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The Levantine Foundation invites you to Film Premieres – 2021

Premiered on Tuesday 16 February 2021
15:00 -16:30 (UK time – GMT)

Preserving World Memory: The Levantine Foundation & Deir al-Surian

This is a 20-minute documentary giving an overview of the Deir al-Surian collection for future scholars and students in the related fields of cultural history, Near Eastern Studies, anthropology, religious studies, medieval history, and the history of the book as both textual and material artefact. It covers the history of the Monastery’s Collection, details the Foundation’s role in its preservation as well as scholarly commentary on the different language collections: Coptic-Arabic, Syriac and Ethiopic.

The Wonders of Writing: The Story of How Books were Made

Created with 9–11-year-olds in mind, this film is intended as a resource for teachers in primary schools, both in Egypt and further afield, and for those running educational programmes in museums and libraries. The film aims to raise awareness of the historical importance of writing and shows the making of a simple note-book, using Coptic binding techniques: the basis of book making since the first century AD.

The films will be introduced by the Foundation’s Chief Executive, Elizabeth Sobczynski, and the screenings will be followed by a panel discussion.

Should you have any queries or require additional information regarding the launch event, please email our Project Manager, John J Johnston, at

The Levantine Foundation’s project “Preserving Egyptian Coptic Heritage through conservation, scholarship and educational dissemination’ is funded by the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund, in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Launch of the Syriac Catalogue British Library, London 30 September 2014

On Tuesday 30th 2014 September in the boardroom of the British Library in London, the Levantine Foundation proudly launched the Catalogue of the Syriac Manuscripts and Fragments in the Library of Deir al-Surian, Wadi al-Natrun (Egypt) . The culmination of Professor Lucas van Rompay and Dr. Sebastian Brock over 8 years work, the catalogue gives a comprehensive description of forty eight bound manuscripts and over two hundred fragments on parchment, paper and papyrus preserved in the monastery. It opens with an introduction emphasising the huge importance of this collection, outlining the history of the monastery, and finishes with an album of well selected images.

To read the full article please download PDF.

Opening of the new library Deir Al-Surian Wadi el Natrun, Egypt 19 May 2013

On Sunday 19 May, 2013, the Deir al-Surian has opened its doors to guests attending the opening of the new state-of-the-art library.  The event was held under the patronage of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark; His Grace Bishop Mattaos, Abbot of Deir al-Surian; and The Levantine Foundation.  The library was opened by HG Bishop Mattaos, Abbot of Deir al-Surian, and the event attended by James Watt, HM Ambassador to Egypt; Sir Derek Plumbly, President of The Levantine Foundation; Mr. Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, former Egyptian Prime Minster; Amb. Dr. Mohamed Shaker, Chairman of the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development; Dr Khalil Nougaim, Executive Director of The Levantine Foundation in Egypt; Elizabeth Sobczynski, CEO The Levantine Foundation and many distinguished heads of the Coptic Orthodox Church, and other eminent guests.

To read the full article please download the PDF.

Museology and Conservation Programme in Cairo The Award Ceremony Sofitel Hotel Cairo 25 November 2012

To view photographs please visit the following link.

The Levantine Foundation (TLF) and Sawiris Foundation for Social Development (SFSD) will organise a graduation ceremony of 100 trainees, at Sofitel Hotel, Cairo, on the 25th of November. TLF, a charity registered in England and Egypt, has provided the trainees with a world-class training programme in Paper and Book Conservation, while SFSD provided all the related funds for this project. The project has been implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Antiquities, The National Library and Archives of Egypt and Leiden University. (see link for details)  The Foundation makes considerable efforts to hold social events that include talks from distinguished speakers on cultural topics relating to the Near East.  Examples of these have been:

  1. Dr. Michelle Brown, former curator of Western Manuscripts at the British Library on the links between Egypt and Britain in the 7th century.
  2. William Dalrymple on the subject of his book about the early church, “From the Holy Mountain”.
  3. Dr. Sebastian Brock on “Abbot Mushe and the Poll Tax”. (see newsletter)
  4. Dr. Lucas van Rompay on the Greek Fathers in the Egyptian Desert (see newsletter)

A successful fundraising reception was held at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, London, on 26 November 2008.