UNESCO expressed sadness at Milad Hanna death
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.
Hanna was born in Cairo in 1924 and received a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from the University of Cairo in 1945. He did his PhD in Structural Engineering at St. Andrew University in Scotland in 1950.
He was also an assistant manager in Egypt's Traffic Authority and he supervised the construction of Sohag-Akhmim bridge between 1951 and 1953. He was a teacher and an assistant professor then a professor of construction at the Faculty of Engineering at Ain Shams University. Hanna was an emeritus professor in engineering in Ain Shams since 1984.
Hanna was influential as a columnist in "Al-Ahram" newspaper.
Hanna won several international awards including: "Pride of Egypt" from the Association of reporters and foreign journalists in 1998, the Swiss "Polar Star" award in 1998 among others.
He was interested in politics in Sudan and expressed significant interest in issues related to the Nile and water security.
Hanna wrote extensively on national unity, humanitarian integration between Muslims and Copts in Egypt.