Irina Bokova salutes the memory of the Egyptian intellectual Milad Hanna, an advocate for intercultural dialogue

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, expressed her deep sadness at the passing of the Egyptian writer and intellectual, Milad Hanna, who died on Tuesday, 27 November, at the age of 88.

"Milad Hanna carried the humanist conscience of a multicultural Egypt, united in all its diversity. He placed his immense culture at the service of dialogue between the Muslims and Coptic Christians of Egypt, revealing the intensity of their relationship over 13 centuries of history. His message resonates with UNESCO's mandate to promote mutual understanding and remains deeply relevant for living better together today and for defusing tensions in a world of diversity," said the Director-General.

A widely respected figure within Egypt and Arab intellectual communities, Milad Hanna was especially devoted to the study of the Coptic Christian minority in Egypt. Laureate of the UNESCO-International Simon Bolivar Prize in 1998, he was Chairman of the Scientific Culture Committee of the Supreme Council on Culture in Egypt and Chairman of the Housing Commission of the Egyptian Parliament. He was a strong activist for the rights of citizens with moderate incomes to afford decent housing. UNESCO pays tribute to the memory of this great humanist and expresses its solidarity with his family and loved ones.