Archive – Aug 2011

What’s happening now in Egypt – Aug 2011 archive

The current ‘What’s Happening Now In Egypt’ page aims to keep you updated on the latest travel information to Egypt; as well as news on the ancient sights, missing artefacts and the continued preservation of our Egyptian heritage, following the peaceful peoples’ of January Revolution. This is our archive from August 2011.

August 2011 – Travel Updates, News on Egyptian Antiquities and Heritage Sights

Recent Activities at the SCA – 25/08/11
The Egyptian Supreme Council for Antiquities (SCA) has been conducting strategic planning meetings regarding new building projects and its financial situation. The General Secretary of the Council along with head of the projects sector, Major General Mohamed al-Sheikha, and head of finance Sameh Khattab reviewed the council’s position in a meeting with representatives of construction companies. They agreed to arrange priorities of important and urgent projects. Sheikha will also hold another meeting today to reschedule the council’s debt to enable it to be covered by income from visits to archeological sites as tourism increases in September 2011. [Source: Youm7]

Egypt Tourism Goes Aggressive on Marketing – 23/08/11
Considering Asia and India as a big source market on the leisure, as well as MICE front and to boost tourism following the political unrest in the country, Egypt Tourism Office is all set to go aggressive on its promotional activities. Adel El Masry, Director of the Egypt Tourism Office said, “We are allocating significant funds for marketing and promotional exercise in this country. We have already doubled our tourism promotional budget for India from US$ 0.5 million to US$ one million in the current year. The main target for 2011 is to increase the number of tourist arrivals from India by 30%.” Read the full article on the Express Travel World website.

Cairo Airport’s Third Terminal to be Renovated – 22/08/11
The third terminal at Cairo Airport will be renovated over the next four years. Construction is expected to start by the end of 2012 and last approximately three years. The project includes doubling the passenger capacity, constructing additional facilities and enlarging the runways. Read the full review on the Hurriyet Daily News website.

Despite Green Lights from Embassies, Tourists Slow in Returning to Egypt – 21/08/11
Since the revolution in January and February, the number of tourists filling the streets of Cairo, Sharm el-Sheikh and Alexandria has dropped significantly. Tourism officials say that hotels in Cairo are operating at barely 35% of capacity, despite most embassies lifting travel warnings in March and April. “We have felt safe here and have had no reason to be afraid of anything,” said Wilma Bervoets, a Dutch tourist. Traveling through Egypt and Jordan with her husband and children. Read the full story on the AlMasry AlYoum website.

Egypt to Host World Tourism Day – 19/08/11
The Egyptian city of Aswan will host the official 2011 World Tourism Day (WTD) celebrations, which will include a High-Level think tank on this year’s theme, ‘Tourism – Linking Cultures’ on September 27th 2011. The Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Dr. Taleb Rifai, said, “It is most fitting that Egypt, home to some of the world’s most celebrated cultural heritage and a leading tourism destination, be the host country for the official celebrations of World Tourism Day 2011. Egypt is world famous for its rich history and vibrant culture, which draw millions of tourists to the country each year. It is precisely this interaction between the peoples and cultures of the world, driven by tourism, which is at the heart of the WTD 2011 theme; Tourism – Linking Cultures.”

Newly Appointed Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities – 18/08/11
The Egyptian Prime Minister, Essam Sharaf, appointed Mohamed Abd El Fatah as the new Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities. Abd El Fatah previously held the positions of Head of the Egyptian Antiquities Department, Head of the Museums Department and Director of Upper Egypt Antiquities.

Changing the Tourism Map – Encouraging Travelers Back to Egypt – 17/08/11
An interview with the Egyptian Minister of Tourism about encouraging travelers to come back to our ‘New Egypt’. Read the full article on the Washington Times website.

Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts Says No to Handing Back Ancient Artefact – 15/08/11
Egypt is asking for a precious ancient bust to be returned to go on display in the new GEM in 2013, but the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston says no. The piece is unique – “The work is special, a limestone statue covered by a thin layer of reddish plaster. Artistically, what’s notable about the piece is the realistic depiction of the subject, not typical for works of the period. Ankhhaf’s hair is receding. His eyelids droop. There are muscles visible around his mouth.” Read the full article on the website.

British Cyclist Dominic Gill Completes 4,000km Egypt Tour – 13/08/11
“After 60 days of cycling in Egypt I have seen the staples of the tourist trade and so much off the beaten track. And while the view from the top of Mt. Sinai and the pillars of the Temple of Karnak will always stick in my mind, the hospitality of the Egyptian people even where you thought there were none is just as impressive…” This is a quote from UK cyclist Dominic Gill after completing his cycle ride around Egypt. Read more on his adventures on the Al Arabiya News website.

Luxor Tourism Begins to Recover – 12/08/11
Tourism in the historic Egyptian town of Luxor has been “recovering gradually in August,” said Anwar Abu Al-Magd, the head of the Tourism Guides Association. Tourism in Luxor is up 50 percent, particularly at the Karnak Temple, said Al-Magd, adding that there are many visitors from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Russia. The Egyptian Tourist Guides Association in Luxor recently sent a letter to recently appointed Luxor governor Ezzat Mohamed Saad, asking to prioritize tourist development in the new governor’s policy initiatives. [Source: Youm7]

Egyptian Armed Forces Unearth Cartouche of King Apries – 10/08/11
The Egyptian Military Operations Authority on Tuesday discovered the nameplate of King Apries in the Tal Defna area in Ismailia, which is located to the west of the Suez Canal. The plate is made up of two pieces of red sandstone with two cartouches bearing the name Wah-ib-ra (Apries ) inscribed. Apries (589-570 BC) was the fifth king of the 26th Dynasty. This find doesn’t so far seem to have been reported elsewhere. Interesting how the military found it and not an excavation mission. It is unsure if it is an object (known) that was stolen and now recovered, or a (new) item confiscated from an illegal dig? Read the full story on the Al Masry Al Youm website.

Luxor Tourism Begins to Recover – 11/08/11
Tourism in the historic Egyptian town of Luxor has been “recovering gradually in August,” said Anwar Abu Al-Magd, the head of the Tourism Guides Association. Tourism in Luxor is up 50 percent, particularly at the Karnak Temple, said Al-Magd, adding that there are many visitors from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Russia. The Egyptian Tourist Guides Association in Luxor recently sent a letter to recently appointed Luxor governor Ezzat Mohamed Saad, asking to prioritize tourist development in the new governor’s policy initiatives. [Source: Youm7]

Decision to Postpone ICE in Egypt Next Year – 09/08/11
A decision has been taken not to hold the next International Congress of Egyptologists in September 2012 in Egypt. Apparently this was in agreement with Egyptian colleagues and they are now seeking a new venue for the Congress. Read the full story on the International Association of Egyptologists website.

SCA Opens News Sites in Luxor – 08/08/11
The head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities has approved certain requests by the Tour Guide Union in Luxor, Upper Egypt to revitalize tourism. Mohamed Abdel Maksoud, Secretary General of the SCA, approved some proposals aiming at revitalizing tourism in light of current circumstances in the country. Anwar Abu el-Maged, head of tour guides in Luxor, said Maksoud agreed to freeze any increases in entrance prices to temples and archaeological sites for a year and will open the Temple of Kom Ombo, some graves in the Valley of the Kings and the Karnak Museum to stimulate tourism. [Source: Youm7]

Minister States that Egyptian Tourism is Returning to Pre-revolution Rates – 08/08/11
Tourism in Egypt was down 19 percent in the last three weeks of July compared to the same period last year, said Tourism Minister Mounir Fakhri Abdel Nour, adding that the drop is less than expected. This is a positive indicator that tourism has started to recover and return to pre-revolution rates, Abdel Nour said, noting that tourism declined by 80, 60, 42, 35, and 28.7 percent in February, March, April, May, and June respectively. [Source:]

Cairo to Retrieve Four Stolen Artefacts from London – 07/08/11
The Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) and the Egyptian Embassy in the UK, in co-operation with The London Museum, have managed to stop the sale of the four artefacts, dating back to King Amenhotep III, SCA Secretary-General Mohamed Abdel-Maqsoud said in a statement. “An American collector had been trying to sell the four artifacts, taken from the base of a statue from the Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III on the west bank at Luxor,” the statement added. “When an auction hall offered the four artifacts for sale, an official from London Museum interfered and confirmed they were genuine,” it added. An Egyptian, English and German team soon concluded that the antiquities were taken from the Luxor Amenhotep III Museum, when it was damaged in a fire. The artefacts are due in Cairo in a few days’ time. [Source: The Egyptian Gazette]

Interview of Americans Traveling in Egypt – 05/08/11
CNN conducted a recent interview with two American tourists on a three-month archaeological dig in Luxor, Egypt. “They expressed apprehension about the trip, but like Katy stated in the interview, both Katy and Monique planned this trip for over a year and it was a lifelong dream. They did not believe the political instability was an issue and once they arrived, they felt no problems.” View the video of the full interview on the CNN website.

Two Missing Artefacts Found in the Egyptian Museum – 02/08/11
Two missing pieces were found in the Egyptian Museum during an inventory check up of the Museum’ contents. It was reported the two pieces were lost during the chaos on January 28, 2011, during the January 25 Revolution. The items are likely to be The items could possibly be JE 26083 and JE 31720 on the official ‘Missing Objects List‘. One of the pieces is a bed made of clay, while the other is a wooden vase. Both pieces are dated back the Pharonic era, said a member of inventory committee, Raafat al-Nabarawy. He said the workers found the pieces in storeroom IV of the Egyptian Museum. Consequently, all storerooms of the Egyptian Museum will be inventoried. [Source: Youm7]

Back to this months ‘What’s happening now in Egypt‘ updates and other archives…

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