This year, 2020, we are celebrating the 91st anniversary of Rotary in Egypt, hence we have summarized the history of Rotary in Egypt and our most important services highlighting the role of Rotary in serving the Egyptian society, supporting peace and development. The history of Rotary in Egypt begins in the year 1929, when the first club, Rotary Club of Cairo, was charted. In 2012, the Rotary Qualitative Union of Clubs was established in Egypt. Now the number of Rotary members in Egypt is more than 2500 members in 100 clubs, each is charted in the Egyptian Ministry of Solidarity as a Non-Governmental Organization and coinciding with the Law No. 84 of the year 2002 for NGOs.
A Brief on our History :
Our Rotary district was established under the name of the "Eastern Mediterranean District", that was at the very beginning, 1929. The name was changed several times; on 1st of July 1935 changed to "District D", 1936 to District "83", 1949 to District "89" and 1957 to "District 195" In 1977 to District "245". In 1991 the name of our district became District 2450. In the year 1996, Rotary has been stopped in Syria and the District remained with only nine countries; Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Cyprus, Georgia, Bahrain, U.A.E., Sudan and Armenia. Being the second biggest Rotary International District around the world, consisting of nine countries from three different continents “Africa, Asia and Europe” with six spoken languages:- Arabic, French, English, Russian, Armenian and Greek, our District was characterized by being away of any racism or discrimination according to race, color, religion or nationality. Finally and in the year 2013 Egypt became a separate District which was called “District 2451”.
Clubs & Members in Numbers:
As Rotary was initiated in Egypt in the year 1929, number of clubs have increased from 1 club to 100 clubs with 2485 members in the current year 2018. Rotary club of Cairo is considered the first club to be charted in Egypt in the year 1929 followed by Rotary Club of Alexandria in the Year 1930, Rotary club of Port Said 1934, Rotary Club of Mansoura 1935, and Rotary Club of Giza 1954. Other clubs were charted in the following years in different governorates of Egypt; in Greater Cairo, Alexandria, Fayoum, Ismailia, Sohag, Aswan, Luxor, Benha, Sharkeyia, Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada.
The first Rotarct Club was charted in the year 1968; that was Rotaract Club Al Mansoura followed by Rotaract Clubs of Cairo, Alexandria and Misr El Gedida in the year 1972 to become 40 Rotaract clubs of 850 Rotaractors now.
The first Interact club in Egypt was sponsored by Rotary Club of Misr El Gedida in the year 1972 and it was charted at Saint George School. Now we have 50 Interact clubs.
District Governors from Egypt:
Rotary Club of Cairo: (Claire Martin 1936-1937) (Arthur Marton 1937-1938) (H.D. Bildt 1938-1939) (S. Hiderdle Vogt 1943-1944) (Yehya Al-Alayli 1953-1954) (Fernand Zananiri 1954-1955) (Mohamed Zoheir Garassna 1957-1958) (Mahmoud Kamel 1961-1962) (Mahmoud Sakr 1968-1969) (Mohamed Beshir Onsi 1975-1976) (Mohamed Fattin 1979-1980) (Osman Sorour 1985-1986) (Mohamed Dalwer 2002-2003) (Zakaria El Shafei 2008-2009) Rotary Club of Alexandria: (Aly Amin Yehia 1942-1943) (F. Doglas Sakut 1945-1947) (Hussein Fahmy 1949-1950) (Ohamed kamel Badawy 1971-1972) (Gamal El Din Masoud 19771978) (Moustafa Fayez Mansour 1983-1984) (Abd El Moneim Hafez 1989-1990) (Ahmed Saada 20142015) Rotary Club of Asuit: (Alfred Bek Wissa 1947-1948) Rotary Club of Misr El Gedida: (Hussein Saad 1964-1965) (Monir Ezz El Din 1991-1992) Rotary Club of Cairo North: (Mohamed Abd El Aziz 1981-1982) Rotary Club of Giza Metropolitan: (Nabil Heikal 1993-1994) (Kotb Soliman 1997-1998) Rotary Club of Zamalek: (Salem Mashour 1996-1997) Rotary Club of Cairo West: (Mamdouh Badr El Din 2000-2001) Rotary Club of Madinet Nasr: (Mounir Thabet 2004-2005) Rotary Club of Alexandria Marriot (Hassan Abbas Helmy 2006-2007) (Assem Abdel Razek 2010-2011) Rotary Club of Al Orouba: (Yasser Assem 2013-2014) Rotary Club of El Obour: (Mohamed Adel Hafez 2014-2015) Rotary Club of Cairo Royal: (Mayan Raslan 2016-2017) Rotary Club of Alexandria Rakouda: (Hamada Zahran 2017-2018) Rotary Club of Kasr El Nile: (Abdul Hamid El Awa 2018-2019)
ROTARY DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS IN EGYPT:
The Rotary clubs in Egypt carry out service and development projects in underprivileged and poorer villages all over Egypt; Cairo, Giza, Fayoum, Alexandria, Tanta, Mansoura, Ismailia and Port Said and specially in upper Egypt’s governorates of Sohag, Beni Suef, Assiut, Luxor , Aswan and also in the Red Sea.
Basic Education and Literacy:
Rotary in Egypt is considered to be the pioneer of associations that work in education at all levels. Egypt was the first to implement the Rotary International Literacy Curriculum (CLE) in 1998 in cooperation with the Egyptian NGOs and then we opened more than 2000 literacy classes of CLE in the popular areas of Cairo, Alexandria, Fayoum, Qalyoubia and Giza. Rotary Egypt celebrated the graduation of nearly 50,000 students in literacy classes established and supervised by Rotary clubs in cooperation with the General Association for Adult Education and the Vodafone Foundation, a literacy program was also implemented in cooperation with the Central Security Forces. Distinguished graduates were helped through offering them extremely small projects. In addition, Rotary has developed many schools and supplied them with furniture and educational supplies to provide a suitable attractive environment for students. Rotary in Egypt also offers university scholarships to poor students.
Youth And Training:
Rotary Egypt is interested in training in many specialties in order to help improve the skills and abilities and also to spread values and good principles among the Egyptian youth and encourage them to serve the community and encourage the youth for volunteer and social work including the Rotary Youth Exchange Program and through the annual employment fairs organized by Rotary. Rotary also gives technical and vocational training a special priority regarding employment and providing real job opportunities based on market requirements. Rotary is collaborating with several specialized training partners to provide training and job recruitment services through communication channels.
Motherhood and childhood:
Maternal and Child health in addition to awareness are on the top of the list of priorities of Rotary. In the previous years Rotary has been a key partner in collaboration with the Ministry of
Health, WHO and UNICEF working together in prevention, awareness and treatment of C virus and vaccination campaigns were held to eradicate Polio in Egypt this took place in various hospitals and medical centers.
Rotary contributes to the treatment of children with cancer and heart diseases. For this reason Rotary established a committee for caring for children with Special Needs and Disabilities and this takes place through the institutions and centers that care for them.
Though the past 90 years, Rotary Egypt prepared a great number of hospitals and health care units and supplied them with vital supplies in Cairo and Alexandria and poor far villages of Egypt supplying them with medical supplies, medical beds, medicine, and intensive care units. Medical convoys were regularly held and also annual blood donation campaigns in collaboration with blood banks. First aid sessions were regularly held in collaboration with the Red Crescent. Rotary clubs in Egypt held seminars for awareness and protection against diseases and viruses in addition to the treatment offered by Rotarian doctors in their specializations. Rotary also supplied industrial limbs and wheel chairs to people with special needs and provided operations for correcting distortions and burn effects.
Water for Life:
In 2013, Rotary in Egypt provided 9500 clean water connections and 1670 sewage connections to homes in marginalized villages and random areas in several governorates of Egypt in cooperation with UNICEF, Bank of Alexandria, Johnson, Misr El Gedida Association and private corporates that contributed through Corporate Social Responsibility CSR and institutions budgets, the affiliated associations in addition to the Rotary Foundation Global Grants. Those projects continued under the slogan "Water for Life"
Economic and community development:
Comprehensive development , development of remote villages, the provision of infrastructure and the creation of employment opportunities for employment of young people and poor families providers were the focus to Rotary in Egypt to help I Economic Development. Rotary in Egypt established youth centers and playgrounds in unused spaces that were previously used as trash spaces, libraries and kindergartens for children. Clinics and schools were developed. Rotary Egypt also provided revolving loans to women and helped women with debts to enable them to find jobs that help them to support their families and also to ensure that their families are not displaced.
In order to ensure the sustainability of village development, Rotary in Egypt has established a great number of Rotary Community Corps RCC, encouraging the villagers to follow up on the projects implemented by Rotarians. Rotary has also contributed to the national projects such as the restoration of the Egyptian zoo and the national awareness campaign for early detection and prevention Hepatitis C and other public health projects. Rotary was very active in the past 90 years in vocational training and reviving the heritage of ancient Egypt. Rotary Egypt also initiated a national campaign to support internal tourism in order to help workers in the sector of tourism who have been economically affected for many years due to political states that Egypt passed through.
Rotary has contributed to alleviate the pain of those affected by disasters and those who have become homeless in order to save them, provided tents and the necessary needs, providing quick aid, treatment, food and arrangements required, in coordination with government and private sector stakeholders
The Rotary Foundation
Rotary Egypt started its contributions in The Rotary Foundation from the beginning of the Rotary in Egypt 1929, and as we all know that contribution to The Rotary Foundation comes back to rotary clubs after three years in the form of Grants serving projects in the six areas of focus. Egyptian clubs received 295 Grants of total $2,844,555 of the Global Grants in addition to an amount of $7,902,154 as partnerships in different projects.
Polio eradication is one of the most important Rotary Foundation Programs, so Rotary clubs in Egypt participated in a huge number of vaccination campaigns and contributions to The Rotary Foundation Polio program.
Rotary clubs participated Rotary Study programs by Scholarships for non-Rotarian students for one to two years of study and we participated in peace scholarships as well.
Women in Rotary
Percentage of women in Rotary Egypt in the year 2018 is around 47%. Rotary Club of Mokatam is considered the first club in Egypt to accept women as active members, PP Amal Namek was the first lady President of Rotary Club of New Maadi in the Year 1992 and PDG Mayan Raslan was the first lady Governor of our District in the Year 2017.
Prominent Figures in the History of Rotary Egypt
Rotary attracted a great number of prominent figures who joined Rotary clubs in different decades, those some of the famous figures in the social, political and cultural fields who were Rotarians:
History records show the meeting of President Gamal Abdel Nasser With Rotary International President in the year 1955. President Mohamed Naguib attended two Rotary meetings in the year 1952 and 1954, so did Mohamed Zeiwar Pacha the Prime Minister. Sheikh/ Said Tantawy, Sheikh of Al-Azhar and Pope Shenouda, the Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark attended Rotary meetings together and attended other Rotary meetings each on his own.
Some of the ministers who joined Rotary in Egypt as active members:
- Abdel Hamid Soliman Pacha – Minister of Housing.
- Adel Abdel Baky – Minister of Administrative Development.
- Mostafa El Hefnawy – Minister of Housing.
- Mamdouh Gabr – Minister of Health.
- Tawfik Karara – Minister of Agriculture.
- Mohamed Sabry Mansour – Minister of Trade.
- Mohamed Zoheir Garana – Minister of Tourism.
- Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour – Minister of Trade & Industry
- Laila Iskandar – Minister of State for Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements
- Aly Abdel Fattah – Minister of Health.
- Ghada Waly – Minister of Social Solidarity.
- Ashraf Hatem – Minister of Health.
Some governors of Different Egyptian Governorates joined Rotary:
- Mohamed Shaheen Pacha – Governor of Cairo Governorate.
- Hassan Kamel Dabboues - Governor of Fayoum & Beheira Governorates.
- Aly Soliman - Governor of Qalyobeya Governorate.
Past district Governors who were members in Rotary International Boards:
- PDG Aly Amin Yehya – Rotary Club of Alexandria – 1947
- PDG Mohamed Beshir Onsi – Rotary Club of Cairo – 1987