Bibliotheca Alexandrina commemorates Prince Omar Toussoun

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Alexandria, 15 February 2005—The Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) is organizing a celebration in commemoration of Prince Omar Toussoun, Prince of Alexandria, on 17 February 2005, in the West Hall at the BA Conference Center. During the celebration, BA will receive a donation of his publications from his grandson, Hussein Toussoun and family.

The donation comprises a collection of rare books about the Monasteries of Wadi Al–Natroun and their monks in Arabic and French, in addition to books on antiquities, especially the sunken antiquities in Abu Qir in Alexandria.

On this occasion, BA will launch a monograph, prepared by the Alex-Med Center, entitled Toussoun: Prince of Alexandria. The monograph comprises five chapters that show the Prince of Alexandria as he lives through some of the most momentous events of Egyptian history. The monograph also sheds light on the different facets of Omar Toussoun’s personality; how he was a member of the Egyptian royal family, and yet was simultaneously greatly attached to Egyptian civilians. At the end of the monograph there is a list of all his publications in Arabic and French.

Prince Omar Toussoun was born in Alexandria in 1872, and was later raised by his grandmother due to his father’s death when he was four. The prince received his education at the palace then continued in Switzerland. Upon his graduation, he traveled to many European countries, such as France and England, to learn more about their civilization and development in industry and agriculture. He then decided to utilize his education, knowledge and language in the development of his country.

A great man, he was engaged in researching and in helping to solve his country’s problems. He commanded the love and respect of the Egyptian nation, and contributed much to the progress of Egypt.

The prince passed away in January 1944. He had written his will ten years prior to his death stating that all his library, comprising more than 8000 rare books, manuscripts, pictures, and maps, was to be donated, and made use of by the public.