Friday, May 18, 2007

A little piece of Israel in Cairo

An outpost for Israel studies persists in Egypt - in good times and bad. Reuben Heyman-Kantor reports in The Forward.

"On the third floor of a brown, battered Cairo apartment building sits an institution that few Egyptians have heard of; it’s called the “Israeli Academic Center in Cairo.” The center is one-of-a-kind: It is the largest collection of Hebrew-language texts in Egypt, and the only place in the Middle East beyond Israel’s borders where Arab students and scholars and Israeli scholars meet on a regular basis and discuss Israeli history, literature and culture — in Hebrew. The center itself, however, is small and anonymous, facts that reflect a central aspect of Israeli-Egyptian relations. More than 25 years after peace was established, there is virtually no cultural exchange between the two countries."

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