Egypt’s Minister of Immigration Nabila Makram conducts an interview with Egypt Today in an interview on Thursday, March 15, 2018, at the Magazine headquarters in Giza- Egypt Today/Karim Abdel Aziz
CAIRO – 28 July 2019: A wave of anger took over the Egyptian expats after the “misinterpretation” of Minister for Immigration Nabila Makram's spontaneous statements during her meeting with the Egyptian community representatives in Ontario, east-central Canada earlier in July.
During the meeting, Makram was talking about the strong relations that connect Egyptians with their home country, and that they don’t allow anyone to "cross the lines" and attack Egypt in any way. “We only have one country; it is Egypt,” Makram said in a video that went viral on social media shortly after the meeting.
“Wherever we go, this country [Egypt] will always remain in our hearts, and we cannot allow anyone to say any comment about our country, especially abroad ... If anyone says anything, what happens? We will rip him,” Makram added.
Some reposted the video claiming that Makram used a violent language to threaten the opposition, especially abroad.
Later, Makram replied to these claims affirming that the country “takes care of its communities abroad and never threatens them." Makram said that she is sorry for how her statements were misinterpreted.
Makram explained that she never threatens anyone and that she is keen to communicate with all Egyptians “because simply the ministry’s job is to communicate with all Egyptians everywhere and take care of them.”
Egypt’s Minister for Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates' Affairs Nabila Makram explained that the word “rip or cut them” which was criticized deeply and even “misinterpreted” was not indented or meant “literally”.
In Egypt, the term “I would cut you into parts” is commonly used when someone feels angry towards something or someone and it doesn’t reflect any violent intentions.
Makram visited Canada to celebrate raising the Egyptian flag for the first time in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in light of the decision to allocate the month of July to celebrate the Egyptian civilization.
Makram organized and participated in several conferences to reconnect Egyptians abroad with their country. Many of them hailed her efforts in statements to Egypt Today.
Head of Egypt’s community in France Saleh Farhoud said: “We need to thank Makram for all of her efforts since she came to the office.”
He added that Makram didn’t say anything wrong in her statements. “She expressed how Egyptians feel towards their country."
"However, there are people who intend to explain every word in a way that aligns with their political agendas and goals,” Farhoud added.
In April 2018, Makram organized for the first time what is known as “Roots Revival Week”.
During this week, Egypt, Greece and Cyprus revived their historical relations and memories that have been documented in music, cinema and literature for several decades. For a whole week, the three countries recalled their memories through several events.
A lot of Greeks and Cypriots used to live in Egypt for decades; however, for several political, economic and social reasons, they left the country and headed back to their homes by the end of the 1970s.
The effects and impact that the Greeks left in Cairo and Alexandria in particular are still clearly noticeable in their buildings, architecture, famous stores, music, cinema, literature and unforgettable memories.