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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class — Holidays in Egypt Series at ArabicPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Egyptian holidays and observances. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Lesson 21, Orphan's Day. In Egyptian Arabic, it’s called [يوم اليَتيم (yūm el-yatīm)].
In this lesson, we are going to talk about a beautiful day that reminds us of the blessing of having a father and a mother; it is Orphan's Day. Orphan's Day in Egypt is celebrated on the First Friday of April. On this day, there are a lot of visits to orphanages and shelters in an attempt for us to make sure the orphans, especially young children, aren't alone.
Let's learn more information about this beautiful day and how Egyptians celebrate it!
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question—
Do you know when Egypt began to celebrate Orphan's Day?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
The idea began in Egypt with a volunteer, or [ متطوع(mutaṭawweʿ)], from a famous association in Egypt called Dar Al-Orman charity association. This volunteer decided to gather a large number of orphans, or [ الأيتام(el-aytām)], and organize a big party for them to bring joy to their lives. Later, the Dar Al-Orman charity association itself decided to adopt this celebration and it organized a ceremony for 5,000 orphans in an attempt to relieve their pains and help them forget their harsh living conditions.
When the Egyptian government, or [ حكومة(ḥukūmah)], learned about Orphan's Day, the ministry of social solidarity decided to support the annual ceremony for the orphans. The idea also gained the interest and support of Amr Mousa who was then the general secretary of the Arab League, or [ جامعة الدول العربية(ǧāmʿet el-dewal el-ʿarabeyyah)]. This was accompanied by the support of many artists, media professionals, and athletes.
A famous advertising company launched a huge advertising campaign to spread awareness of the Orphan's Day and to call people to participate in this day by visiting orphanages and increasing their donations. The campaign had such a tremendous response that some Arab countries are currently thinking of celebrating the Orphan's Day there on the same day as well.
Amusement parks offer discounted tickets to orphan children and many singers offer concerts for free to bring happiness to the children.
And now I'll give you the answer to the earlier quiz.
Do you know when Egypt began to celebrate Orphan's Day?
The first celebration of Orphan's Day in Egypt began in 2004. It was the Dar Al-Orman charity association which decided to adopt the annual ceremony for the orphans. Recently, the celebration has begun spreading to many Arab countries through the Arab League, which supports and promotes the celebration.
So listeners, how was this lesson? Do you have a special day for orphans in your country? Let us know in the comments and we’ll see you next time! Bye! مع السلامة (maʿ el-salāmah)!