airo, 28 April 2014: The Liberian National Cultural Troupe headed by Mrs. Louise McMillian, Assistant Minister for Culture at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism participated in the International Festival for Drums and Traditional Arts under the theme, ‘Drums Dialogue for Peace’ held in the Arab Republic of Egypt from 19 to 25 April 2014.
The National Culture Troupe performed at several locations including the historic Salah El-Din Citadel (Castle) and The Opera House in Cairo. The Troupe was then hosted by H.E. Alexander H.N. Wallace III, Liberian Ambassador to Egypt, on 23 April at his residence for a dinner performance which was attended by several Ambassadors and Government Officials.
Thirty-one Folklore Bands representing as many as twenty-one countries from the Middle East, Africa and Asia participated with their drums and traditional folk arts in the Festival. At the closing ceremony on 25 April 2014, the Egyptian Minister of Culture, Dr. Mohammed Saber Arab, was joined by the Liberian Assistant Minister for Culture, Madam Louis McMillian and the Minister of Culture of South Sudan to cut the ceremonial ribbon.
The Festival was organized by the Bureau of Foreign Cultural Relations of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism.
Minister McMillian met with several dignitaries including the Minister of Culture and the Director of International Culture Relations among others. Discussions between the Minister and Officials of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture focused on the improvement of cultural cooperation between both nations. Upon the Minister’s proposition and request, the Egyptian party accepted to undertake the establishment of national theater and cinema in Liberia; they also agreed to train Liberians in Drumming and Traditional Music as well as in Cartoon Animation. The Egyptian Officials disclosed that their representatives will visit Liberia in May 2014 for assessments. They extended an early invitation to the Liberian National Cultural Troupe to participate in the next Festival expected to be held in Egypt in September 2014. The two sides concluded that Liberia host an International Festival, code-named ‘VIVA Liberia’, sometimes this year.
The Egyptian side lauded the Liberian National Cultural Troupe for a splendid performance throughout the Festival. On behalf of the Liberian National Cultural Troupe, the Government and people of the Republic of Liberia, Minister McMillian expressed heartfelt gratitude to the organizers, the Government and People of the Arab Republic of Egypt for the hospitality and the opportunity afforded Liberia to participate in such an elaborate international occasion; adding, it provided a remarkable platform to allow for the Troupe to showcase Liberia Cultural Arts and Folk Dances to the rest of the world.
For his part, Ambassador Alexander H.N. Wallace, III visited the National Cultural Troupe at their hotel and attended their performances. The Ambassador promised to facilitate initiatives aimed at improving the National Cultural Troupe and promoting Liberia cultural relations with Egypt. He extolled the Troupe for their superb performances throughout the Festival. The Ambassador and the Director of International Cultural Relations of Egypt discussed plans to strengthen Liberia-Egypt Cultural Relations, including exchange of National Artifacts for display in museums or public galleries as well as provision of training programs for the Liberian Cultural Troupe. Additionally, Ambassador Wallace and Minister McMillian discussed ways and means of utilizing the opportunities offered by the Egyptian Cultural Authority to adequately enhance the Liberia National Cultural Troupe. The Minister expressed thanks to the Ambassador for his hospitality and tremendous support accorded the Troupe, as well as his persistent presence around them throughout their stay in Egypt.