After years of obfuscation and silence from the Egyptian authorities, the Historical Society of Jews from Egypt has asked UNESCO to convince Egypt on its behalf to grant access to and the right to photocopy documents of the Jewish patrimony.
The HSJE asks UNESCO to take custody of a copy of these archives under its protection.
The Association has also appealed directly to UNESCO to question the suitability of the Egyptian Culture member, Mr Farouk Hosni, as the next Director-General of the organisation following his remarks that 'he would himself burn any Israeli books found in Egypt'.
A letter from Desiree Sakal, HSJE founding president and director, stated: We feel this has provided Mr Hosni with a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate his generosity to civilisation and to cultures, as also his rejection of antisemitism."
The letter explained that "Our registries and archives held in Cairo and Alexandria represent our history and acknowledge our identity as Jews originally from Egypt. All our attempts over the past decade, from the Egyptian authorities to photocopy these documents have failed."
Sakkal was confident that "in this manner, Minister Hosni will prove his good faith by responding to our call as Jews from Egypt and simultaneously show his commitment to the principles of UNESCO."
A copy of the letter was sent to Minister Hosni.