January 30, 2020
Tharwat Abouraya has been elected President of Baltimore Sister Cities, Inc. (BSC). Abouraya, an active member of the Maryland Governor’s Commission on Middle East American Affairs, also chairs the Baltimore Luxor Alexandria Sister City Committee.
“I feel so proud to lead Baltimore Sister Cities Team with its mission of citizen to citizen diplomacy,” says Abouraya. "So many wonderful things happening. And it’s been amazing to see the program evolve so much over the last four years of my involvement. Very excited to continue this very important work."
Abouraya is a former regional director for American Express Travel. He expects to build on the confidence and collaboration of BSC members and partners, encouraging youthful vitality, dynamism and innovation.
Baltimore Sister Cities promotes cultural exchange and cooperation with eight Sister Cities, including Luxor and Alexandria in Egypt as well as Xiamen, China; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Gbargna, Liberia; Piraeus, Greece; Kawasaki, Japan; Changwon, South Korea. In 2019, BSC affiliated committees hosted delegations from Kawasaki and Changwon, attended the Sister Cities International Annual Conference, organized activities during ethnic heritage events and participated in the World Trade Center State of the Ports event.
During 2020, affiliated committees expect to participate in the World Trade Center Institute Taste of Business in Japan; send exchange students from Morgan State University School of Architecture to Rotterdam; participate in the Enoch Pratt Free Library Imagination Celebration and promote the Xiamen China International Fair for Investment and Trade. Additional events are listed here.
Mr. Abouraya has proved to be an outstanding bridge-builder and peacemaker, organizing the screening of the documentary film, The Sultan and the Saint in three main cities in Egypt as well as Baltimore and Washington, D.C., while recommending dialogue with all Egyptians. Abouraya – a passionate global citizen diplomat and ambassador for citizen-to-citizen diplomacy and culture – has announced several upcoming events to be hosted by the Baltimore Luxor Alexandria Sister City Committee:
- Egyptian Immersion Experience: Travel with A Purpose, a small group tour to Egypt November 7th to 20th, 2020;
- Culinary Healthy - Egyptian Cuisine on March 25, 2020 at the Middle East Institute, Washington, D.C.; and
- World-renowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawaas' presentation on Egypt Then and now on June 25 Baltimore War Memorial.
Abouraya expects to continue the growth of Baltimore Sister Cities, including the addition of Sister Cities in Latin America and other parts of the world. Interested citizens and volunteers are urged to contact BSC at firstname.lastname@example.org.