ADSA press briefing Tuesday Nov.7, 2011 on 2017 charity annual bazaar in Cairo - Photo by Nourhan Magdi/Egypt Today ADSA press briefing Tuesday Nov.7, 2011 on 2017 charity annual bazaar in Cairo - Photo by Nourhan Magdi/Egypt Today

Asian diplomats' wives engage in Egyptian lives, launch bazaar

Wed, Nov. 8, 2017
CAIRO – 8 November 2017: The Asian Diplomats' Spouses Association (ADSA) in Cairo announced that it is holding its annual charity bazaar on Saturday at a Cairo hotel to sell traditional handmade Asian products.

The annual bazaar is one of the main fundraiser activities organized by the ADSA aiming to raise funds to help the underprivileged people in Egypt, especially women and children.

In a press briefing at the Pakistan House in Cairo Tuesday, the current ADSA President and the spouse of the Pakistani ambassador, Shahida Shah, said that this year's bazaar will see the participation of 20 member countries and 15 NGOs.

ADSA members and Chinese Embassy's counsellors standing beside 2017 charity bazaar poster - Photo by Nourhan Magdi/Egypt Today

Similarly to last year, Suzy Shoukry, spouse of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, will inaugurate the one-day event at 10 a.m. on November 11 at Conrad Cairo Hotel.

Besides setting up their handicrafts and food stalls, a total of six Asian countries will participate in cultural performances, and fashion shows, Shah added.

"This annual fundraising event is held because we live here in Egypt, and we consider ourselves part of the society," Shah told Egypt Today; highlighting a number of charity associations that ADSA is donating the bazaar revenues to.

The associations include Children Cancer Hospital 57357, Nile River School, Light and Hope Association, Dar el-Hanna Orphanage, Women's Health and Improvement Association and Torah House for disabled women.

ADSA: Bridging Egypt-Asia cultures

The ADSA was established in 1975 to promote Egypt-Asia mutual cultural cooperation; it constitutes 28 member countries. The association members meet monthly to discuss charities’ future plans, and vote on the associations that will receive the fund after field visits.

Mandara Yogarajan, the spouse of Sri Lanka ambassador to Cairo, said that the ADSA fundraising projects help support places like the Nile River School with equipment like computers for children.

Yogarajan stressed that ADSA verifies that the association to receive the donation is a long established place "to make sure our money goes to the right hands."

The Light and Hope School for blind girls is one of ADSA’s charity destinations. The funds go to the school's famous orchestra, which performs in Egypt and abroad, said Anita Shahabudeen, the spouse of the Malaysian Embassy's charge d'affaires.

"[The fund] helps them buy and repair their musical instruments as they want to live their lives and challenge their visual disability," Anita continued.

Anita further discussed the ADSA's perspective on the charity bazaar as " a way to connect with the people of Egypt. We are giving back to society; we are here so we are part of Egypt."

She added that the all the bazaar’s profits aim to "support the future generation of Egypt and empower woman to come up and give them the confidence."

Egyptians' turnout
Egyptians' turnout at the annual bazaar is said to be large. "Egyptians love Asian culture, they love our dresses and women love our long scarves that we call dupatta in Pakistan," commented Pakistani ambassador's spouse, Shah.

With nearly 2,000 entrance tickets to the bazaar having been sold so far this year, the bazaar is considered one of the association’s bids to invest more in cultural understanding between Egypt and Asian countries, according to Shah.

Pakistani carpets hung on the walls of the Pakistani Ambassador's house in Cairo - Photo by Nourhan Magdi/Egypt Today

Pakistani carpets hung on the walls of the Pakistani Ambassador's house in Cairo - Photo by Nourhan Magdi/Egypt Today

Henna, jewelries and food are stuff that Shah says are common in both Egypt and Pakistan cultures.

She added that Pakistan will participate with Henna drawing and hand-made silk carpets at the bazaar. Pottery, textile and rugs will be displayed. Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan will sell food.

ADSA members elect a one-year term president to manage its affairs in Cairo. "This year I am the president, and next year someone else will be in charge, but I will keep pushing forward and helping with charity issues.because there is no better feeling than that of seeing a smile on a child's face. It makes me feel satisfied," Shah said.
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