28 May 2001 --
At its first meeting held in Cairo on May 28th, the Board of Trustees unanimously endorsed the recommendations of the search committee and selected Ismail Serageldin as the first Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA). Serageldin said he was most gratified by this vote of confidence by this most distinguished group and that he hoped to prove worthy of their confidence. He also particularly praised the leadership of first Lady Suzanne Mubarak, the chair of the Board, who was very conscious of the precedents being set by each action as the institutionalization of the BA was becoming a reality. Finally, Serageldin spoke of the enormous and inspiring challenge of leading this amazing intellectual adventure, of the inspiration and awesome burden of walking in the footsteps of such giants as Demetrius of Phaleron and Eratosthenes of Cyrene, the giants that had made of the Ancient Library of Alexandria such a beacon of tolerance, rationality, knowledge and innovation that we still marvel at its achievements more than 1600 years after it disappeared.