The Global Community Center Connects Egypt to the Hantagawa Community Center in Naha

The Global Community Center Connects Egypt to the Hantagawa Community Center in Naha

(From the right) Shinnosuke Minami and Town Kitchen’s Yoshitaka Nishiyama exchanging ideas with college students about the global community center in Cairo, Egypt

October 30, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo

By Hiroe Nakagawa and Yoko Tabuki


A plan has begun to connect Egypt and the Hantagawa Community Center in Naha, with the goal of building a community center in Egypt.

In January, the “Global Community Center,” that links the Hantagawa Community Center with Cario, Egypt opened. In September, Hantagawa Community Center President and head of the non-profit organization “10,000-Person Meeting” Shinnosuke Minami visited Egypt.

Egypt, which only recently democratized and is still lacking in citizen autonomy, has been experiencing a decline in the connective tissue between regions.

In order to create a regional hub as well as develop a way to tackle issues together, the desire for a community center that connects them to the world has been increasing.


The representatives connecting Egypt with the Hantagawa Community Center are Mohamed Abdel-Meguid in Egypt and his Okinawan-born wife, Misaki.


Meguid was aboard the Ship for World Youth in 2004, where he studied the differences of each country’s education systems, and took home the thought, “Education leads to the development of the country.”

After returning to Egypt, he took interest in Japanese community centers, and decided he, “wanted to make a community center that would be a good fit for Egypt.”

While living in Okinawa from 2011 through 2015, he studied the practical administration of a community center at Hantagawa Community Center.

Hantagawa Community Center video conferencing with Egypt over the internet in January 2018 at the Hantagawa Communiy Center in Naha

However, after democratization in Egypt there was a government crackdown on citizen movements and public gatherings.

Since this made it difficult for a regional hub like a Japanese-style community center, the internet-based, “Global Community Center,” that would connect them to world without having to wait for a physical location was became the first step to a community center.


In January, the first meeting of the Global Community Center will take place simultaneously in a private facility in Cairo as well as the Hantagawa Community Center.

There were four lectures where each side shared with the other about their education and culture. In September, Shinnosuke Minami and Yoshitaka Nishiyama, the head of the private organization Town Kitchen, visited universities and private institutions in Egypt to exchange ideas with Meguid as part of an initiative by the Japan Foundation.


In an information session on October 29, Meguid’s wife Misaki said, “It is important to gather and learn as individuals across international borders.”

Minami advised, “As the value of an individual increases, Egypt has a need for a place they can feel a real connection to. A community center that is useful for Egypt could also be said to be groundbreaking for a Japanese community center. It is a chance to reimagine the Japanese community center”


(English translation by T&CT and Sam Grieb)


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