From the BA to the British Museum: Ahmed Kamal Pasha’s Dictionary

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The Bibliotheca Alexandrina took part in the British Museum’s international exhibition “Hieroglyphs: Unlocking Ancient Egypt”, which opened on Thursday, 13 October 2022 in London, in celebration of the bicentenary of the decipherment of the ancient Egyptian language. This participation included a display of a facsimile of a page from Ahmed Kamal Pasha’s dictionary, where he wrote down words in hieroglyphs and their equivalents in Arabic and French.

Last September, Dr. Ahmed Zayed, Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, received Dr. Ilona Regulski, Curator of Egyptian Written Culture at the British Museum, and her accompanying press delegation, as part of the fruitful research cooperation between the BA Writing and Scripts Center and the British Museum.

It is worth mentioning that the original manuscript of the dictionary is preserved in the BA Rare Books Library, where it was registered and digitized, after being gifted by the family of Ahmed Kamal Pasha in 2020.

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina's participation in the exhibition comes in recognition of Ahmed Kamal Pasha's efforts in studying the ancient Egyptian language, and his reliance on the convergence between hieroglyphs and Arabic for a better and deeper understanding of the vocabulary of the ancient Egyptian language.

Additionally, in 2023, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina will be celebrating the centenary of the death of Ahmed Kamal Pasha.