Egypt and India represent two ancient civilisations.

The similarities between the two countries do not end there.

The Egyptian Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Tarek Kamel, who was in Chennai to sign a memorandum of understanding with his Indian counterpart Dayanidhi Maran, gave this idea a "personal dimension."

He said that there were many similarities between him and Mr. Maran.

Both were young Dr. Kamel is in his early 40s while Mr. Maran is approaching 40.

Both became Ministers in 2004.

Both got married in 1994. Their fathers were political figures, and died in the same year, 2003. Dr. Kamel's narration of these details impressed the gathering at the MoU signing ceremony. And, naturally, as he wound up his speech, he was greeted with a loud applause from the audience.

T. Ramakrishnan