Immigration

Egyptian Minister praises Australia’s multiculturalism

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Egypt’s Emigration Minister, Nabilia Makram, says she’s ‘amazed’ by Australia’s diversity.

Egypt’s Minister of State for Emigration and Egyptian Expatriates Affairs, Nabilia Makram has visited Australia to learn about the country's immigration experience.

“I really respect what’s going on in Australia with all the diversity, languages, communities, cultures, I’m really amazed by what I saw here," she told SBS News.

“I will take the Australian experience back to Egypt, that’s for sure.”

Ms Makram was also in Australia to connect with Egyptian expats and educate them on the current political climate in Egypt.

Egypt hosts around five million refugees, 500,000 of which are from Syria and Ms Makram said accommodating them had been a challenge, but the country was coping.

“We are open to any cultural events going on with them," she said.

"So they are enjoying their time and still, it’s burden, but we are accommodating them.

“We are giving them rights, they have the right to go to schools, to universities. Egypt is accommodating them, protecting their rights.”

She said Syrian refugees had a particularly admirable work ethic.

“If you go to Egypt, you will see lots of Syrians working and actually they are good examples to Egyptians because they see that people like Syrians, they are refugees but they are working and they are living a standard modern life,” she said.

Ms Makram said countries across the globe should embrace this.

“Syrians are everywhere now," she said.

"From what I’ve seen, they are engaging to the country they go to, they are very well accommodating, working a lot, really.

“It’s a good opportunity to use them for the sake of the country.”

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