IBIS was proud to organize the Celebration of the 30th UN International Day of Older Persons at Galala International City. On the Instructions of His Excellency President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and Under the Patronage of the Ministry of Youth & Sports, The Egyptian Association for the Care of Elderly hosted The UN ‘International Day of Older Persons’ Celebration, on October 1, 2020 at Galala International City. That year, the UN 2020 observance had chosen to promote the ‘Decade of Healthy Ageing’ (2020-2030). The Chairman of the Association and the host of this important event, Dr. Ahmed El Dersh, Former Minister of Planning and International Cooperation was hoping that this event would shed light on those important issues that affect the elderly and concluded in a set of recommendations on how to improve the lives of Egypt’s elderly. Several government officials attended this prestigious event.
The event was a chance for the nation to celebrate Egypt's Elderly Citizens. The celebration venue, Galala International City was the perfect destination as it was designed to be one of the top educational & research Hubs in Egypt and the region with its newly established Galala University which consists of approximately 14 faculties including the faculties of medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and dentistry. Galala is also positioned to be one of the top luxury resort destinations for tourists aged 60+ as well tourists who wish to enjoy the fresh air, mild climate, breath-taking combination of mountains and Red Sea and luxurious resort city.
This high importance placed on this celebration from His Excellency President El Sisi and our nation was a clear indication to the world that our Nation and our President care about our elderly citizens and are keen to ensure that their needs are addressed and met. This was the first time that a nation held such a grand celebration on the occasion of the UN International Day of Older Persons. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure the safety of all participants, strict precautionary safety measures were adapted as per WHO and the Ministry of Health recommendations, allowing for proper social distancing and so we have limited the number of attendees to 200, which is less than the venue’s capacity. Also, most of the event took place outdoors.
One of the important themes of this event was “One Generation Passing on the Wisdom to Another Generation”. The event was a joyous gathering of government officials, high-profile business leaders, public figures, leaders from all the institutions and associations focused on the elderly as well as outstanding individuals that deal with the elderly and who strive to improve the quality of their lives. International Day of Older Persons Celebration featured a line-up of important speakers, as well as a broad panel of academics, practitioners and experts on the topics related to the elderly including not only geriatrics but also other fields like gerontology,
Some of those speakers included Dr. Hala Sweed, Head of Geriatrics & Gerontology Department, Faculty of Medicine at Ain Shams University. Dr. Hala is also the Editor in Chief of the Egyptian Journal of Geriatrics and Gerontology, and the Founder of the Egyptian Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology.
The event also featured other speakers including, Dr. Ahmed Abdelhakim, an Egyptian-American consultant of Physical therapy and rehabilitation. He is an expert on seniors’ rehabilitation to restore functional and occupational skills for aging adults.
Dr. Ahmed is a pioneer in putting a focus on topics related to the importance of the care of the elderly and he suggested to hold this event in Egypt to help raise awareness on improving the care of the elderly.
One of the main objectives of this event was to develop a series of carefully formulated recommendations and suggestions for improving the lives of our precious elderly.
Many heroes from the Armed Forces like Air Force Major General Abdelhadi Abdel Shafei, Military Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Hashim Hassen Rahmy and Major General Osama Abdelrahman Mohamed Adam retired for the Police, who have contributed to the security, stability and development of our great nation will be honored during this prestigious event. Also, several other public figures including Ms. Abla Kahlawy, Dr Magdy Yacoub, Dr. Farouk El Bazz, Dr. Heba Elsewedy, Father Botros Daniel and Dr. Ahmed El Talhy who have led outstanding lives and who have contributed towards the wellbeing of Egypt’s elderly were also honored.
The event opened with the recitation of the Holy Quran by the popular Libyan Islamic Preacher, Dr. Ahmed El Talhy.
Nancy Abdelhadi, Founder & CEO of IBIS, the organizers of the event said, “My father’s tragic passing on June 1, 2020 from suspected Covid- 19 made me realize how vulnerable the elderly are against this deadly virus. My father loved this country and refused to leave when the US Embassy notified us of flights back to the US because he wanted to live, die and be buried in his country. Even prior to his passing, my father lived with Alzheimer’s Disease for over 3 years and as his primary caregiver, I also came to realize that it’s extremely important to raise awareness about this devastating disease among healthcare workers and the general public in order for our loved ones to get the care that they deserve. I am hopeful that the recommendations that will come out of this important event will be seen by our compassionate President who has demonstrated that he is keen to ensure that no one is left behind, and that His Excellency will do everything in his power to ensure that our loved ones over 60 will have an improved quality of life and will live a dignified life”.