Monthly Archives: October 2010

Egypt’s Bedouins celebrate diversity in annual festival

Marsa Alam, Egypt – Around 350 Bedouins from 21 tribes from across Egypt took part in the third Characters of Egypt festival to discuss their culture lives as nomads, organizers said Saturday.

Veiled Bedouin Woman

‘The main objective of the festival is to provide an opportunity for representatives of the different tribes which were living across the Egyptian desert for many years to meet and celebrate diversity,’ Walid Ramadan, one of the organizers, told the German Press Agency dpa, shortly before the festival came to an end.

Beduine Man standing in the Desert

Beduine Man standing in the Desert

The two-day event, which took place in Marsa Alam, some 175 kilometres south of the Red Sea resort of Hurghada, also attracted Egyptians and tourists.

The festival allowed them to find out more about tribal law and customs, ecosystems and ecotourism and native plant medicines.

Egyptian tribe

Egyptian tribe

Each tribe also showed off its own local dances, poetry, food and sports.

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Memphis Tours Egypt Since 1955
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Posted By   : Shaimaa Ahmed


Museum of Islamic Art Centennial

On Monday the Museum of Islamic Art celebrated two major milestones: the centennial of the museum’s existence and the grand reopening of the museum after an eight year refurbishment project. The day was a whirlwind of activity but I am so proud of this incredible achievement. It was a wonderful day, complete with a tour of the museum in the morning to invited dignitaries and press. The First Lady of Egypt, Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak was also able to receive a private tour of the collection and was overjoyed at the beauty of the displays. In the evening, over 600 guests attended a beautiful dinner in the garden of Manial Palace in Cairo.

Glass lamps dating back to the Fatimid

Newly constructed Museum of Islamic Arts

It was a wonderful event and I hope that everyone who visits Egypt will take the opportunity to tour this museum and view our magnificent Islamic art collection. I am including here my speech from the celebration dinner and would like to extend my deepest thanks to everyone involved in refurbishing the museum.

“Minister of Culture, Mr. Farouk Hosny; Your exellencies; my dear colleagues and honored guests:

Tonight we are celebrating a monument of incredible cultural and historical significance. This monument, the Museum of Islamic Art, has stood as one of the greatest accomplishments of Islamic culture for a century.


In 1979, I visited the Museum of Islamic Art and was sickened by the state of disrepair that the building had fallen into. Although by name it was called a “museum” it was not worthy of this title. There were thousands of objects crammed into very small halls that denied the visitor the beauty of Islamic art, and kept the magnificence of these objects shrouded in darkness. The heavy-hearted feeling that I walked away with that day stayed with me until 2003 when I decided that the museum should be completely refurbished.

Museum of Islamic Arts re-open

Museum of Islamic Arts re-open

This project proved to be a great challenge for myself and Mr. Farouk Hosny, the Minister of Culture, because the building of the museum itself was very old and its location under the Dar el-Kotob building made the museum structurally unsound. When we started the project we had countless problems. As soon as one issue was resolved, another one appeared. I insisted that the project would be completed and I visited the site every week. I firmly believed that the Egyptians would rise to the challenge and after 8 years of hard work this project has finally been completed. In my wildest dreams I never imagined that the museum would be this beautiful. To be honest I think that the reconstruction of the Museum of Islamic Art was my most demanding project over the last 8 years.


Tonight I am proud to announce that Egypt has one of the most beautiful museums of Islamic art in the world and all Egyptians should take great pride in this achievement. This museum stands in the heart of Cairo, and we all know that Cairo is the center of the Islamic and Arabic civilizations.


I don’t want to repeat what most of us already know. I won’t list for you how many artifacts the Museum of Islamic Art contains, how many halls, what periods the objects date to or the age of the pieces themselves. I don’t want my brief speech to turn into a lecture. Most of you know this information and if not it is easy to find. Instead I would like to mention the people that had such an important role in this museum’s success.

Dear guests, we should all be proud of the new beginning of this museum. This moment would not be possible without the countless hours of work put in by dedicated professionals from various fields. The crowning achievement of all this hard work was the visit of President Mubarak when he inaugurated the Museum of Islamic Art in August. Only a few minutes ago, our happiness was completed when Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, the First Lady, visited the museum and expressed her joy over the display of the objects.  This evening we should all be grateful for those who have supported this huge project. On behalf of all of us I would like to thank Prince Karim Aga Khan and his Trust for Culture, and the studio of Adrien Gardere, French consultant for the reconstruction project. I would like to extend my thanks to the Louvre Museum in Paris for their assistance in creating the Museum of Islamic Art scenario, along with Egyptian curators and Dr. Mahmoud Mabruk who completed the organization of the displays. I would also like to thank the archaeologists, curators and the staff of the National Defense Council for their great efforts, along with the architect Said el-Komi.

Lamp From the Mosque of Sultan Hussan

Lamp From the Mosque of Sultan Hussan

Honored guests on this evening please allow me acknowledge the Minister of Culture, Mr. Farouk Hosny, for his dedication to this project. He visited the site several times over the course of the reconstruction and was involved in many details of the museum design, including the color of the gallery walls. His artistic touch can truly be seen all over the museum. All of these people working together have helped to create a world-class museum that has garnered international recognition.”

Memphis Tours Egypt Since 1955
Posted by : Shaimaa Ahmed

Categories: Cairo Info, Egypt Latest news, Events In Egypt, Internternational Museums, Latest new in Egypt, Museums | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Egypt plans to gradually end visa requirements for Turks

Turkey and Egypt may begin a gradual process of mutually ending visa requirements. For this, Egypt will first implement a “white visa” policy for Turkish businessmen and academics, facilitating their entrance to the country and allowing them to stay in the country for up to three months. The agreement will soon expand to cover others as well in the long run.

Egypt and Turkey

Egypt and Turkey

Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said he spoke with Egypt’s Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and Egyptian Trade and Industry Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid over the possibility of abolishing visa requirements between the two countries.

Hisarcıklıoğlu also spoke about Nazif’s plans to ease the strict procedures for granting visas for businessmen and intellectuals. The strategic partnership between Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan to improve their economies through increased levels of cooperation is far more important, explained Hisarcıklıoğlu.

The TOBB president also voiced the problems of Turkish businessmen who want to invest in Egypt. “We are here not only to earn money but also to share our experiences. It is straightforward that problems can arise in any country. For instance, Şişe Cam, a leading glass manufacturer in Turkey, wants to invest approximately $500 million in Egypt. They only want to have a natural gas access in their plant,” said Hisarcıklıoğlu.

Separately, Ahmed El Wakeel, chairman of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, announced on Monday that Ro-Ro voyages between Turkey and Egypt would be launched on March 1, 2011. The announcement came during a business visit by a delegation of Turkish businessmen under the chairmanship of Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu, president of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), to Egypt. Both parties signed a memorandum of understanding to launch a Ro-Ro line between Mersin and Alexandria at the Turkish Embassy in Cairo.

The idea, first put forward by the company COMMIT Co., was realized after the necessary permission was obtained from the relevant authorities Zühal Mansfield, head of the Turkish-Egyptian Business Council, also stated. “Any transportation and logistics firm will be able to apply for a license to run trips between Egypt and Turkey in the near future,” she said.

Speaking to Today’s Zaman, COMMIT Co. CEO Alper Celen sounded more optimistic and explained that the prospect of launching trips even before March seemed very likely. El Wakeel underlined that two companies from Egypt and Turkey had already reached an agreement on beginning the trips 10 days earlier. He also pointed out that Ro-Ro transport is much more advantageous when compared to road transportation and that such a Ro-Ro line will boost trade ties between the two countries.

In other news, in a meeting organized by a Turkish delegation with their Egyptian counterparts on Saturday in the historic city of Alexandria both sides agreed to establish the Turkish-Egyptian Chamber of Commerce. The meeting was also attended by Rachid Mohamed Rachid, the Egyptian minister of industry and foreign trade.

Hisarcıklıoğlu underlined that trade volume between the two countries has so far reached $3.4 billion and is expected to reach $10 billion in 10 years, adding that all available resources should be used to increase trade activities. He also suggested the expansion of an already established free trade zone between Turkish, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon to include Egypt as well. El Wakeel responded by saying that there is a free trade agreement between Turkey and Egypt and a duty exemption deal between EgyptSyriaLebanon is still in effect and expressed his hope that Egypt would be included in the list of countries Turkey has a common free trade zone with.

Turkish ambassador to Egypt Hüseyin Avni Botsalı also revealed that a visa waiver agreement is about to be concluded between the two countries for businessmen, artists and professionals. Visitors will be able to stay for up to three months without a visa.

Memphis Tours Egypt Since 1955
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Posted by : Shaimaa Ahmed

Categories: Egypt Latest news, International affairs | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Neues Museum celebrates first anniversary

The 15 October 2010 marked the first anniversary of the Neues Museum’s reopening on the Museum Island Berlin. Since opening its doors a year ago, more than 1.2 million visitors have streamed into the building to take a look at the exhibitions held by the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection and the Museum of Prehistory and Early History, with further objects from the Collection of Classical Antiquities. It took some 70 years before the museum, damaged as a result of the war, was finally able to be reopened last year.


Neuse Museum before Restoration

Neuse Museum before Restoration

In the first year of its existence, the Neues Museum received numerous awards, including the Association of German Architects’ (or BDA’s) prize for 2009, the special Berlin Architecture Award 2009, the Travel + Leisure Design Award 2010, the RIBA Award 2010, the BDA’s ‘Große Nike’ Prize and the European Union’s Europa Nostra Prize 2010 for Cultural Heritage.

Neues Museum in Berlin, Germany

Neues Museum in Berlin, Germany

Extensive cleaning and maintenance work is now required due to the great influx of visitors attracted to the museum over the last year. The Neues Museum will therefore be shut from Monday 24 January to Wednesday 26 January 2011 and will reopen on Thursday 27 January.

Berlin – The bust of ancient Egyptian queen Nefertiti, whose ownership is a point of dispute between Germany and Egypt, has drawn some 1.2 million visitors since the Neues Museum where it is displayed re-opened last year, museum officials said Thursday.


Nefertiti bust, Berlin museum, Germany

Nefertiti bust, Berlin museum, Germany

The 3,300-year-old Nefertiti bust is the center-piece of the museum’s collection. Officials there say it was legally purchased in 1913. But Egyptian officials have continued to insist that the bust should be returned.


Memphis Tours Egypt Since 1955
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Posted By     : Shaimaa Ahmed

Categories: Archaeology, Internternational Museums, Museums | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

International Congress of Egyptologists

The Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt (SCA) is proud to announce that it has been entrusted by the International Association of Egyptologists (IAE) with the task of organizing the 11th International Congress of Egyptologists (ICE) 2012. The SCA hopes to build on the enormous success of the 2000 Congress, the last to be held in Cairo, which is remembered as one of the most memorable Egyptological gatherings in recent history. The ICE 2012 will be held from September 7-14, in the Mena House Oberoi at Giza, and scholars are cordially invited to participate by submitting abstracts of research papers.

Cert eye

Cert eye

The ICE 2012 follows the end of a decade that has witnessed a complete restructuring of the SCA’s administrative system and redefining of its mission in the management of Egyptian archaeological heritage. Over the past decade, the SCA has strengthened its relationship with all members of the Egyptological community, a relationship that is based on mutual respect, and partnership to preserve and protect Egypt’s antiquities. The organization of the ICE 2012 represents one part of this cooperation between the SCA and international scholars, focusing on a better understanding of Egypt’s rich heritage.


The International Congress of Egyptologists is traditionally open to all areas of Egyptological research, and it is the goal of the organizing committee of the ICE 2012 to maintain the ethos set by the previous congresses by seeking research papers focusing on all major themes of Egyptology. However, a multidisciplinary approach to aspects of Ancient Egypt and its material culture is highly encouraged. The list of suggested themes includes: history, social history, prehistory and state formation, archaeology, art history, cross-cultural relations, economy, religion and religious literature, language and literature, archaeometry, and museum studies. Also, proposals for closed sessions (3-4 papers) reporting on the progress of excavation on major archaeological sites will be considered by the scientific committee of the ICE, and time slots will be allocated upon the approval of the proposal.


While attendance of the ICE 2012 is open to all Egyptologists, abstracts of papers will only be accepted from MA and PhD holders, who also must be members of the IAE. In keeping with the tradition set previously, the ICE 2012 organizing committee will administer a refereed congress, whereby abstracts will be peer-reviewed. In the same manner, articles submitted for final publication of the ICE 2012 proceedings will also be subject to peer review.


The languages of communication of the ICE 2012 are English, French, German and Arabic. For scholars who are proposing to present in Arabic, their abstracts should, however, be submitted in English for peer review. The deadline for abstract submission, as well as, the guidelines will be included in the second announcement of the ICE 2012 in January 2011. Questions should be sent to Dr. Ramadan B. Hussein, Coordinator of the ICE 2012 at:

Memphis Tours Egypt Since 1955
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Posted by :    Shaimaa Ahmed

Second Egypt Race for cure October 23, 2010

Under the auspices of  Mrs.  / Suzanna Mubark, Egypt’s First Lady through the Suzanne Mubark International Women for Peace and National Council for Women and Dr. Zahi Hawass, the secretary _ general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and the Foundation of Breast Cancer Foundation in the Partnership with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure in the U.S on October 23, 2010 to host the race, the Second Race for Breast Cancer Cure in the Pyramids area in Giza. And under the Sponsorship of  SAMSUNG, the official sponsor of the Egyptian Race Year 2010

Egypt Cancer Race in the Pyramids 2009

Egypt Cancer Race in the Pyramids 2009

Memphis Tours Egypt as a huge Travel organization will take part in this race to develop the rank of understanding the real danger of the breast cancer in Egypt and to celebrate with others as they fight to survive breast cancer.

Last year, the first Egypt Race for the Cure® was a huge success with approximately 6000 people attending. Individuals and teams of all age groups gathered wearing Race T-shirts and caps, and ran or walked from the smallest pyramid to the Sphinx.

International Race:
Thanks to the interest, hard work and collaboration of a variety of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governmental agencies, and individuals who want to make a difference in breast cancer mortality rates, Komen Race for the Cure events are being organized in places throughout the world Ambassador Brinker never dreamed of 27 years ago.

In addition to the six international Races conducted by our Komen Affiliates in Germany, Italy and Puerto Rico, Komen is currently collaborating with select NGOs in Europe, Africa (North and Sub-Saharan), the Middle East, Latin America and Western Asia to host co-branded, culturally appropriate Races. In total, 141 Races will be held worldwide in 2010.

The Event’s Official Speakers :
Mr:Sayed Abd El Aziz, Giza Governor
Dr:Moshera Khattab, Minister of State for Family and Population
Dr. Zahi Hawass, The secretary _ general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities
General Essam Abdel-Hady, The head of the Sound and Light company

Memphis Tours Egypt Since 1955
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Posted By: Shaimaa Ahmed

Categories: Cairo Info, Egypt Latest news, Events In Egypt | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The world’s fourth largest marine terminal operator at Egypt

Khaleej Times

DUBAI — DP World, the world’s fourth largest marine terminal operator, announced on Thursday that it had inked an agreement to double its operations at Sokhna Port in Egypt.

The port operator, which handles 50 terminals and 11 new developments across 31 countries, said the new terminal at Sokhna Port would have a quay length of 1,300 metres and a capacity of 1.75 million TEU.

“It will more than double DP World Sokhna’s existing capacity to match the rapid increase in volumes at the port. It is anticipated the new capacity will be available within four years,” the terminal operator, which acquired UK operator P&O for £3.92 billion in 2006, said in a statement.

The new agreement replaces the original concession agreement awarded to DP World Sokhna and further extends the concession to 35 years after the construction of the new terminal.

Egypt’s Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem officiated at the  signing of an agreement between DP World and the Red Sea Ports Authority on Thursday.

Sokhna Port is located at the southern end of the Suez Canal.

“The new agreement is recognition of the contribution DP World Sokhna has made to the local economy and the successful role it has played in meeting the growing needs of our customers with quality services. We thank the Red Sea Ports Authority for the trust placed in us and look forward to a growing cooperation,” said Sulayem.

“The DP World Sokhna Basin 1 terminal has been performing extremely well, working above capacity, thanks to the high level of cooperation we have received from our customers and the authorities. DP World Sokhna has already brought a new level of energy to economic activity in this part of Egypt with its state-of-the-art maritime facility. We hope to contribute even more to Egypt’s growth under the new agreement,” said Captain Osama Al Sharif, Chairman of DP World Sokhna.

In 2009, DP World handled more than 43.4 million twenty-foot equivalent container units across its portfolio from the Americas to Asia.

With a pipeline of expansion and development projects in key growth markets, including India, China and the Middle East, capacity is expected to rise to around 95 million TEU over the next 10 years as per market demand.

On Wednesday, DP World reiterated that it would seek a secondary listing in the London stock exchange soon after it publishes its financial results next March.

© Khaleej Times 2010

Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin

Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955.

Categories: Egypt Latest news | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Egyptian/Chinese Agreement for Cultural Repatriation

Egyptian-Chinese FlagOn Tuesday, October 12, 2010, Egypt and China will sign a collaborative agreement for the Protection and Restitution of Stolen Cultural Property Transferred Illicitly. Shan Jixiang, General Director of Chinese State Administration of Heritage, and Dr. Zahi Hawass will sign then agreement tomorrow at the Supreme Council of Antiquities’ (SCA) offices in Zamalek. This will be the sixteenth agreement signed betweenEgypt and other countries to prohibit illicit trade in antiquities and the protection of the cultural heritage. Other countries that have signed similar agreements include: Jordan, Italy, Switzerland, Cuba and Ecuador.

Hawass said that the agreement reflects the duty of each country to protect its cultural heritage and their obligation to stand against illicit antiquities trafficking. The agreement highlights the regulation and articles of the 1970’s UNESCO convention that prohibits the importing, exporting and possession transferring of cultural properties.
The Chinese-Egyptian collaboration began after China’s attendance at the first annual Conference on International Cooperation for the Protection and Repatriation of Cultural Heritage last April. This conference focused on the restitution of cultural and archaeological objects, which had been illegally smuggled out of their homelands.
Ashraf El-Ashmawi, SCA legal consultant, said that the article of the agreement stipulates the prohibition of antiquities trade, importing or transferring the possession of cultural, art, historical and archaeological properties and the prohibition of its illegal entrance into other countries. The article also provides guidelines for the safe return of any antiquity to its native country. El-Ashmawi continued that the agreement also prohibits the illicit entry of any plant or animal species without the required licenses. He also pointed out that this agreement with China is very important because China is currently one of the greatest markets for illegally traded antiquities.
Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin
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El Gouna shines as Egyptian holidays hotspot .

el gouna red sea

el gouna red sea

INTERNATIONAl. Despite the global downturn, it seems that Egypt remains one of the most sought-after holiday destinations with a 13% increase in the number of British visitors according to the latest data from the ONS’s International Passenger Survey.

Comparing British passenger numbers to the same time last year, the UK Office for National Statistics revealed substantial growth in the number of all-inclusive holidays to Egypt booked by Britons.

The Red Sea resorts of Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada remained popular but according to leading holiday rental site, HomeAway Holiday-Rentals, it is the area just north of Hurghada, El Gouna, which is shining as the Egyptian holiday hotspot with a 92% rise in booking enquiries so far in 2010 compared to the same period in 2009.

Steven Worboys, MD of Egypt property experts, Experience International, remarks: “El Gouna is a beautiful, up and coming resort on the Red Sea coast offering an unrivalled lifestyle. With 10km of golden sandy beaches, islands, crystal clear lagoons and a warm year round climate, it really is the perfect holiday destination.”

El Gouna’s popularity as an exclusive tourism destination is reflected in the high demand for rental accommodation. According to HomeAway Holiday-Rentals data, the average weekly rate for a 2 bedroom property in El Gouna is £480, considerably higher than nearby Hurghada at £270 and Sharm el Sheikh at £280, which should excite property owners.

One development in particular which is proving an investor’s dream due to its premium location and 2 year rental guarantee is Ancient Sands Golf Resort. Set around an 18-hole Karl Litten designed championship golf course the spacious homes of Ancient sands afford stunning views of the mountains, golf course and crystal clear lagoon waters.

Highly popular, buildings 1 and 2 are already sold out however studio apartments are now available in building 5 from £117,000. There are a wide variety of amenities on-site including spa centre, Quintessentially concierge service, restaurants, bars, swimming pools, tennis academy and children’s play area.


Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin

Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955.

Categories: Egypt Latest news | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Egyptian holidays are growing in popularity with UK travellers

The latest results from the on-going International Passenger Survey by the UK Office for National Statistics have revealed that an increasing number of British travellers are choosing to book holidays to Egypt. According to the poll, British passenger numbers to the country have increased by 13%, compared to the same time last year, showing all inclusive holidays to Egypt continue to be popular with UK holidaymakers despite the financial difficulties of the past 12 months.

Luke Nathan of online travel consultants says: “Although the number of foreign holidays taken by UK tourists fell last year due to the recession, the results of this poll show that the travel market is starting to recover. Egypt has been a very popular destination with travellers from all over the world, and the country has steadily grown in popularity over the past few years.”

The growing popularity of Egyptian getaways, including holidays to Sharm el Sheikh was also reflected in the Post Office’s most popular foreign currency rankings, where the Egyptian pound was named the 6th most requested foreign currency by customers, a statistic that comes as no surprise to the travel industry.

Nathan continues: “The results of the second poll were expected considering Egypt’s growing reputation as a great holiday destination. There’s so much to do and see over there, from trips to see the pyramids in Giza, to Taba holidays – where you can visit Pharaoh’s Island and engage in leisure activities such as golf, water skiing and many others, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.”

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Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin.

Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955.

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