Cairo, June 25: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Egypt, visited Al-Hakim Mosque in Cairo today, the 11th-century mosque which was repaired with the help of the Dawoodi Bohra community, an important cultural site for the community in Cairo.
The Dawoodi Bohra community is considered a significant support base for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
PM Modi has had a long-standing relationship with the Dawoodi Bohras, from when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. As Gujarat CM in 2011, he invited the community to celebrate the 100th birthday of the then-religious head of the Dawoodi Bohra community, Syedna Burhanuddin.
After Burhanuddin’s passing in 2014, PM Modi visited Mumbai to offer condolences to his son and successor, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin. In 2015, PM Modi visited Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, the current religious head of the community, with whom he has always shared a cordial relationship.
In 2016, Syedna called on the PM, who fondly reminisced about his relationship with four generations of Dawoodi Bohra religious heads. Even during his visit to Bangladesh, PM Modi met with a delegation of Dawoodi Bohras.
The PM’s trip to Egypt is expected to pave the way for a substantial increase in India’s investment in the North African country and a ladder for Egypt to gain entry to the BRICS economic bloc.
Notably, it is PM Modi’s first visit to Egypt as prime minister and the first by any Indian prime minister since 1997. The visit comes months after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s January visit to New Delhi when he was the chief guest at India’s 74th Republic Day celebrations. El-Sisi was the first Egyptian president accorded the honor.
The two nations are also historically connected with Indian emperors sending their convoys to Egypt centuries ago. They are also working to boost their ties in terms of economic and trade agreements along with defense.
India and Egypt shared a crucial diplomatic relationship since 3rd century BC. During that era, Indian Emperor Ashoka the Great dispatched his envoys to the court of the Egyptian ruler Ptolemy II Philadelphus.
The two nations share similar values, aspirations, and their common pursuit of independent foreign policy.