"I have identified your project ‘Belle Epoque" Cairo Museums Itinerary (BECAMI)’ as potentially meeting SDG 4: Quality Education" Ruhena Begum, UKRI Newton Fund Support Officer UK Research and Innovation (email 1st June 2018)
The impact of BECAMI has been recognised by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) in Egypt who gave the project the Award for Best Practice in Public Engagement with Museums (May 2017).
In addition to this website – which was preceeded in 2017-2019 by another project website funded by AHRC – a programme on the National Nile TV in December 2017 and a popular Facebook page, BECAMI has delivered several engagement events:
|Two public events at Cairo National Library|
(for more info go to the activities page)
|75 participants and 27 volunteering students|
|Two engagement workshops|
(for more info go to the activities page)
|29 students from different disciplines and 9 universities in Egypt|
|One engagement and knowledge exchange workshop in the UK||20 participants|
|One architectural exhibition, a students’ national design competition for museum itineraries, installations and signage||80 participating students|
|Two photography exhibitions at the Fine Art and Bayt al-Umma museums||N.A.|
|A knowledge exchange workshop (organised at Sheffield University) between the Egyptian and UK BECAMI members and British Professors specialising in Museum studies||N.A.|
|A knowledge exchange meeting (organised at the National Railway Museum in York), between the all of the BECAMI team members and the director and curators of the museum||N.A.|
BECAMI presentation in biennial BRAU4 conference
To see the program of BRAU4 in Alexandra click on the images above
To enter the virtual tour and know more about Stephenson’s steam locomotive ‘Rocket’ click on it
Solid grounds have been established for collaboration and virtual twinning between the York National Railway Museum in the UK and the Egyptian National Railway Museum in Cairo. This collaboration is made possible because of the shared histories between the UK and Egypt Railway through the work of Robert Stephenson and its revolutionary steam locomotive ‘Rocket ‘ winner of the Rain hill trials.
The ‘Rocket’ exhibited at York National Railway Museum is linked to the Khedive locomotive, the most extravagant piece built by the Robert Stephenson and exhibited at the Egyptian Railway museum.
Other railway engines, artefacts, drawings and archival material have been located in both museums and constitute fragments of the same history that complement each other to illustrated the early days of railways development in both the UK and Egypt. These will form the basis of the further developments of virtual twinning, facilitating links to be established between exhibits, archival material and research collaboration between the two museums
To see the students’ proposals click on the images above
A series of meetings were held with various members of key staff and museum curators at the York Railway museum and members of the BECAMI team during the duration of the project to establish the grounds for collaboration between York National Railway and Cairo Egyptian Railway museums. The BECAMI consortium with both its UK and Egypt teams met with the Director of the York Railway Museum as well as with museum curators and researchers took place on the 28th of February 2017. The York National Railway Museum facilitated for the BECAMI UK project Principal Investigator and the project coordinator access to museum archives and stored artefacts and organised meetings with a number of researchers and museum curators in October and December 2017. They also facilitated a 360 degree photography of the Rocket for the project website. Key drawings of steam locomotives and railway bridges made by Robert Stephenson for Egypt were made available.
Three major contributions were made by the BECAMI team to the Egyptian Railway museum in Cairo. These consist of the following:
|1||Facilitating different forms of engagement of University students and school children with the railway museum in Cairo.|
|2||Delivering a workshop at the museum leading to the design and production of interactive games that are now being used at the museum to fully engage school children with exhibits. This is the first time that the museum uses this form of engagement and has now adopted this practice in its daily activities.|
|3||Establishing the basis for future twinning activities between the Egyptian Railway Museum in Cairo and the UK National Railway Museum in York.|
"I suggested that my Rotary Club of 6th of October Shams, take a cultural trip to a few of the museums that make part of the itinerary. The Belle Epoque Cairo Museum Itinerary was the reason I became aware of these wonderful museums long lost to memory and not advertised by the Ministry of Culture. My Rotary club and I were grateful for the visits and hope in the near future to see more of the 12 museums" Inas Omar, responsable of the 6th of October Rotary club
|Games for School children’s engagement with exhibits of the Egypt Railways museum in Cairo|
|Book marks illustrating each museum|
|Year Calendar for 2017|
|BECAMI Itinarary maps|
More on the games
Three games were designed during the BECAMI project, which continue to be a key educational tool used by the Egyptian Railway Museum in Cairo to engage school children with the museum exhibits. According to the latest statistics obtained from Mrs Nahed al- Khatib, the Director of the Egyptian Railway museum (sent on request via an email in April 2020) 6000 copies of the games have been printed in the museum since the BECAMI closing event in December 2017. The games have not only changed the way school teachers and their pupils engage with the exhibits of the Railway museum, but other museums, such as the Museum of Irrigation, have expressed the wish to develop similar games. The following statistics have been provided by Mrs Nahed al Khatib in April 2020: the total number of children who have used the BECAMI games has reached 4400 with 2500 from International schools, 1500 from local schools and 400 from family-initiated visits A total of 45 local schools have used the BECAMI games.
"School trips during the BECAMI MUSEUM visits, were enhanced by Activities and Workshops specially prepared by the assigned TEAM of professors,university students, Museum Curators, and School Teachers. Creativity, dedication, insight, and the shared enjoyment experienced by the TEAM, transferred to the children. There was a great deal of positive interaction between the children themselves and with their teachers as well." Mrs Sohaila al Sawi, Head of the NGO Egyptian Association for Environment and Community Services
The results of the project were disseminated in International conferences, two research paper publications, a book manuscript (in progress). The BECAMI project has also changed the way the History of Architecture module is delivered at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Helwan University . The architectural heritage of the BECAMI museums has been taught to 800 students so far, since 2016 when the project started.