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Aswan News


Aswan News


News About Aswan, Egypt by South Sinai Travel.
Please feel free to email SST (samagha@southsinai.com) with any news items you would like to have posted. The Official Tour Egypt Voice in Aswan, Egypt April 5th, 2006

Anti-Bird Flu Still in Place

Supreme National Committee to Combat Bird Flu chaired by Health Minister Hatem Al Gabalali confirmed that the disease was now under control. The committee reiterated the necessity of continuing measures and implementing set plans until the disease is completely eradicated. In its meeting yesterday, the committee reviewed combat measures and the outcome of the first field tour made by the ministers of health, agriculture and environment in the governorates of Menia, and Aswan and Luxor City. Posted by South Sinai Travel: - 10:54 am - April 5th, 2006

Visiting Tuts tomb is a rich experience

CAIRO, Egypt He was a kid from a disgraced family, possibly assassinated and buried just off the beaten path in a tomb that, in Pharaonic terms, is a broom closet.

But Tuts is among the most-visited holes in the ground of the Valley of the Kings, where the humidity down below makes the 105-degree September morning seem cool and refreshing when I re-emerge into the present.

The tomb is empty except for the boy king himself, tucked back into his sarcophagus in the wake of his most recent trip topside, for CT scans last January. Gazing in at the most famous teenager in world history, and the gods painted on the surrounding walls to guide him (and his two also-mummified children) to the netherworld, my mind reels at the tiny size of the burial chamber. How could all those coffins, shrines and relics possibly have been squeezed in here?

That staggering horde is what makes this poor little rich kid so famous. All his fat-cat neighbors were robbed blind over the centuries, leaving their huge crypts pretty much as we see them today, empty mausoleums.

Beyond and to the right I can see the opening into what was Tuts Treasury, full of the most valuable riches when Howard Carter discovered this place in 1922. Another 2,000 artifacts were piled haphazardly around in the antechamber, where Im now stooped, including a chariot. I saw most, marveled at many and touched some a few days earlier at the sprawling Cairo Museum of Egyptian Antiquities.

The most amazing are the four gilded nesting shrines in Cairos Tut display. The largest is the size of a small bedroom, with a sun canopy and three other shrines in descending size lined up along Tuts main concourse.

Attia Shaban, our Egyptologist guide, explains that they were built inside the tomb itself, one over the top of the other, coffins within coffins, each with its own gilding, richly etched with drawings.

David Silverman, another Egyptologist with the Tut exhibit now in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., further adds that the limestone and shale cave must have been hewn out larger to allow worker access, and at least one stone wall built back up against the shrines to confound any discoverers.

It apparently worked. Although the outer chamber showed signs of grave robbers, the tomb and treasury caused a reassessment of ancient Egyptian wealth.

Meanwhile, in the fresh air above, Egyptologists and other would-be experts are waving the tourist crowds away from Tutankhamens tomb, describing it as an extra-cost disappointment.

Many of us make the trip anyway for bragging rights and its the only tomb with a body in it. Sam Guy, an experienced traveler among our group, says that back home near Atlanta, neighbors will be more interested in his tale of Tuts tomb than the huge and more renowned Seti I caverns we just climbed through. We make a final visual scan, and huff our way back up to the surface, where humidity is only 15 percent and the sweat dries off our bodies and clothes in minutes.

Its midmorning and the daily tour-bus crowds, including ourselves, are reaching peak population. Guides like our Attia he chafes at the label, being an accredited Egyptologist deliver full-blown historical treatises to their impatient groups before pointing them toward the most interesting crypts. The group leaders are no longer allowed to lecture in the tombs it created traffic jams down below, and the collective breaths turned the chambers into steam baths, and caused the paint to be stripped off the drawings and hieroglyphs (whose protective "varnish" is an egg-based coating).

There were a few things missing from Tuts Cairo stash. Small typewritten cards scattered among the displays said certain pieces were on loan here and there mostly on the tour presently at the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art. Among them is a 16-inch gold coffinette, normally inside the calcite canopic chest that contained all of Tuts vital organs.

The three pyramids, built around 2600 B.C., are a stunning introduction to ancient Egypt. Photos and movies dont quite prepare you for the massive scale and quiet dignity. The oldest and largest is Cheops, more than 450 feet tall, whose blocks are each man-sized. Alongside it is a new building housing the Solar Barque, the oldest boat known to man that once ferried the pharaohs mummy to its final resting place, suspended in mid-air.

The middle pyramid, built by his son Chephren, still has a remnant of the outer, smooth limestone facade at the top. The smallest is the tomb of Chephrens son, Menkaure.

The three main pyramids are surrounded by smaller tombs of queens and other royalty. At the base of the hill is the Sphinx, equally impressive, who today stares across a short field at Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Cairo, a jumbled and still-expanding metropolitan area of nearly 20 million, has begun to crowd inside the monuments shadows.

But just a few miles upriver, near the ancient capital of Memphis, the very first pyramid of Djoser stands out above small villages and crop fields. Djosers Step Pyramid is surrounded by the remnants of a wall, and other monuments, and is an engrossing afternoon jaunt. Luxor is where all the main attractions lie. We spend several days there visiting the Valley of Queens as well as the Kings, passing the Colossi of Memnon, tall and regal amid crop fields on the wide west bank. On the east bank, just up the banks from central Luxor, is the fabled Temple of Karnak. Attias lecture in the huge Hypostyle Hall is even longer than usual, and his pointer more active. Every cartouche full of hieroglyphs has an interesting meaning. He describes how obelisks were cut from rock above Aswan and brought downriver, details the progression of pharaohs and queens, and finally turns us loose to explore what amounts to a religious city, an ancient Vatican of the god Amun. A long boulevard flanked by statues of lions once connected Karnak with the smaller Temple of Luxor on the southern edge of town, where we are able to visit a well-preserved holy of holies, the innermost temple of the gods Posted by South Sinai Travel: - 10:28 am - November 7th, 2005

Egypt moves against possible bird flu outbreak

CAIRO, Nov. 2 (Xinhuanet) Egyptian authorities have worked hard to spot any sign that the bird flu disease might strike in the Arab worlds most populous country, state media reported Wednesday.

Officials from various government ministries met Wednesday todiscuss a comprehensive plan for fighting against the bird flu,according to the official MENA news agency.

The ministers of agriculture, environment, civil aviation and transport have agreed to increase bird flu detection sites in Egypt to five, namely, in Cairo, Alexandria, Aswan, Ismailia and Gharbiya.

They also called for coordination between the various ministries and the World Health Organization and the American Naval Research Unit (NAMRU) to detect any bird flu cases in thecountry.

A national committee on fighting the bird flu issued a decreeurging all fever hospitals across Egypt to heighten preventive measures against the disease.

"Different scenarios were prepared for with a view to handlingany possible outbreak of the viral disease," Minister of Healthand Population Mohammad Awad Afifi Tag Eddin was quoted by MENA assaying.

The environment ministry had banned the hunt of migratory birds and 1,500 samples of migratory birds had been examined at the NAMRU laboratories for the bird flu but results were negative,Minister of State for the Environment Magid George Ilyas was quoted as saying.

Egyptian authorities have said there was no sign of the birdflu in the country so far, but experts warn that pathways of migratory birds make an outbreak in the Middle East, including Egypt, almost "inevitable."

Enditem Posted by South Sinai Travel: - 3:20 am - September 11th, 2005

Tourist programme in Japan on Aswan, Saqqara

A team representing Japan`s TV Man channel is currently visiting Egypt to shoot a tourist programme on archaeological sites in Aswan and Saqqara in Giza. Youssef Khaled, representative of the Japanese university of Waseda, said the delegation, which is visiting Aswan at the invitation of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) will shoot the programme in cooperation with SCA. The programme is due to be aired by TV Man channel that covers Japan, China and most of the European countries with the aim of promoting tourism into Egypt.

Posted by South Sinai Travel: - 3:59 am - August 18th, 2005

City of Peace

NOMINATED, Aswan, by Spains National UNESCO Committee, as a finalist for the UNESCO Award for Cities of Peace. The award is handed out every two years to an urban center that provides activities, facilities and programs that improve its citizens standards of living and encourage citizens to respect the environment.

Posted by South Sinai Travel: - 6:57 am - August 12th, 2005

Egypt to build 400 villages around Nile Valley

The Egyptian government will be finalizing, over the coming few days, a study on a mega-project to develop the Nile valley through building 400 new villages in desert hinterland around the Valley. The new villages can accommodate as many as five million people over the coming ten years and will add to the Egyptian arable land over 1.5 million feddans, said Magdi Radi, the Cabinet Spokesman. Commercial and industrial projects will be set up in the new villages with a view to creating more jobs for young people, he said, noting that all services would be available for the inhabitants of the new areas. The project will span a maximum of 10 square kilometers on both sides of the Nile banks and a motorway extending from Alexandria to Aswan will serve the new communities, he said.

Posted by South Sinai Travel: - 4:13 am - August 2nd, 2005

Mvenpick Hotels & Resorts and Nile Exploration Corporation to launch new deluxe Nile cruiser

Mvenpick Hotels & Resorts (MH&R) have signed a contract to manage the new deluxe Nile cruiser Royal Lotus to enhance its present fleet of Mvenpick Nile Cruisers Radamis I & II, which have built up an enviable reputation sailing between Aswan and Luxor over the last two decades. The move is in continuance of the Swiss domiciled companys aggressive strategy to expand its portfolio throughout the Middle East. Royal Lotus is scheduled to be commissioned later this autumn and will cruise between Aswan and Luxor. Nile Exploration Corporation, the owning company, boasting almost 30 years experience is renowned for utilising the latest marine engineering and navigation technology, certified to the highest international standards for safety and comfort.

They currently operate three sister ships on the Nile and a cruiser on Lake Nasser. Mvenpick M/S Royal Lotus is a deluxe floating hotel boasting four decks which have been specifically designed for around the year cruising with fully air-conditioned public areas and cabins. The tastefully decorated 62 guest cabins of around 21.6 square metres are located on the upper decks to allow unhindered view of the spectacular scenery and offer the guests every home comfort.

For the ultimate in luxury cruising, the two Royal Suites offer 42 square metres of bedroom and living space. The large restaurant offers varied buffets and menus in the Mvenpick tradition to satisfy the most discerning taste with Egyptian cuisine, a selection of international and vegetarian dishes. The Salon Deck with panoramic windows is elegantly decorated in natural hues and offers a relaxing lounge, a semi-circular bar and a dance area. The Sun Deck has a canopied area, a plunge pool cleverly linked to a heated Jacuzzi and an informal bar. A wide choice of activities is offered to ensure an unforgettable cruise in the true Mvenpick Hotels & Resorts style.

Furthermore Royal Lotus offers a great chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Nile banks and to visit the magnificent temples and tombs of the ancient world. We chose Mvenpick Hotels & Resorts for Royal Lotus as they are a serious management company with a superb reputation, said Nagui Erian, Chairman of Nile Exploration Corporation. We are delighted with our new partner, Nile Exploration Corporation, as they are known for setting new standards for cruise passengers, said Andreas Mattmller, Senior Vice President Middle East MH&R. With fewer guest cabins than is usual, the accommodation is generous with more amenities.

The design also allows for very spacious public areas. The experienced crew of around 70 employees gives a substantially higher staff to passenger ratio than normal, continued Andreas Mattmller, which will ensure truly personal service and attention to detail. A further advantage of our association with Mvenpick Hotels & Resorts is that passengers can also experience the Jolie Ville Mvenpick Luxor Resort and the Elephantine Island Resort Aswan at either end of the cruise, added Nagui Erian. They are both unique hotels idyllically located on secluded private islands surrounded by lush tropical gardens. Posted by South Sinai Travel: - 9:34 am - July 17th, 2005

The City of Aswan

Aswan, a beautiful winter resort, enjoying a dry temperate climate, is situated on the eastern bank of the Nile, 899km south of Cairo, linking Egypt with Sudan, and is the gate to the African continent. Small enough to walk around and graced with the most beautiful setting on the Nile, the pace of life is slow and relaxing. The Nile is at its most beautiful at this point, flowing through the amber desert, granite rocks, and round emerald islands covered in palm groves and tropical plants.

Aswan has thus been a favourite winter resort since the beginning of the nineteenth century and still is the perfect place to get away from it all. In Pharaonic times, the town was known as "Suno" (the Market) later changed to "Aswan" by the Arabs.

Days can be spent strolling up and down the broad Corniche watching the sailboats etch the sky with their tall masts or sitting in floating restaurants listening to Nubian music and eating freshly-caught fish. Alternatively, explore the souk, full of the scent and colour of spices, perfumes, scarves and baskets.

Aswan and its surroundings were known as Nubia in ancient times. You will find that event today, Aswan had more of an African feel to it than any other city in Egypt. Although you might want to give the Nubian dancers performing in the expensive hotels a miss, getting a real taste of this ancient culture would be an excellent opportunity and an experience you will not forget - the Nubian Cultural center is a good option here.

The city proper lies on the east bank of the Nile. Relax here, visit a few mosques, but then prepare for an adventure. The bazaar runs along the Corniche, which continues past the Ferial Gardens and the Nubian Museum, and continues on to the Cemetery, with its forest of cupolas surmounted tombs from the Fatimid period. Just east of the cemetery in the famous area quarries is the gigantic Unfinished Obelisk. Just to the south of this, two Graeco-Roman sarcophagi and an unfinished colossus remain half buried in the sand.

Posted by South Sinai Travel: - 6:39 am - July 15th, 2005

Building the Great Pyramid

Quarrying

The Kings Chamber was made entirely from blocks of Aswan granite. Since the Second Dynasty, granite had frequently been used in the construction of royal tombs. The burial chambers and corridors of many pyramids from the Third to the Twelfth Dynasty were lined with pink granite, and some pyramids were also given granite external casing (eg those of Khafra and Menkaura, at Giza) or granite pyramidia (cap-stones). Great Pyramisd around 45,000 cubic metres of stone were removed from the Aswan quarries during the Old Kingdom The Aswan quarries are the only Egyptian hard-stone workings that have been studied in detail. It has been estimated, on the basis of surviving monuments, that around 45,000 cubic metres of stone were removed from the Aswan quarries during the Old Kingdom (Third to Sixth Dynasties). It seems likely that loose surface boulders would have been exploited first. It is unclear what kinds of tools were used for quarrying during the time of the pharaohs. The tool marks preserved on many soft-stone quarry walls (eg the sandstone quarries at Gebel el-Silsila) suggest that some form of pointed copper alloy pick, axe or maul was used during the Old and Middle Kingdoms, followed by the use of a mallet-driven pointed chisel from the Eighteenth Dynasty onwards. This technique would, however, have been unsuitable for the extraction of harder stones such as granite. As mentioned above, Old Kingdom quarriers were probably simply prising large boulders of granite out of the sand. *********************************Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/egyptians/great_pyramid_06.shtml

Posted by South Sinai Travel: - 3:55 am - July 14th, 2005

Miracle of Aswan

Miracle of the Sun Festival (Abu Simbel)
The city of Aswan organizes this festival in cooperation with the Egyptian Tourist Authority
Opening Date : 22/10/2005
Closing Date : 22/10/2005
Organizer : Ministry of Tourism Posted by South Sinai Travel: - 6:53 am - About SST South Sinai Travel is a comprehensive travel organization that handles travel arrangements commencing from the preliminary stages of creating itineraries to implementing them in the best possible way. South Sinai Travel is self-sufficient in that it has 5 fully operational offices in Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh. This means that all ground operations are conducted by South Sinai Travel personnel every step of the way, hence guaranteeing the most professional service.

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