In July 2022, IOV lost one of its most prominent international members, Egyptian Professor Ahmed Ali Morsi. With heavy hearts, we have grieved the educator of many generations. Prof. Morsi, who was a loving person and a friend to all, spent his life fighting for the support and preservation of folk arts and traditions. He was considered one of the most important Arab scholars in the field of folklore, served as Chairman of the Organization’s Council of Elders for many years. During his years of service, he was one of the most active workers in the organization on the international scene. As such, he was considered one of the most important members of the UNESCO Steering Committee for the Intangible Cultural Heritage; which guides non-governmental organizations and institutions of Member States involved in the field.
Prof. Morsi, born on January 1, 1944, received his PhD in 1963 from the Faculty of Arts at Cairo University. Since then, he held several academic positions, including Dean of the Higher Institute of Folk Arts from 1981-1987, editor-in-chief of the magazine Folk Arts, cultural advisor and director of the Educational Mission at the Egyptian Embassy in Italy and Spain, and advisor to the Folklore Center for the Arab Gulf States. In addition, Dr. Morsi also worked as a visiting professor in many universities: Harvard, Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia in America; Harvard in Britain; and other universities in Spain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
Also, in addition to his many achievements, Prof. Morsi authored many books and supervised a number of master’s and doctoral theses at Cairo University and held the presidency of the Egyptian Association of Folklore for several years.
Professor Morsi was a great friend, and a truly irreplaceable asset to the field of folklore. His passing is a great loss. May he rest in peace.