Alexandria and the Search for Meaning (The City Dialogue Series)



(Click here for flyer link)
The Swedish Institute Alexandria partners with Alexandria Scholars in facilitating an intellectual project that brings together international and national figures to converse with local Alexandrian actors from academia and civil society.

The aim is to discuss and explore prospective solutions to Alexandria’s challenges through the terrain of historical, urban, and philosophical analysis – derived from Alexandria`s pluralist origins. The question we raise is how can the city better understand itself and its positioning in Egypt, Mediterranean basin, and the world given what it used to be as well as its current potential?

The monthly sessions are driven by the view that the public should be recognized, and elevated, as the primary ideal, and Alexandria’s present difficulties in attaining pluralism and civic responsibility is partially tied to the city’s loss of civic meaning and identity as a pivotal and dynamic metropolis on the southern Mediterranean coast.

The first of these monthly sessions will be held at SwedAlex premises on Monday 10h of October at 6:30 pm. It will raise a key question attributed to Alexandria`s contemporary challenges: How can Alexandria reposition itself in the modern world and what are currently the city’s strengths, limitations, and sense of identity?

The four monthly sessions will each, respectively, raise a key question attributed to Alexandria’s contemporary challenges: (a) How can Alexandria reposition itself in the modern world and what are currently the city’s strengths, limitations, and sense of identity? (b) Can the specter of nostalgia that haunts Alexandria be refashioned into a forward-looking civic vision? (c) What ideas and methods can be undertaken to plug the gaps in the dysfunctional education system, and ensure students acquire conceptual thinking and critical skills? (d) What approaches can be implemented in order to endow, or sharpen, Alexandria with a clearer identity and coherent narrative? The sessions will be in English with Arabic translation provided.

Yahia Shawkat – Co-founder & Research Coordinator of 10Tooba).

Reem Eltaib – Manager at Radio Tram and former assistant to governor of Alexandria, Hany el Messiry.

Karim-Yassin Goessinger – Founder and program director of the Cairo Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Curated by Amro Ali (lecturer in sociology at the American University in Cairo, and founder of Alexandria Scholars).

Please register your attendance by sending an email to

* This lecture is in English language.

* Limited seats available. Priority for early registration.

Facebook event:

Next Events:
Session two: Alexandria and the “Curse” of Nostalgia (13 October 2016).
Session three: Alexandria and Miseducation System (10 November 2016).
Session four: Alexandria and the Reconstruction of a Civic Ethos (8 December 2016).