A move in the right direction of reflecting and embracing the African geographical, social, and cultural elements of Egypt.
Egyptians sometimes claim Africa and represent it to the fullest extent – ahem, football fans – however, other times, you find people who don't even know that Egypt is part of Africa. Of course, we could go on about the racial and social divisions that have led to Egypt's likely chosen exclusion from African culture – but, luckily, we have Cairo's African Society (CAS) and African Women's Club (AFC) to solidify Egypt's African roots that most of us need to embrace. Both groups have decided to combine forces and launch the African Cinema Club – according to Ahram Online – which will be screening films from across the continent here in Cairo.
It was during the event held for the African Women Against Violence initiative – which ended on December 3rd – that the announcement of the cinema club was made by Amena Fazaa, the head of the AFC. The cinema will showcase films from every country, and serve as a platform for thorough discussions that face Africa in general, with a particular focus on the collective issues faced by African women – Egyptians included, of course.
Film director and head of the Delta Media Academy, Mostafa El Demerdash, stressed the importance of African countries collaborating together to uplift the continent's industry as a whole. While African films have had a strong presence and stirred up fascinating conversations in international film festivals recently, El Demerdash believes that Egypt is one of those who should offer the support due to its long history, experience, and current position in the film scene on a continental and international level.
Finally, as film critic and General Secretary of the African Luxor Film Festival Farouk Abdelkhalek sees it, some countries – including Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Cameroon and Senegal – show promising potential, but, due to lack of financial resources and lack of screening spaces, we often don't see enough of their work. The African Cinema Club in Cairo would act as a substantial support system for African filmmakers and actors to develop and magnify their talents and express their points of view across our humanly diverse and scenically rich motherland.
It seems that not only will the African Cinema Club unify African artists and filmgoers, but it will allow for more nuances of our Egyptian identities to be strengthened and embraced, and expand on innovative ways of empowering women from every corner in Africa.