The Ministry of Culture directs cultural activities in Egypt. The country has various cultural facilities, including the Pocket Theater, the National Puppet Theater, the Opera House, and the National Symphony. Since the early 1960s there has been a growing interest in folk dancing, which is performed by two national dance groups. Egypt is the principal filmmaking country in the Arab world, with a state-operated cinema corporation and numerous private film companies. Among the many outstanding museums in Cairo is the Egyptian Museum, also known as the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, which houses a vast collection of relics and artifacts from almost every period of ancient Egypt. For more information on the rich and varied heritage of Egypt, see Egyptian Art and Architecture; Egyptian Literature. Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz won the 1988 Nobel Prize for literature, becoming the first Arabic writer to do so.
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