Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who returned to Egypt after a gap of 24-years, said he was bowled over by the love and affection showered on him and would love shoot in the country of Pyramids again.
Bachchan’s first trip to the country was in 1975. He is currently here on a three-day trip to inaugurate the third edition of ‘India by the Nile’ cultural festival.
“My first visit to Egypt was in 1975 and I came to shoot a film here. And my last visit to Egypt was in 1991 to attend the Cairo International Film Festival and I realised the love and affection that Egyptians have for me,” said Bachchan during a press conference here.
The 72-year-old star, who was a huge star in the country in the ’80s and ’90s and still enjoys a great fan-following, said that Egypt has a very good atmosphere for film shootings.
“There are many facilities here, the atmosphere is very good, and people are very friendly. Every time we come here to shoot a film, we find cooperation from the state. So, yes we will love to shoot films in Egypt,” said Bachchan.
The actor had fond memories of his previous trips to the country that has an ancient civilisation similar to India.
“Every time I come back here I see your love and affection, very overwhelming. I really have no words to express,” he said.
“Our countries have shared a great historical association. We are two greatest civilizations in the entire world and this festival ‘India by the Nile’ brings the two nations together. I’m very fortunate to represent in many ways the Indian film industry,” Bachchan added.
When asked how he sees the country now, the actor said that he liked the friendly atmosphere.
“When I go back I will tell people please do come to Egypt. Everything is normal and fine,” said the star.
Egypt is hoping that Bachchan’s popularity will help bring more tourists from India to boost its economy, hit by political unrest since the ouster of long-time president Hosni Mubarak in 2011. A retrospective on Bachchan’s films ‘Paa’, ‘Anand’, ‘Black’, ‘Agneepath’, ‘Sholay’ will be shown during the festival.
Asked about the secret behind his success, Bachchan said, “There is no secret; my secret is ‘you’… It’s always been a pleasure to know that there are so many Egyptians watching us and appreciating our work. I’m eternally grateful to keep coming back to Egypt.
The festival, which runs till April 17, was also attended by Indian Ambassador to Egypt Navdeep Suri and the Egyptian Minister of Tourism Khaled Ramy among other officials.
“The message of the festival is that we as Indians, friends of Egypt, recognize the crucial impacts of tourism on the Egyptian economy. India sends millions of tourists each year. And many Indians want to come to Egypt if they are rightly addressed,” Suri said.
The Egyptian Minister of Tourism Khaled Ramy welcomed Bachchan and said that cinema was one of the important ways to promote tourism.
“We are looking to attract producers to produce films in Egypt as arts and celebrities have a great impact in promoting tourism,” said the minister.