable they have to be embedded within the global governance system, and their relevant standard performance indicators developed, monitored, evaluated and disseminated periodically. Of course, there is no one size that fits all, however standardizing diversity, documenting precedents and developing good practice was the crux of the exercise, and of course the Alexandria Conference, 2-4 December 2008, acted as a natural building block towards its prospective Italy amalgam in 2009.
Consequently, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina preliminary conference Investing in Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development was held over a course of 3 days, involving approximately 150 participants focusing on the expertise and experiences from the MENA region, and included experts from Egypt and the region, as well as some renowned international experts to lead and link the debates in the Conference with current discussions in the global arena. The beginning of the conference discussed in a general plenary session, Why Invest in Cultural Heritage?, covering the need for both valuing and evaluating cultural heritage. In addition, discussions were conducted in all the workshops dealing with the main theme of the conference Investing in Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development as well as the sub-themes aiming at answering some of the following questions with emphasis on the progress achieved, innovations, and challenges involved over the past decade:
  • What makes investing in cultural heritage appealing to the set of stakeholders? Who and what are the drivers, expected costs, benefits and risks?
  • Has investment in cultural heritage and development been incorporated in global, regional, national and local policies, programs and projects? How/modalities? How far?
  • How is it possible to obtain wider involvement for governments, the private sector and civil society? 
  • What type of techniques, instruments and capacity-building investments are needed to sustain cultural heritage development projects?
  • What are the constraints encountered in the investment in cultural heritage? (Comparators from different project types and regions needed for peer analyses/benchmarking/indexation)? 

There were concluding sessions with the presentation of a successful case in each particular area, focusing on the positive outcomes of investing in cultural heritage as well as providing models for replication and further emulation. The conference concluded with a general plenary which focuses on the future. The subject of how to approach new strategies for cultural investment, setting guidelines and clear directions for action plans which are ready to mobilize, in order to highlight and address the need for investing in cultural heritage for development in the MENA region, were also addressed.  
Also, exhibits of income-generating arts and crafts from different countries were displayed. It is, with this need to outline steps for success stories in mind, that the preliminary conference at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in December 2008 will contribute to the Second International Cultural Heritage Conference in Rome, 2009.
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina Conference will culminate in the production of a publication and the conference proceedings, and will be covered widely by the media throughout the MENA region and the globe. This endeavor is also intent to document the wealth of experience presented to the Conferees and to mankind worldwide. Some exceptional papers presented in December 2008 were invited to compete for presentation in the Conference in Italy, 2009.


Did you know that …

  • Every day 24,000 people die from hunger
  • Every day more than 100 million children are denied the chance to go to school
  • Every day 1.1 billion people have to drink polluted water
  • Every day 8,200 people die due to HIV/AIDS


A Global Campaign …

Launched by the United Nations Millennium Campaign, STAND UP is an exciting challenge to set an official Guinness World Record for the greatest number of people ever to Stand Up Against Poverty and for the Millennium Development Goals. On October 15 & 16, the world will come together - under the guidance of the United Nations - and Stand Up and remind their governments that promises to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and help the billions living in extreme poverty, must be kept. The purpose of the action is to raise awareness of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to publicly demonstrate to policy makers the growing global support for the eradication of poverty. STAND UP is an initiative designed to coincide with Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) month of global mobilizations ( around the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Numerous events are being organized worldwide, where  participants will "stand up"  while an anti-poverty pledge  is  read,  and  thus  collectively set an official Guinness World Record for the greatest number of people ever to stand up against poverty and  for  the  MDGs in a 24-hour period.

Get Involved!

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA), through the Arab Reform Forum, aims at spreading a total Arab reform vision in Egypt and the Arab region. Addressing poverty in its multiple dimensions is one of the main pillars of this vision. The Alexandria Declaration, issued in March 2004 in conclusion of the First Arab Reform Conference, calls for the adoption of a closer implementation timeframe to fight poverty in conformity with the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.

Working towards realizing these aspirations, the Arab Reform Forum is joining forces with the different BA departments to organize a "STAND UP" on Sunday, 15 October from 2:00 to 3:30 pm on the BA Plaza. During the event, participants will stand up for one minute, from 3:15 to 3:16 pm, while an anti-poverty pledge is read by our special guest, Mr. Mahmoud Kabil, the UN Goodwill Ambassador. The event will be photographed and the number of participants counted. The number will be registered, so that it is counted for the world record attempt.

The act of Standing Up Against Poverty is a strong symbolic statement. We hope to have a strong political impact by telling the world that hundreds and thousand of people, all over the world have mobilized publicly to demand that poverty eradication and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals are a political priority and that there are no excuses for not achieving these Goals by 2015.

We need everyone to take part to ensure that the world listens and action is taken.

We are looking forward to your participation!

The International Conference on Environment, Health and Sustainable Development
11 - 16 September 2006

The Arab Society for Reform and Development at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in collaboration with the International Association For People-Environment Studies (IAPS) is proudly hosting an International conference on Environment , Health and Sustainable Development, 11-16 September 2006 in Alexandria, Egypt.

As the United Nation has set eight developmental goals for the new millennium, four of which address health –related and environmental targets, we organize this conference to convoy with these goals.
This conference aims at research in the realm of People , Environment, Health and Sustainable Development. This conference will be a forum where practitioners, policy-makers and scientists exchange their views, visions and know-how .
This conference will cover the following themes and sub-themes

1. Environment & Sustainable Development

  • Sustainable Planning and Design: Initiatives and Actual Practices.
  • Productivity and the Indoor Environmental Quality.
  • Pollution Management.
  • Urban Sprawl, Smart Growth, and Digital Cities.
  • Sustainable Urban Conservation and Small City Revitalization

2. Health & Sustainable Development

  • Land Use and Urban Planning for Health Promotion.
  • Health and Well-being in Residential Environments (formal/informal).
  • Agriculture, Nutrition and Health.
  • World Health Organization Healthy Cities Project.
  • Impact of Human Behavior on the Environment & Health.

3. Socio-Cultural Issues & Sustainable Development

  • Architectural Education for Sustainable Development.
  • Social and Cultural Dimensions of Health and Well-being.
  • Women's Health and Gender Issues.
  • Requirements of Groups with Specific Needs..
  • Desert Communities, Tradition, and Eco-tourism.
  • Gated Communities: Impact and Challenges.

4.Global Environment Issues:

  • Global warming and climate change
  • International waters
  • Biodiversity
  • Land degradation
  • Chemical Pollutants of Global impacts

The conference will be attended by the experts of highest caliber and Nobel laureates, distinguished keynote speakers and eminent scientists from the four corners of the globe to establish constructive dialogues on topics such as Environment, Health and Sustainable Development. . We anticipate 500 international participants and 300-400 Egyptian scientists to attend this very important international conference.

We are looking to have support by becoming a sponsor of this very important international conference held at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

There are four sponsor levels for IAPS 19-Bibalex conference:



Sponsor Benefits

Platinum Sponsor

40.000 USD

-Your organization name and logo will appear on the plasma screen located in the conference center..
- Full name listed in the Co-sponsor section of the conference binder and identification as a sponsor in all promotional materials.
- Mutual hot link between your firm’s home page and the conference home page
- Complimentary registrations of some of your staff or representative to attend the conference.
- Post-Conference Benefits: your organization will receive continued recognition through the use of the conference book that will be published internationally by Hogrefe and Hube

Gold Sponsor

30.00 USD

-Your organization name and logo will appear on the plasma screen located in the conference center..
- Full name listed in the Co-sponsor section of the conference binder and identification as a sponsor in all promotional materials.
- Mutual hot link between your firm’s home page and the conference home page
- Complimentary registrations of some of your staff or representative to attend the conference

Silver Sponsor

20.000 USD

- Full name listed in the Co-sponsor section of the conference binder and identification as a sponsor in all promotional materials.
- Mutual hot link between your firm’s home page and the conference home page
- Complimentary registrations of some of your staff or representative to attend the conference

Regular Sponsor

10.000 USD

- Full name listed in the Co-sponsor section of the conference binder and identification as a sponsor in all promotional materials.
- Mutual hot link between your firm’s home page and the conference home page

We look forward to your kind support and sponsorship of this conference


5 Keys to Breaking Into Entrepreneurship

If you're like most ambitious young professionals, you've probably imagined at least once in your life what it would be like to be your own boss.

Here are some important tips to keep in mind if you are trying to decide if self-employment is a viable option for you:

1. Boredom in your day job is not a good reason to launch a business. Starting a new business is much like deciding to have children. If you decide to have a baby because you're bored with your spouse, chances are not very good that you'll have a successful family. On the other hand, if you believe you have the passion and commitment to share your gifts with a baby boy or girl, then chances are more likely that you will stick with it when the going gets tough as it surely will.

2. Don't quit your day job, just yet. Like all big endeavors, it takes time to build a business. You don't have to spend 50 hours a week right out of the gate trying to get your business off the ground. With as little as 8 - 10 hours a week, you can make considerable progress in determining your readiness for self-employment while still bringing home a paycheck. Here are some of the important steps you can take even while you are employed:

  • determine if you have a feasible business model
  • research your niche and target market
  • learn about possible ways to fund your business
  • develop a powerful marketing plan
  • network with other entrepreneurs
  • enroll in a class for entrepreneurs or start working with a professional coach

3. Be entrepreneurial now! You don't have to take on financial risk to be an entrepreneur. If you are currently employed, leverage your employer's organizational infrastructure that is already in place. Tune in next month for specific tips on how you can be entrepreneurial NOW!

4. Have a transition plan. Feeling like you have one foot in and one foot out is a tough place to be. Having a roadmap for your future will help make it more palatable for you while performing in your current job. Knowing things like your estimated departure time (6 more months or 2 more years?) and immediate opportunities for incoming revenue once you leave will give you a greater sense of confidence and direction. Plus, you can focus your energy on building up financial reserves now so that you have some cushion once the bi-weekly paychecks cease.

5. Schedule appointments to be held accountable. The American Society for Training and Development released this study on goal completion:

  • Of people who consciously decide to set a goal, 25% achieve their goal.
  • Of people who decide when they will do it, 40% achieve their goal.
  • Of people who plan how they will do it, 50% achieve their goal.
  • Of people who commit to someone else they will do it, 65% achieve their goal.
  • Of people who have a specific accountability appointment with the person they committed to, 95% achieve their goal!

Whether or not you decide to step into entrepreneurship, you can capitalize on your entrepreneurial spirit and reap the personal satisfaction and even financial rewards of thinking and being big.

"You don't have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great."

Local publication for call for proposals

European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights
Publication Reference: Europeaid/122737/L/ACT/EG

The European Commission is seeking proposals in the framework of the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) in Egypt .The full Guidelines for Applicants are available for consultation at the Delegation of the European Commission in Egypt, 37 Gameat El Dowal El Arabeya, Mohandessin, Giza, Cairo – 11 th floor (documentation Center). and on the following internet sites: (web site of the Delegation in Cairo)

The deadline for submission of proposals is 2 July 2006 at 12:00 at noon ( Cairo Time)

Information sessions will be held :
Cairo (21 May), Alexandria (22 May) and Aswan (24 May)
For information and registration, see the web site of the EC Delegation in Cairo.



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