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Historical Background

      Founded by Napoleon Ponapart in august 1798 as one of the chief aims of the French Expedition, L'Institute d'Egypte was meant to serve as a scientific research academy, in much the same way that Institute de France was. The main purpose behind its establishment was to promulgate modern knowledge all over Egypt, and to conduct research on its natural facilities and resources as well as the great events in its history. L ' Institute d' Egypte's first session was convened at Hassan El Kashefs quarters, at present the premises of Sania Secondary School in Sayeda Zeinab, Cairo. L ' Institute d' Egypte'smembers, the most distinguished scholars of France at that time, were highly immersed in studying the financial and administrative systems in Egypt. They also displayed great scientific interest in whatever arts or monuments they could lay their hands on. Their observations and comments were recorded in The Description of Egypt, still one of the much-read reference books, as far as the history of Egypt at that period is concerned.

        As soon as the French were evacuated in 1801, L' Institute d' Egypte's academic activities ceased, only to be resumed in 1836 by French, German and English scholars under the name of The Egyptian Society. In 1859, it was transferred to Alexandria assuming a new name, Institut Egyptian, under the auspices of the ruler of Egypt at that time, Muhammad Said Pasha. It was also supported by a number of scholars such as Jornard, Mariette, and Koeing, and some of its members were widely known, such as George Schweinfurth - a famous explorer who specialized in physical sciences, Mahmoud El Falaki Pasha - a well known astronomer, Auguste Mariette and Gaston Maspero - who specialized in the Pharaonic history of Egypt and helped establish The Egyptian Museum, to mention only some. In acknowledgement of their effort in turning out invaluable studies about Egypt, Mariette's and Maspero's names were given to some streets in Cairo.

       Karle Lepsius and J. Morgan, two famous archaeologists who laid down the principles of the prellistoric studies of Egypt, were among the members of The Institute. It also included some very famous names such as Prince Omar Toson, Ali Mostafa Musharafa Pasha, Ali lbrahim Pasha, Ahmed zaki Pasha, Ahmed Kamal Pasha, and many other scholars of genius.

      The Institute was restored to Cairo in 1880 and, in 1918, it restored its previous name by a royal decree. Henceforward, it was under the direct auspices of the royal Palace. Some relatively recent scholars, such as Soliman Huzayen and Taha Hussein, are among the famous members of The Institute.

The following are the spheres of activities of The Institute'. -
       1. Fine Arts and Archaeology.
       2. Human and Social Studies.
       3. Mathematical and Physical Sciences (and their applications).
       4. Biological Studies (and its applications)

The aims of The Institute can be summed up as follows:-
       1. Conducting researches and scientific studies in important
       2. Giving lectures and arranging seminars as well as publishing them in The Institute annual
           periodical.
       3. Supervising theoretical and applied researches.
       4. Making regular contacts with similar local and international scientific societies.
       5. Exchanging publications with similar international societies.

      The Institute comprises one hundred and twenty members presided by Professor Mahmoud Hafez lbrahim, one of the celebrated scholars of Egypt and aprofessor ar Cairo University's Faculty of Science. Members are nominated by the board of directors, provided that the nominee is approved by the general assembly in the session following his nomination.


 


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