The Vardinoyannis Foundation and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina signed the renewal of their collaboration for the next five years on 7 February 2017, in Athens. The agreement concerns support for the scientific work carried out by the Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies and was signed during the meeting between the Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Dr. Ismail Serageldin, and UNESCO Good Will Ambassador Marianna V. Vardinoyannis.
Also present at the meeting were the members of the Center’s BoD, professor Christos Zerefos, Dr. Mohamed Award, Dr. Ashrah Farrag, Mr. Haris Tzalas, Center Director Dr. Mohamed Kenawi, and the Center’s Educational Advisor, Dr. Sahar Hamouda.
Highlighted during the meeting was the significant work the Center has carried out — over the course of eight years, since the Center’s founding in November 2008 — in the sector of research and study of the Hellenistic Age, and the fact that it is now a point of reference for academics studying the Hellenistic Age, while there was also a presentation of the plan of activities for the coming five years.
Mrs. Vardinoyannis expressed particular thanks to Dr. Ismail Serageldin for his major contribution to the founding and successful operation of the Center. “Because without him,” Mrs. Vardinoyannis underscored, “the Center for Hellenistic Studies, which plays such a decisive role in promoting Hellenic and Egyptian history, would have remained a vision, rather than becoming such a hopeful reality.”
Following the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Center for Hellenistic Studies, Mrs. Vardinoyannis, Dr. Ismail Serageldin and Christos Zerefos went to the Presidential Mansion, where they met with the President of the Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, and briefed him on the Center’s progress and plans for the future, as well as on the international conference on the Hellenistic Age that the Center is to hold in Athens. The President of the Republic congratulated them on their initiative, which, as he underscored, is a cultural event of the highest importance for Greece, and he put it under his auspices.
“It is important to us,” the President of the Republic said, “that this Center for Hellenistic Studies exists. And once again I want to express our gratitude to Mrs. Vardinoyannis, because this Center – a center that expresses the continuation of the Hellenic Spirit – exists at this emblematic Library.”
And Mrs. Vardinoyannis added: “I believe that we should be proud of our country’s history. Through the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, I think that many students and scholars who have been going there to study all these years will be able to learn a great deal about our history.”
Finally, Dr. Serageldin, referring to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, noted: “In the case of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, we had the most credible example of the ‘historical first’: Experts, specialists and scholars representing all cultures met there, and in a common language, Greek, they conversed and exchanged ideas.”
The Center for Hellenistic Studies, or, as it is known internationally, “The Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies,” is housed in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and was founded in 2008, on the initiative of Mrs. Marianna Vardinoyannis and with the generous sponsorship of the Vardinoyannis Foundation and the “Alexander S, Onassis” foundation, while the Vardinoyannis Foundation has been its sole sponsor in recent years.
The Center has departments of History, Philosophy, Literature and Fine Arts, and instruction is carried out in English. The Center collaborates with the University of Alexandria on granting diplomas, Master’s degrees and, soon, PhDs.
The Center’s Board of Directors and Academic Council are composed of distinguished professors and academics from around the world, with specialisation in sectors relevant to the Center’s scientific work.