The Association of Jews from Egypt in the UK (AJE) has joined sister organisations in the US and France in entreating UNESCO to help safeguard Egypt's Jewish heritage.
Maurice Maleh, on behalf of the AJE committee, has written to the current Japanese director-general of UNESCO suggesting that his agency take over custody of the archives of the Jewish community.
The AJE letter was prompted by disquiet at the recent statement made by the aspiring Egyptian contender to head UNESCO, Mr Farouk Hosni: ‘I’d burn Israeli books myself if I found any libraries in Egypt’.
"These are regrettably not remarks one would like to hear from a candidate for this important position," the AJE letter said.
"However, we believe it would greatly repair the damage done if you could convince Mr Hosni to transfer the existing Archives and Registers of the Jewish Community in Egypt to the protection of UNESCO," the letter went on." We hope of course that you would be agreeable to undertaking this important mission. These Archives and Registers are absolutely fundamental to our ancient Egyptian Jewish identity and our collective memory of our time in Egypt."
Access to Jewish documents in Egypt has been severely restricted and the authorities do not even allow the photocopying of certificates and registers.
Egyptian Jews appeal to UNESCO to intervene
See article in JTA News