The BA Receives the Dictionary of the ‘Ancient Egyptian Language’ from the Family of the Late Ahmed Pasha Kamal

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On 29 September 2020, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina received a donation from Engineer Abdel Hamid Kamal Zakaria, the grandson of the late Ahmed Pasha Kamal, Founder of the Egyptian National School for Egyptology.

Ahmed Pasha Kamal was the first Egyptian to compile a huge dictionary for the Ancient Egyptian language (more than twenty volumes). He listed the Ancient Egyptian words in four types of scripts (Hieroglyphs, Hieratic, Demotic, and Coptic), and their corresponding Arabic words. He also included explanations of each word in French, highlighting the juxtaposition between the Ancient Egyptian and Arabic languages.

Both the BA Cultural Outreach Sector and the Academic Sector developed a plan to restore the dictionary using the latest techniques, and preserve it in the BA Rare Books Library, as well as put some of its volumes on display to the public. The BA will also work on the digitization of the dictionary to make it easily available to the users. Moreover, the Writing and Scripts Center, affiliated to the BA Academic Sector, will review the dictionary scientifically and re-publish it.

This endeavor comes as part of the BA role in preserving and safeguarding the cultural heritage of Egypt over the centuries, as well as making it accessible to the public.