The Austrian Cultural Forum in Cairo will hold an exhibition, entitled “Austria & the Arab World: A Journey Through a Thousand Years”, on 29 November. The exhibition will highlight the close relations between Austria and the Arab world, especially Egypt.
The exhibition, which takes place at the Abdeen Park, in front of the Abdeen Palace, downtown Cairo, runs until 12 December.
The exhibition shows that the Austro-Hungarian Empire was a center for the production of the fez (tarboush) in the 19th century and that 80% of the fez worn at that time was imported from Austria.
It also reveals that the first giraffe ever known to Austria was a gift from Mohammad Ali Pasha who ruled Egypt in 1828.
Mohammad Ali Pasha gifted a giraffe to Charles X, King of France, to relieve the strain that arose in the relations between the two countries when Egypt entered the Greek War in 1824. It was the first giraffe to arrive in the country, attracting great popular interest.
This came following the advice of Bernardino Drovetti, the Consul General of France in Egypt, who visited Mohammad Ali Pasha in his palace in Shubra to consult him on improving the relations between Egypt and France and suggested this after he saw the giraffe.
Mohammad Ali Pasha then gifted a similar giraffe to Britain and another to the Emperor of Austria.