Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Best Seven Ancient Tourist Attractions in Egypt.

“In Upper Egypt, so many people make their living from tourism, they won’t let anything happen to a tourist. It would be like attacking themselves,” Thomas said. “Most Egyptian people are kind and generous and consider you to be their guest in their country. They feel it’s their duty to make you happy.”

Okay, but this is Cairo — 20 million-plus people squished between the Nile and the Egyptian desert — even if everyone I met here, including those seven folks I’d asked directions of during a solo walk from the Cairo Marriott to the Ramses shopping centre, Tahrir Square and Egyptian Museum were helpful.

If you’re hesitant taking that once in a lifetime trip to Egypt, don’t be. Eight months after the overthrow of former president Hosni Mubarek, life in Egypt — jewel of the Nile and spell-binding North Africa — is pretty much back to normal. There have been two deadly confrontations between protesters and the army since, but both incidents were localized and none involved visitors to the country.

Egypt is quite likely the safest country in the Middle East and Africa. Tourism also is the country’s second-most important industry (next to the Suez canal).

Five million visitors arrived in Egypt in 2010, many lured by the irresistible Red Sea resort towns of Sharm El Sheikh and Hugearta. Others, like myself, came to see the great pyramids of Giza, the temples of Luxor, Valley of the Kings, the Nile, eclectic Aswan, the Sahara desert and so much else this diverse country has to offer. While tourism suffered during the first six months following the revolution, numbers are edging up again slowly.

Egypt is the cradle of civilization — so ancient that centuries before the Greeks invented Zeus, Apollo and Aphrodite, the Pharaohs already had erected gold temples to their gods: Amun (creator), Ra (Sun god) and Isis (goddess of motherhood, magic and fertility).

And, while there are Roman catacombs in Alexandria and Greek ruins in Cairo, the ancient world of the Pharaohs exists only in Egypt.

Here’s what impressed the most:

1. EGYPTIAN MUSEUM: If museum-strolling were a sport, a visit to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo would equate withscoring a seat to the World Cup soccer final. Nearly 200,000 visitors flocked to the Art Gallery of Ontario a few years ago to view 100 artifacts belonging to the Egyptian Pharaohs. Imagine, then, the drawing power of this overwhelming collection. Built in 1902, this two-storey, 42-room museum contains 120,000 ancient artifacts, including the mummies of 27 pharaohs, their gold thrones, coffins, jewels, art — you name it — plus the massive King Tut collection. While plans are afoot to relocate the museum near the great pyramids of Giza, the move is not imminent.

2. NILE RIVER CRUISE: About 85 million people live in Egypt, most of them in cities and towns hugging the Nile. It has been this way forever, so a river cruise is easily the best and most relaxing way to see historical Egypt. Just don’t expect five-star amenities. We sailed on the Ra 2, a typical flatboat with 75 cabins, a small deck-top swimming pool, one restaurant (buffet) and three bars, with not much in the way of entertainment. But when you’re sailing down the river of the Pharaohs, Cleopatra, Alexander the Great and Napoleon — nursing an Egyptian Stella (beer) — what’s not to like?

3. VALLEY OF THE KINGS — TOMBS: There were at least 63 Pharaohs buried here, in private, multi-roomed tombs, complete with elaborate story-telling murals and hieroglyphic script dating back to 1,700 BC. While grave-robbers emptied the first 62, Tut’s tomb — buried underneath King Ramses VI — wasn’t discovered until 1922 and remained untouched and over-flowing with priceless gold, jewelry and other antiquities, most of it now on display at the Egyptian Museum.

4. ASWAN, HIGH DAM, PHILAE TEMPLE: Located near the Tropic of Cancer, this city of 300,000 is home to the Aswan Dam, an incredible feat of engineering that re-routed the Nile, but flooded Nubian villages and several historic temples, including Philae. Philae was reconstructed block by block while new homes were purchased for the Nubians, many of whom make their living designing exotic, camel-bone jewelry.

5. KARNAK AND LUXOR TEMPLES: Karnak Temple is the largest in the world, as each successive Pharaoh felt obliged to add his own rooms. Karnak was featured in the James Bond classic, The Spy Who Loved Me, and is just down the road from the equally bewitching Temple of Luxor.

6. COPTIC CAIRO DISTRICT: Here, on the banks of the Nile, is where the baby Moses was discovered by the Pharaoh’s daughter; and where Joseph, Mary and Jesus hid out for three-and-a-half years. Cairo, itself, is an acquired taste, but enchanting when lit up at night.

7. THE GREAT PYRAMIDS/SPHINX OF GIZA: Amazing! The pyramids and sphinx are Egypt’s most recognizable symbols and can’t be missed.

Reference: Torontosun

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Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955

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1,109 Israeli tourists arrived at Sinai resorts

During the swap deal of Ilan Grapel and the 25 Egyptian prisoners, the Taba crossing border received 1,109 Israeli tourists heading to South Sinai.

Despite the recent events at the crossing border witnessed on Thursday October 27, traffic movement there is normal on Friday October 28 and before the closing of the border crossing during the accomplishment of the swapping.

 

Referenceyoum7

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Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955

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Spanish and Egyptian, Break-dancing and graffiti night

Thursday night, in the stark warehouse space of the Townhouse Gallery, a small crowd of young men and women stood

around drinking soda and smoking cigarettes. Many wore track jackets and over-sized baseball caps, baggy clothes and

Adidas shoes. Some posed to have their pictures taken in front of graffiti adorning the walls, folding their arms, leaning back, and letting the brims of their hats cover their eyes.

This was the first night of the fourth annual Urban Culture Gathering, sponsored by a long list of institutions, including the Spanish Embassy in Cairo-Egypt, the Egyptian Sector of Foreign Cultural Relations, and the Townhouse Gallery.

Over the course of three nights, several events took place to display how “Spanish and Egyptian youth speak the same cultural language,” including “hip-hop, rap, graffiti, b-boying, free-styling, and parkour.”

For the first night, two Spanish graffiti artists had spent the day covering the bare walls of the constantly reinvented

Townhouse. DEN, from Bilbao, and ZETA, from Madrid, had collaborated to the point that their two individual styles blended seamlessly together.

On one wall, a young boy, his hair highlighted with turquoise, looks sideways at the Ottoman-style domes and minarets of the Mohamed Ali mosque. Across the room, a pair of hands held a pair of ritualistic Pharaonic staves. Below the hands, an intricately detailed scarab sprouted huge, multi-colored wings.

Much of the imagery was Pharaonic and Islamic, signaling a desire among the artists to tailor their work to the cultural exchange represented by the festival. Surprisingly, though, none of the art referenced the revolution in January. In Cairo, graffiti, a form of painting that has historically been overtly political, has been totally subsumed by the themes of the revolution, and so here the absence of those themes — of tanks, Tahrir and crowds — was striking.

After a few minutes of standing around looking at the graffiti, a few dancers showed each other their moves tentatively. The music slowly grew louder and louder until it took over the room, and the dancers grew in number and seriousness.

Eventually they cleared away to make room for two young Spanish women, who launched into an impressive, quick hip-hop dance routine. After a minute or so, a third woman, in spray painted stockings, replaced them, whipping her body
Hip-hop, generally speaking, is a minor presence in Cairo, so one wouldn’t expect break-dancing to have taken off, but somehow it has. Developed in the 1970s in African American and Latino neighborhoods of New York City, break-dancing (also known as b-boying) became famous throughout urban areas in the US in the 1980s. One famous break-dancer, known as Crazy Legs, called the dance “a true American art form.” around violently in circles.

Everyone watching the first few dancers cheered, and everyone else in the room jogged over to gather around the dancing area. A succession of 30-second solo dances proceeded in rapid fire. An Egyptian young man in a striped sweater vest glided through a hip-hop rendition of the “robot.” Another burst into the center, splaying his legs and spinning in stunningly fast circles, making way for another dancer who walked on his hands. The final dancer virtuosically held a soccer ball between his foot and calf as he spun his body in quick, acrobatic circles.

The crowd of Spaniards and Egyptians watched, mesmerized. A form of dance developed in New York City in the 1970s was bringing together two groups of young men and women across the Mediterranean.

Reference: Daily News Egypt

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1,200 tourists gather to watch the sun light in Abu Simbel temple

Coming from different countries, 1,200 tourists were able to see the sun illuminate the inner sanctuary of the Abu Simbel temple Saturday, amidst an expansion of facilities used by tourists to the southern Egyptian archaeological site.

Archaeologist Ahmed Saleh, the Director General of Abu Simbel, said that the sun’s passage started promptly at 5:42 am, and lasted for 22 minutes. The illumination announced the beginning of the harvest season for the ancient Egyptians.

Saleh said the phenomenon has nothing to do with what is rumored about the Pharaoh’s birth or his coronation. The phenomenon is repeated twice each year, on Feb. 22 and Oct. 22.

Ahmed Saleh stressed the necessity of promoting this phenomenon all over the over by broadcasting the phenomenon on international channels.

Asad Abdul Majeed, the director of Abu Simbel, said that the city had prepared to receive the tourists. It undertook landscaping and an upgrade in lighting and waste disposal.

The first stage of an expansion of the 125 km (78 mile) Aswan-Abu Simbel road was completed, costing 125 million EGP (U.S. $21 million). The road was doubled in width, and added signage, stations, and car parks.

Work on the international airport of Abu Simbel also continued, with the addition of a car park. This is parallel effort with the creation of a parking area by the Abu Simbel Temple.

Most tourists come to Abu Simbel from Aswan, although some fly to the site or arrived on cruises and floating hotels.

Reference: youm7

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Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955

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Cultural Palaces to Organize Olive Tourist Festival

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Egyptian General Authority for Cultural Palaces (GACP) will hold the first Olive Tourist Festival, which aims to change societal behavior positively and merge many cultures.

The head of the authority’s central administration for technical affairs and the festival organizer, Mahmoud Refaat, said this festival would be held in cooperation with South Sinai governorate and GACP to activate tourism.

“The festival is called Olive Festival because it coincides with olive season in Arish,” said Refaat.

The authority will participate in the festival by presenting artificial shows for folk bands and scientific seminars. The festival will last for three days, from Oct. 21-23.

 

Reference: youm7

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Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955

Categories: Cultural Tourism, current events in egypt, Egypt Latest news, Egypt News, Events In Egypt, Festivals, Latest new in Egypt | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Foreign Ministry denies Britain issuing warnings against travelling to Egypt

Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Counsellor Amr Rushdi, absolutely denied some media circulated that the British Foreign Office issued warning to its nationals against travelling to Egypt, and even said that London has advised its citizens to leave Egypt, which is totally untrue, as the British Travel Guide is keen on stressing that there are no restrictions on travelling to Egypt.

The Spokesman added that the foreign ministries in many countries, including the Egyptian Foreign Ministry itself,

The Spokesman wondered why people circulate such rumours which might damage Egypt’s tourism, the main revenue resources. He also appealed to all media to seek accuracy and be responsible at such important stage. usually issue general instructions including recommendations to citizens before travelling abroad. The latest edition of the British Travel Guide, issued on Tuesday, did not include more than advising the British travelling to Egypt to carry their personal identifications; commit to the instructions of tourism companies and the Egyptian authorities and take into account the customs and Egyptian traditions.

Reference: Arab Republic of Egypt-Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955

Categories: 25th january revolution, Cairo Info, Cairo Tour, current events in egypt, Egypt after the revolution, Egypt Latest news, Egypt News, Egypt Revolution, Egypt Travel, Events In Egypt, Latest new in Egypt, The Egyptian revolution | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Youth Convoy to support ecotourism in the White Desert Protectorate in Wadi Gedid

Egyptian Minister of State for Environmental Affairs Maged Ilyas Ghattas yesterday announced the arrival of the first youth convoy to support ecotourism in the White Desert Protectorate in Wadi Gedid, the Upper Egypt governorate.

The youth convoy will spend four days in the protectorate, and they will work in cooperation with the Sea Scouts and with the Environmental Researcher Program.

The convoy will attempt to purify the Roman wells and archaeological sites. They will also work on road maintenance programs.

The youth will hold a cleaning campaign in the protectorate as well, Ghattas said, adding that they will remove weeds and parasites and maintain underground aquifers.

Roman wells, which serve both residents and tourists, are the only source of drinking water along the road leading to the protectorate.

The protectorate is considered an important habitat for many kinds of gazelles and birds.

The participants will also build a large umbrella next to the Saro well to help with tourism.

The civil police forces and criminal investigation teams are still in the process of arresting those who were illegally using excavation tools in the protectorate.

Reference: youm7

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Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955

Categories: Archaeology, Cairo Info, current events in egypt, Egypt Latest news, Egypt News, Events In Egypt, Latest new in Egypt | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘royal’ coffin has been discovered at Torquay Museum

An extremely rare Egyptian coffin, possibly belonging to the son of a king
or a very senior official, has
‘royal’ coffinbeen ‘discovered’ at Torquay Museum by an archaeologist at the University of Bristol.

Dr Aidan Dodson, a senior research fellow in Bristol’s Department of Archaeology and Anthropology made the discovery while undertaking a long-term project to catalogue every single Egyptian coffin in English and Welsh provincial museums.

Dr Dodson said: “When I walked into Torquay Museum for the first time I realised that the coffin was something really special.  Not only was it of a design of which there is probably only one other example in the UK (in Bristol), but the quality was exceptional.

“Cut from a single log of cedar wood, it is exquisitely carved, inlaid and painted.  For a child to have been given something like that, he must have had very important parents – perhaps even a king and queen. Unfortunately, the part of the inscription which named the boy and his parents is so badly damaged that we cannot be certain.

“The inscription had been re-worked at some point for a new owner – a 2,500 year old mummified boy, anonymous but given the name Psamtek by his current custodians, that came to Torquay Museum with the coffin when in was donated in the 1950s.  ‘Psamtek’ is in fact nearly 1,000 years younger than the coffin itself.”

The secrets of the mummified boy were probed by Torbay Hospital’s state-of-the-art CT scanner in 2006 in an attempt to determine his age and cause of death.  It was discovered that he was three to four years old – around three years younger than previously thought – but there were no obvious signs of the cause of death.

Ever since he went on show as part of a major redevelopment at Torquay Museum in 2007, ‘Psamtek’, the only human mummy on public display in the county, has captured the imagination of thousands of curious visitors.

But now his own coffin has stolen the limelight, after it was discovered that it is nearly 1,000 years older than the body it contains.  Further investigation reveals the coffin may have been made for a junior member of royalty more than a century before the time of the famous boy king Tutankhamun.

Museum curator Barry Chandler said: “It’s an extraordinary discovery and means that the coffin is now the most spectacular exhibit in our entire collection. It’s extremely rare – even the British Museum doesn’t have one quite like it.”

Both the coffin and its contents were donated to the museum in 1956 by Lady Winnaretta Leeds, daughter of sewing machine heir Paris Singer.  Fascinated by Egyptology, Lady Leeds travelled to the Middle East many times.  It was during one of her visits in the 1920s that she is thought to have bought the coffin and mummy.

For years they were kept hidden away in storage until Torquay Museum carried out a £2 million refurbishment and decided to make the items the centrepiece of an Egyptian exhibition in their new Explorers’ Gallery.

Mr Chandler said the always thought the coffin and its contents had not gone together and that the original occupant had been taken out so it could be reused.

“We thought perhaps the coffin dated back another 200 years or so to about 700BC,” he said. “But we never realised it had actually been made somewhere between the reign of Ahmose I and the early years of the reign of Thutmose III – the first and fifth rulers of the 18th Dynasty – so somewhere between 1525 and 1470 BC.

“Not only has it gained an awful lot of age, but it has gone back to one of the most famous Egyptian dynasties of all.  No-one knows who exactly Devon’s own ‘Psamtek’ was. It’s possible that he perished during a turbulent period in Egypt’s past when coffins were in short supply.”

The coffin is covered in linen impregnated with plaster.  Predominantly painted white, it has a red-painted face – indicating a male – and eyes that are made from volcanic glass and limestone mounted in bronze.  Further down, “perfectly modelled” knees are another of the features that indicate that the coffin must have originally contained someone important – either the child of a pharaoh or the offspring of a government minister.

 

 

Reference: Insciences Organisation

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Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955

Categories: Ancient Egypt, Archaeology, Cultural Tourism, current events in egypt, Egypt Latest news, Egypt News, Events In Egypt, Museums | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

KING TUT AND THE GOLDEN AGE

Discovery Times Square Exposition, New York City
April 23, 2010 – January 2, 2011

The Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharoahs Exhibition opens in New York City on April 23rd.  Ambassador Shoukry will attend the opening ceremony.  The exhibition includes approximately 130 objects from the tomb of King Tut and other Valley of the Kings ancestors.

 

Reference: Modern Egypt

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Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955

Categories: Ancient Egypt, Archaeology, Cairo history, Cairo Info, Cultural Tourism, current events in egypt, Egypt News, Events In Egypt | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sphinx Festival in Giza

Held at the Swiss Club, Cairo‘s Sphinx Festival is a gathering of artists, scholars and Egyptologists. It celebrates the fusion of art and science with dance shows, music performances and seminars on topics ranging from Egyptian cosmology to sacred geometry.

Reference:  Whatsonwhen

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Sphinx-Egypt

Sphinx-Egypt

Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955

Categories: Classical Tours, Cultural Tourism, Egypt Latest news, Egypt News, Egypt Tours, Events In Egypt | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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