Indian community in Egypt felicitates Amitabh Bachchan
Cairo: Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who is in Egypt as the chief guest of the ‘India by the Nile’ festival, was honoured by the Indian community here at a glittering ceremony.
Acknowledging scores of people who had gathered to catch a glimpse of the popular star from their home country, the 72- year-old actor said that being in Egypt was like coming home.
“I am extremely humbled to be given this honour. It feels like coming home. I have been fortunate to be getting so much love from all of you,” Bachchan, after being honoured by the Indian Community Association of Egypt here last night, said.
Indian Ambassador to Egypt Navdeep Suri, during the event, thanked Bachchan for taking his time out to spend with his country’s people on a foreign land.
“All I want to say is that the Indian community here is a small, cohesive and professional group. We know how valuable your time is and I thank you for spending time with the community here. It means a lot,” Suri said.
Bachchan interacted with the audience and spoke about his struggle during the financial crises in 2000, which he said was the greatest learning experience for him and responsible for shaping the personality that he has become today.
“I realised during the difficult time that I must continue working. It is important to continue working. The moment you stop working you feel your life is over. You get too depressed. I am fortunate that things have worked this way. Now I feel that it was a blessing. If I had not failed I would not be at the place I am right now,” Bachchan, who is on a three-day visit, said.
The actor, who will soon receive Padma Vibhushan award, enlightened the audience about his involvement with various welfare programmes in India like Polio, girl child, tuberculosis among others.
India is organising 18-day ‘India by the Nile’ festival, considered the biggest foreign fair, in Egypt to send a message that the country is safe for Indian tourists despite violent extremist attacks and unrest.
Tourism is one of the major centrepieces of the Egyptian economy.
The tourism industry dwindled due to many violent attacks by militants since the January 2011 revolution that toppled ex-president Hosni Mubarak.
In 2013, former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster intensified the attacks, leading to a decrease in footfalls of foreign tourists.