- Published on 09 March 2015
It was held in Cairo in 1999 under the auspices of Her Excellency Egypt’s First Lady, Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak Honorary Chairperson of Special Olympics Egypt. 210 athletes and 89 coaches took part at the Games. The athletes represented 13 programs; Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, Egypt and Jordan.
The participants competed in three sports; Athletics, Swimming and Table-Tennis at the Cairo Stadium Indoor Complex, Hall 2, and the Ministry of Education Swimming Pool.
The 1st Games were held during the period from 1 to 4 February 1999. This event marked launching of the activities of the Arab Special Olympics which was founded in 1997. The Games was attended by the previous SOI President Dr Timothy Shriver as well as several top officials of the participating nations including Dr Bishara Merheg, Lebanon’s Minister of Infrastructure, Mrs. Randa Bery, wife of Lebanese Deputy Head Nabuh Bery, Dr Mervat El-Tellawy Egypt’s Minister of Social Affairs and Dr Mofid Shehab Minister of Higher Education and Arab and Foreign Ambassadors in Egypt.
The opening ceremony lasted for one and a half hours and there were different artistic shows performed by Special Olympics Egypt athletes. The athletes speech was delivered by the Swimmer Mostafa Galal, then the SO Egypt National Director Eng. Ayman Abdel-Wahab gave his speech followed by speeches from Dr Ismail Osman, SO Egypt Chairman, Dr Timothy Shriver and His Highness Prince Raad Bin Zeid.
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