EGYPT TRAVEL NEWS
A New Project To Develop 'Al Fayyoum'
Al Fayyoum is currently the subject of interest and cooperation between the Supreme Council of Antiquities and Italian Piza University, who together aim at turning the oasis into a unique cultural city, caring for its unpolluted environment and agriculture, folk and local hand crafts as well as its overall cultural heritage. The two-year project will cost an estimated LE 4 million and will start in its first phase by linking the archaeological sites in Madi with Wadi Al Rayyan reserve, to then broaden the covered cultural area to include the rural regions in Al Fayyoum in the second part of the project.
Al Fayyoum has been known for being rich in its cultural and natural resources such as Lake Qaroun and Wadi Al Rayyan, as well as the city of Madi which was built in the second century BC and which holds a number of archaeological churches, which were being studied by Italian archaeologists for more than twenty years.
The development of Al Fayyoum is expected to benefit from the tourist facilities available at Wadi Al Rayyan, which is visited by approx. 150,000 tourists each year. Italian experts anticipate an increase in tourist flow to this unique region, which will also benefit the introduction of rural tourism, as yet another tourist product of the Egyptian tourism industry.
A New Egyptian Museum
Egyptian Authorities are currently discussing the idea of inaugurating a new museum on the desert road Cairo-Fayyoum. The project will undergo a minimum of three years of design and construction, at an estimated cost of $350 million. Authorities declared that the new museum will display 150, 000 archaeological pieces.
American Ambassador To Egypt Boosts US Role In Developing Tourism in Egypt
US Ambassador to Cairo, David Welsh stated that he is planning a visit to Aswan early next month with a number of US businessmen, to study a number of investment projects presented by Aswan Governor, as well as to evaluate the means by which the United States can play a role to increase the American tourist flow to Egypt
The US Ambassador was spending a 4-day family vacation in Aswan, in which he visited the High Dam and the powerstation which the United States has contributed in its
development in a recent project, and attended the sound and light show at the Philae Temple after a Nile Cruise.
Renovation of Hatshepsut Temple
The third level of Queen Hatshepsuts temple terrace is now open, after renovation works that took more than 40 years.
16 pillars were relocated to their original site at the temple, along with the Queens statue.
Queen Hatshepsut ruled Egypt for almost 21 years.
New Discovery In Borg El Arab
The Supreme Council of Antiquities mission has uncovered an important archaeological find during excavation works in Borg El Arab near Alexandria. Secretary General of the council stated that the excavation had started just one week ago as part of an overall project for Lower Egypt. The new find contains an 8 m. long stone staircase leading through the ground to a tomb with a red-decorated ceiling, decayed human bones, and architectural stone elements for funeral rituals.
A New Exhibition To Tour Twelve Museums In North America
Minister of Culture announced that Egyptian antiquities will be displayed in 12 museums in the United States and Canada under the slogan of 'Pharaonic Splendor' as a way of promoting US tourism to Egypt after the September 11 events.
The exhibition will begin early April 2002 April 2003 and will display 143 archaeological pieces. Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Antiquities added that one of the most significant pieces to be shown in the exhibition would be the sarcophagus of 'Ftsu' who was responsible for decorating royal tombs and the statues of Isis and Osiris, Hathur, Tuthmosis III and Hatshepsut.
Former President Clinton At The Pyramids Of Giza
Bill Clinton, former US President, who was lecturing at the American Chamber of Commerce and meeting with officials in Egypt, visited the Pyramids of Giza. The former President was accompanied by Gamal Mubarak, President of Youth of the Future Organization and Dr. Zahi Hawwas, Chief Director of the Giza Pyramids.
The sightseeing tour also included a visit to the Sun Boat and the tomb containing the text of the 'Pharaonic Curse', which was also recently visited by British Prime Minister, Tony Blair on his recent trip to Egypt.
The group also visited the Sphinx and the neighboring workers graveyard, a 6-yearold discovery by Dr. Hawwas, and is considered among the most significant archaeological discoveries in the 20th Century, as it indicates clearly that the builders of the Pyramids did their job out of love and not under tyranny.
The former US President expressed his fascination with the Egyptian archaeological heritage and assured that he would soon be back to visit other archaeological sites especially those located in Luxor and Aswan.
Egypt Air Planning To Extend Its Flights To Marsa Alam
In an effort to promote tourism in the area of Marsa Alam, Egypt Air is planning to extend its Cairo-Hurghada flights to this area.
Marsa Alam airport opened last November and Condor flight DE944, an inbound Boeing 757-300 charter flight from Munich was the first to touch down in Egypts Marsa Alam International Airport (MAIA) on 5th of November.
The Kharafi Group, who have been awarded the 40 year BOT contract on the airport, report that they are now expecting weekly flights from November to April with scheduled inbound flights of Condor Flug, Crossair, and Aeroloyd.
Designed by Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO), and under management operations of Aeroport de Paris, the state-of-the-art MAI Airport will be the main international gateway to Egypts southern Red Sea are, catering for domestic and international flights from Cairo, the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the US. Adjacent to MAI Airport is the Kharafi Port Ghalib mega-resort project that will open in 2003.
The Port Ghalib 1,000-berth marina and port, with a dock-side harbor and yacht club, will not only be the largest private marina in the Middle East but an international sea-gateway for yachts in to Egypt. The Marina will open in January 2002.
Cairo Suburb Yields Two Ancient Tombs
Archaeologists have uncovered two tombs dating back more than 2,500 years in a part of Cairo where the ancient city of Heliopolis once stood, Egyptian antiquity authorities stated last week.
One of the limestone tombs contained a sarcophagus and 16 statuettes, said Zahi Hawwas, chief state archaeologist for the Cairo-Giza area.
The 26th dynasty (664-625 BC) tombs were discovered during an archaeological inspection of an empty tract in the Ein Shams, a district of northeastern Cairo. The landowner was seeking construction rights. By law, building could not begin without a permit certifying that the site had no historical importance.
Hawwas said in a statement the tombs were found in a residential area, about 10 feet below the ground. It is believed the tombs have not been raided by grave robbers, but they have been damaged by leaking sewage water.
One tomb belonged to Waja-Hur, a builder. His name was engraved on the statuettes, which the ancient Egyptians placed in tombs, said the statement.
Egyptian archaeologists planned to open the second tomb on Sunday.
The district of Ein Shams, which means 'eye of the sun' in Arabic, covers part of the ground that used to be Heliopolis, or 'city of the sun' in Greek. Heliopolis was a center of learning and academic study in the ancient Mediterranean world.
Egypt Develops Its Culture
The Ministry of Culture is currently working on constructing a line of national museums in the different Egyptian governorates, with the recently opened New Valley Museum at Kharga considered to be the most important.
New Valley Museum houses a number of rare monuments and relics. Consisting of three floors, the museum documents the history of the country under various rulers and influences. The first floor hall contains a collection ancient colored masks and coffins dating back to the Greco-Roman age, as well as a display of Sphinx statues.
New Major Bridge Between West And East Bank Of The Suez Canal
The major new suspension bridge 'Ferdan', built across the Suez Canal with Japanese assistance, was inaugurated last month. Mubarak Peace Bridge was initiated following a visit to Japan by Egyptian leaders in 1995.
Alexandrias Submerged Antiquities For Tourist Diving
The European Institution for Maritime Antiquities, working in cooperation with the Egyptian Department of Submerged Antiquities, has finished its annual mission at underwater sites near Alexandria.
Authority head Ibrahim Darwish said that the mission succeeded in cleaning up and preparing for tourist divers the location of Mark Anthonys palace, the Timonium.
It also cleaned up the wreckage of an ancient 35-metre wooden ship that lies on the bottom of Alexandrias harbour.
Two gold coins dating to the second century AD were discovered during the operations, as well as the limbs of a statue of Ptolemy II.
Greek Find In Alexandria
The French Marine Antiquities mission under Frank Godion fished out two gold coins that date back to the era of Antonios, the emperor who was used to be called the pious, during an archaeological survey in the Eastern port in Alexandria, the area that hosted the royal neighborhood in the Graeco-Roman period.
Gaballah Ali Gaballah, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said the mission also salvaged eight pieces of pottery vessels and amphoras.
Roman Finds Unearthed Near Kafr Al Dawar
The first item to be found was a rectangle shaped building which turned to be part of a winery built with red brick and Roman cement covered with an alabaster layer.
More excavations led to a cistern made of red brick, its floor tiled with blocks of white limestone to prevent the leakage of water.
Small items as earthenware and hands of pots of different sizes which bore roman seals were also unearthed the, find on the whole, according to senior inspector of Beheira antiquities indicated the existence of a civil society in the past.
Area practiced some small industries as wine making.