By Paolo Sabbatini
As I announced in my previous article, several Italian films, whether for cinema or for television, were screened at the Cultural Institute in the past few days. To present the films, some experts from the sector were invited: Francesco Vedovati for the inauguration on July 1; David Abatecola, on July 2, to present some short films by the students of the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, Cinecitta, Rome; Francesco Braida, screenwriter, on July 3, to comment on the film "Taranta on the Road"; Dario di Gennaro, television director, to present his successful series "Green Line", on Wednesday on July 4; and finally Paolo Vanino from the Culture Institute, to present the film "The Father and the Foreigner" on the closing evening, Thursday, July 5.
Talking to the director di Gennaro, I discovered that his family had very strong ties with Egypt, and so I was intrigued: I wanted to know more.
Since I am very interested in knowing the personal stories of my compatriots here, and especially in hearing anecdotes about the ancestors of the people I meet, Dario explained that probably the first member of his family to reach Egypt was his great-great-great-grandfather, who worked for the Suez Canal Company with the Italian engineer Luigi Negrelli.
As the story goes, Negrelli, a great expert on civil works for the Austro-Hungarian Empire, had begun making the plans for the Canal in 1836, and he took part in the various technical Commissions for the gigantic work even when the Canal was entrusted to Ferdinand de Lesseps, some decades later. Apparently, the projects adopted were those of Negrelli, who did not receive due recognition, unfortunately.
Benedetto di Lernia, son of Negrelli’s assistant (therefore the great-great-grandfather of Dario), took his father's place on the Suez Canal work site. He married an Italian woman from Egypt, whose sister Loretta was married to an important high-ranking Egyptian officer, the equivalent of a prince: he was none other than the Commander of the royal yacht of the King of Egypt, probably King Fuad I.
According to family tradition, he kept his post during the reign of King Farouk. They had two daughters, one of whom was called Aida, the fateful name of the Italians of Egypt.
The Di Lernia family, having been connected with the Canal, settled in Port Said, where they opened a petrol station and an emporium which was very well-known, because it stocked a great variety of items, from food to household utensils.
Naturally I went to consult the precious book "Yearbook of the Italians of Egypt" of 1938, a unique copy that is kept in the library of the Institute; and indeed, at page 6 of the General Index, I found the following information: Food stores – Canal area, Port Said, Fratelli Di Lernia, via Tantah, tel. 22.29.656.
Who knows what happened to the shop, after the whole family left Egypt in the middle of the 20th Century? With Dario we will call the old number, because all things in life, present, past and future are linked with a red thread: and maybe we will take a trip to Port Said, to rediscover traditions. Dear readers, please follow!
PORT SAID, Egypt, June 30, 2018 (MENA) - As many as 29 ships have been handled at Port Said harbors, the Port Said harbors authority affiliated to the General Authority of the Suez Canal Economic Zone said in a statement on Saturday.
East Port Said harbor received eight container ships, while five vessels left it.
Meanwhile, three container ships arrived at West Port Said harbor, while three ships left it, the statement read.
CAIRO, June 29, 2018 (MENA) - Egypt's State Minister for Military Production Mohamed Saed el Assar probed with the Head of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) and the General Authority for Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) Mohab Mamish and his accompanying delegation means of promoting joint cooperation to implement projects in order to develop the Suez Canal corridor.
Assar expressed satisfaction with the noticeable development in implementing the ventures of developing the Suez Canal axis reflected by the good revenues of the international waterway.
The minister discussed, during the get-together, the latest developments of cooperation between his ministry and the SCA in supplying it with equipment needed for implementing the canal's development ventures besides future projects of establishing water desalination stations in the SCZone.
He further expressed readiness of his ministry to provide needed technological and technical means to contribute to carrying out the projects of the SCA and the SCZone.
For his part, Mamish expressed confidence in the Ministry of Military Production's potentials, praising its participation in carrying out ventures of developing the Suez Canal corridor and other development projects across the country.
ISMAILIA, Egypt, June 24, 2018 (MENA) - Fifty-one ships transited the Suez Canal on Sunday, with a total cargo of 3.2 million tons.
The north-bound convoy included 24 vessels carrying 1.4 million tons and the south-bound convoy included 27 ships carrying 1.8 million tons, according to statistics of the Suez Canal Authority.
ISMAILIA, Egypt, June 19, 2018 (MENA) - Fifty-eight ships transited the Suez Canal on Tuesday, with a total cargo of 3.7 million tons.
The north-bound convoy included 33 vessels carrying 2 million tons, while the south-bound convoy included 25 ships laden with 1.7 million tons, according to statistics of the Suez Canal Authority.
Cairo, June 17, 2018 (News Wires) - Egypt’s revenue from the Suez Canal for the 2017-2018 financial year rose 11.5 per cent to a record high $5.585 billion, the canal authority said in a statement on its website on Sunday.
Revenue a year earlier was $5.008 billion, it said.
The canal authority announced Saturday increased revenue in May, and predicted a record yearly figure, attributing this to increased international trade and improvements in the shipping industry.