Thursday, August 25, 2016

News, Cairo: Voting Begins on Egyptian Museum's September Piece of the Month

Antiquities lovers can cast their vote for which artifact they would like to see on display at the Egyptian Museum for September. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

(1): Roman relief with mythological scene        (2): Large mask of a coffin
(3): Limestone relief with Ermouthis              (4): relief with three persons
 raising their hands in osiran attitude
The Ministry of Antiquities launched Wednesday on its official Facebook page a poll where voters get to select the Egyptian Museum's September piece of the month, which will be put on display at the museum.

The Egyptian Museum undersecretary for archaeological affairs, Sabah Abdel-Razek, said that the voting will be open for seven days and that voters will get to choose their favorite object from six artifacts carefully selected from the Egyptian Museum’s treasured collection.

"These objects will be put on display for the first time, as they had previously been in storage in the museum's basement," Abdel-Razek told Ahram Online.

Abdel-Razek said the artifacts include a Middle Kingdom royal head of a king wearing the crown, a stele engraved with the image of three persons raising their arms in the Oaranos fashion, and an anthropoid wooden sarcophagus lid.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

News: Ancient Egyptian Works to Be Published Together in English for First Time

There has been a tendency to see the writings as mere decoration, says UK academic who translated them for book

Ancient Egyptian texts written on rock faces and papyri are being brought together for the general reader for the first time after a Cambridge academic translated the hieroglyphic writings into modern English.

Until now few people beyond non-specialists have been able to read the texts, many of them inaccessible within tombs. While ancient Greek and Roman texts are widely accessible in modern editions, those from ancient Egypt have been largely overlooked, and the civilization is most famous for its monuments.

The Great Pyramid and sphinx at Giza, the tombs in the Valley of the Kings and the rock-cut temples of Abu Simbel have shaped our image of the monumental pharaonic culture and its mysterious god-kings. Toby Wilkinson said he had decided to begin work on the anthology because there was a missing dimension in how ancient Egypt was viewed: “The life of the mind, as expressed in the written word.”

The written tradition lasted nearly 3,500 years and writing is found on almost every tomb and temple wall. Yet there had been a temptation to see it as “mere decoration”, he said, with museums often displaying papyri as artifacts rather than texts.

The public were missing out on a rich literary tradition, Wilkinson said. “What will surprise people are the insights behind the well-known facade of ancient Egypt, behind the image that everyone has of the pharaohs, Tutankhamun’s mask and the pyramids.”

Hieroglyphs were pictures but they conveyed concepts in as sophisticated a manner as Greek or Latin script, he said. Filled with metaphor and symbolism, they reveal life through the eyes of the ancient Egyptians. Tales of shipwreck and wonder, first-hand descriptions of battles and natural disasters, songs and satires make up the anthology, titled Writings from Ancient Egypt.

Penguin Classics, which is releasing the book on Wednesday, described it as a groundbreaking publication because “these writings have never before been published together in an accessible collection”.

Wilkinson, a fellow of Clare College and author of other books on ancient Egypt, said some of the texts had not been translated for the best part of 100 years. “The English in which they are rendered – assuming they are in English – is very old-fashioned and impenetrable, and actually makes ancient Egypt seem an even more remote society,” he said.

In translating them, he said, he was struck by human emotions to which people could relate today.... Read More.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

News: Al-Ahram And Antiquities Ministry Sign Protocol for Tutankhamun Touring Exhibition in Japan

A protocol of cooperation between the Al-Ahram and the Ministry of Antiquities was signed an hour ago to establish the ministry's first international touring replica exhibition.
Chairman of Al-Ahram Foundation Ahmed El-Naggar and Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany signed on Monday a protocol of cooperation to launch a touring exhibition in Japan of replicas from Tutankhamun's funerary collection.

During the signing, which took place in the presence of Japanese ambassador Takehiro Kagawa, El-Naggar offered El-Enany and Kagawa the Al-Ahram Foundation award and a collection of books published by Al-Ahram.

The exhibition tour will start in April 2017 in Tokyo before moving on to Osaka, Japan.

El-Enany told Ahram Online that this would not be the last cooperation effort with Al-Ahram. El-Enany and El-Naggar also priliminarly agreed to publish illustrated books for Egyptian children to raise their awareness of their heritage.

El-Enany said that the replica exhibition comes after the success of the first local replica exhibition held in July at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square.

Al-Ahram foundation will cover all the costs of the exhibition, including insurance fees, which cost EGP 3,7 million, as well as EGP 100,000 for the right to use the replicas.

Amr El-Tibi, executive director of the Replica Unit at the ministry, explained that the exhibition, “The Treasures of Tutankhamun,” includes a collection of 150 replicas from the boy-king's funerary collection.

The exhibition will last for 18 days, with nine days in each of the two Japanese cities. El-Tibi said that books published by the ministry and replicas produced by the ministry are to be sold during the exhibition.

Monday, August 22, 2016

News: Egyptian Antiquities Ministry and Al-Ahram to Cooperate on International Exhibition

Al-Ahram foundation will cooperate with the ministry in organising an international exhibition. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
Egypt's antiquities ministry will sign on Monday a protocol of cooperation with Al-Ahram foundation on organizing the ministry's first ever touring exhibition of replicas.

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany told Ahram Online that the exhibition comes after the success of the first local replicas exhibition held in July in the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square. The touring exhibition will start in April 2017 in Tokyo before moving on to Osaka.

Amr El-Tibi, executive director of the  Replicas Unit at the ministry, explained that the exhibition, “The Treasures of Tutankhamun,” includes a collection of 150 replicas from the boy king's funerary collection. The exhibition will last for 18 days, nine days in each city.

El-Tibi said that books published by the ministry and replicas produced by the ministry are to be sold during the exhibition. Al-Ahram foundation will cover all the costs of the exhibition.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Short Article: Egyptian Awards in China

Egypt has won Excellence and Best Performance Awards at the Twelfth China International Cultural Fair in Shenzhen, reports Nevine El-Aref.

The distinguished atmosphere of Islamic Cairo was much in evidence this year at Egypt’s stand at the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Centre for the Twelfth China International Cultural Fair where the country won Excellence and Best Performance Awards.

Textiles of khayamiya type, a decorative appliqué material historically used to decorate tents across the Arab world, covered the walls of the stand as young men and women in Mameluke garb welcomed visitors against a background of folkloric music. Some artisans sat before their woodwork products, while others decorated metal plates. Another group of artisans practiced Arabic calligraphy.

Fascinated with the skills of the artisans and their products, Chinese visitors to the fair flocked to Egypt’s stand to try to get a glimpse of the country’s handicrafts and smell the aroma of its history.

“The main cultural products we are bringing to this fair are handicrafts,” Neveen Al-Kilani, head of the Ministry of Culture’s Cultural Development Fund told Al-Ahram Weekly. She said the Egyptian stand aimed to put on show the country’s cultural products in order to help visitors understand the history of Egyptian handicrafts.

Several workshops were being held to showcase traditional Egyptian calligraphy, woodwork, khayamiya textiles and metalwork, she said.

“Our stand was the only one at the fair to demonstrate the production of the country’s handicrafts and the only one to allow visitors to practice making them on their own with the guidance of the artists,” Al-Kilani said. She said Chinese visitors had been invited to write their names in Arabic calligraphy and make wooden boxes with shell inlay.

Egypt’s stand had attracted many top officials, she added, among them the Chinese minister of communication, deputy minister of culture, head of the Shenzhen municipality and head of the Middle China Cultural Centre.  At the end of the fair Egypt won Excellence and Best Performance awards and had received invitations to participate in five other fairs in China, Al-Kilani said.

Artist Mohamed Baghdadi had won a special award for his training workshop on Arabic calligraphy, and a similar award was given to artist Mohamed Mounir for his conch workshop.

“The fair is an excellent opportunity to promote our handicrafts and attract traders,” Al-Kilani said, adding that the idea was to exhibit, rather than to sell, products as the fair was held within the framework of the Egypt China Cultural Year and according to a protocol signed between the two countries.

However, intermediaries had been found in China to market Egyptian products. “This is a good market in which to sell our handicrafts, and it in turn will increase the fund’s financial resources,” Al-Kilani said, adding that it had now launched a website to sell such products worldwide. “Egypt and China both have a long history of making handicrafts, and we are expecting more cooperation in this field with China,” she said. 

The five-day Fair in Shenzhen in South China’s Guangdong Province focused on internationalisation and saw some 2,297 exhibitors from China and over 40 other countries attracting 5.87 million visitors, a year-on-year growth of 12.08 per cent.

The fair included two new venues called “Makers of Culture” and “One Belt, One Road” organising over 700 cultural events. It provides a platform for China’s cultural industries and aims to advance the globalisation of Chinese cultural products.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

News, Minya: Malawi Museum Reopens Soon

The Malawi National Museum in Minya will re-open to visitors Soon.

Three years after it was damaged following unrest sparked by the ousting of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, the Malawi Museum in the Upper Egyptian city of Minya has been restored in order to re-open in mid-August, Nevine El-Aref reports.

Looters who broke into the Museum in 2013 made off with 1,050 artefacts and damaged showcases, colossi and sarcophagi, objects too difficult to remove from the premises.

Thus far, 900 artefacts have been recovered, according to Elham Salah, head of the Museums Sector at the ministry of antiquities. Some were handed over by local residents, while others were dropped off at the Museum gardens. A third group was recovered from abroad after being smuggled out of the country.

Minister of antiquities Khaled El-Enany visited the Museum earlier this week in order to inspect the restoration work and preparation towards the re-opening. He told the Weekly that the restoration had cleaned walls and floors, replaced damaged materials, and renewed showcases.

The large pieces that were damaged in the looting have been restored, as well as the recovered objects, and both will be returned to their original display in the Museum.

Salah said the restoration work had been carried out by the National Service Agency of the army under the supervision of the ministry of antiquities. A budget of LE3 million was provided by the Minya governorate.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Short Story: Restoration Projects in The Delta

The Church of the Virgin Mary and Saint Abanoub in Samanoud was officially reopened this week and a restoration project started at the Al-Shenawy Palace in Mansoura, Nevine El-Aref reports

The town of Samanoud is located on the eastern bank of the Nile branch leading to Damietta and is not only one of Egypt’s most important administrative centres but also has a distinguished history, being the capital of the country in ancient times during the rule of the Third Dynasty.

 It has a particular value for Egyptian Christians as the Holy Family passed by Belbeis, part of Samanoud, during their journey into Egypt. A church was built named after the Virgin Mary in Samanoud, and when this fell into ruins a new one was built on the same site named after St Abanoub.

The church today contains a courtyard containing a well believed to have been blessed by the infant Jesus, now covered to protect it from pollution, and a large granite bowl in which the Virgin is believed to have made bread. The bowl is also covered to protect it, and it now contains holy water that people can touch as a blessing.

The church contains a shrine containing the remains of Saint Abanoub the Martyr, and in the same region the relics of a further 8,000 early Christian martyrs can be found. The church was officially reopened this week by Minister of Antiquities Khaled Al-Enany after a period of restoration.

Head of the Islamic and Coptic Antiquities Department at the ministry Al-Said Helmi told Al-Ahram Weekly that in 2003 monks at the church had asked the then Supreme Council of Antiquities to restore it using funds that they would help provide.

The work began in 2005 under the supervision of the ministry and included the restoration of the building itself as well as its decorative elements.

The walls and foundations of the church have been consolidated, cracks repaired, and the ceiling covered to prevent the leakage of rain into the building. Damaged wooden elements were replaced by new similar ones and ruined plaster layers removed.

During his visit to the church for the reopening, the minister also embarked on an inspection tour of the Al-Shenawy Palace in Mansoura, giving the go-ahead to a long-awaited restoration project.

Gharib Sonbor, head of the Restoration Administration, told the Weekly that the palace was in poor condition because it had been used by the Mansoura University as an administration building. This had led to changes in the palace’s structure as well as to its internal decoration.

Preliminary restoration had taken place, Sonbol said, explaining that this had involved the consolidation of the ceilings and covering the roof with a protective layer halting the leakage of water into the building.

The restoration work would now start as soon as possible in order to rescue this great Italian-style palace, he said.

The palace belonged to Mohamed Bek Al-Shenawy, a former member of parliament. It was built in 1928 on 4,164 m2 and includes a basement and two main floors. It was subsequently designated a “House of the Nation” like nationalist politician Saad Zaghloul’s house in Cairo because it was a meeting point for political figures. Al-Enany announced that after restoration the palace would be converted into a museum displaying artefacts discovered in Mansoura.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

#ThisIsEgypt With Thiago Correa

Missions working in Egypt, South Asasif Conservation Project: Mysteries of Irtieru

The tomb of Irtieru (TT 390) is among the most intriguing tombs of the Theban necropolis. Irtieru’s titles, Chief Attendant to the God’s Wife Nitocris and Female Scribe place her among the highest elite of her time. 

The wife and mother of Viziers of Upper Egypt, she did not mention the names of her husband Nespamedu (buried in Abydos) or her son Nespakashuty D (buried at Deir el Bahri) in the decoration of her tomb. 

Few women even among the higher-ranking elite had tombs that reflected this level of personal career orientation.

The Entrance Gate to the tomb of Nespakashuty D (TT 312) was reconstructed by a Metropolitan Museum/ARCE mission directed by Elena Pischikova in 2004-2005.  

She chose the Kushite South Asasif necropolis to construct an imposing monumental tomb with two pillared halls, a large Tornische and a spacious open court with two deep porticoes. 

Unfortunately the burial place of the grand lady was later re-used for rather less profound purposes.

When Elena Pischikova and Katherine Blakeney visited the tomb in the early 2000 the architectural elements were obscured by various livestock. 

Katherine had to chase away a rather large goose so we could photograph the false door. As she did not have experience in this kind of activity she had to rely on the friendly help of the young Said Abd El Rassul. 

It was the beginning of our friendship and cooperation with many members of the family.

Fifteen years later the space in front of the false door of Irtieru is occupied by the “High Steward” and “Receiver of the Offerings” of Lady Irtieru, John Billman. 

John is the Head of the Registration department of the Project who receives and registers all the finds at the site during our five-month seasons. 

Most of the “offerings” come from the archaeological team of Marion Brew and Leslie O’Connor, who has been doing an amazing job at the site for many weeks since our opening in May.

Among John’s favourite kinds of finds are shabtis. This year he is blessed by the tomb owners of the South Asasif necropolis with a large number of shabti fragments. 

Here John is sorting the fragments looking for joins and identifying different sets. Besides endless registration challenges John also carries the burden of being the President of the South Asasif Trust. 

We are extremely grateful to John, our trustees Annie Howard, Francesca Jones and Marion Brew and everyone who donated to the Trust for their support of the Project.

An important place in Irtieru belongs to our Inspector Shereen Ahmed Shawky who is sharing with us her experience in physical anthropology.  

The tomb of Irtieru is slowly changing, revealing its original beauty. The cleaning and reconstruction process is significantly aided by Lepsius’s records of the tomb.

Ahmed Ali Hussein, General Director of the Conservation Department of Upper Egypt and Chief Conservator of the Project spent weeks in 2007 removing a thick layer of mud from the lintel of the entrance to the Second Pillared Hall using nineteenth century records as a guide.

 Among the most elegant architectural features of the tomb are two half-columns with palm capitals. Their three palm fronds are bound with several circles of rope with a loop in the middle. 

Their elongated proportions and delicate details make them a distinct addition to the decorative doorframe of the Tornische. This area was cleaned in the earlier years of the Project.

The porticoes of the court, vestibule and entrance staircase remain a mystery, still hidden under the remains of modern houses. The team of the Project is planning to clear and restore these areas in future seasons.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Short Story: Cairo Lions Revamped

The lions guarding the Qasr Al-Nil Bridge are being restored for a second time since the bridge’s reconstruction in 1933, reports Nevine El-Aref.
The four bronze lions guarding the two ends of the Qasr Al-Nil Bridge linking Gezira to Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo have witnessed a great deal since they were first set up at the end of the 19th century, from the romantic dating of young couples staring at the Nile to the roars of the millions of Egyptians who marched over the bridge during the 25 January Revolution chanting for freedom, equality and the toppling of the former Mubarak regime.

They have witnessed major political and social events across the span of Cairo’s history. In 1898, the lions served as toll stations for farmers and merchants crossing the Nile to the large market in what is now Tahrir Square where they exchanged and traded goods.

According to author Chafika Soliman Hamamsy in her book Zamalek: The Changing Life of a Cairo Elite, farmers and merchants stopped at the lions to pay a tax to cross over to reach the market. The tax depended on the type of goods and the means of transportation passing through. Owners of donkeys paid one and ¾ piastres while the owners of old camels paid two piastres. Those owning young camels paid only ¾ piastre.

The lions witnessed major accidents that took place on the bridge. Among the most talked about was that of royal cabinet advisor and sometime desert explorer and first ever Egyptian Olympic gold medallist Ahmed Hassanein in 1946.

The funeral processions of various prominent public figures took place along the bridge in front of the lions, among them the funeral of late president Gamal Abdel-Nasser in September 1970 when dozens of heads of state and government marched across the bridge behind his coffin. The funerals of beloved singers Um Kalthoum and Abdel-Halim Hafez also passed along the bridge.

During the 25 January Revolution, the lions witnessed peaceful protesters chanting to topple the former Mubarak regime as well as battles against teargas and rubber bullets. When former president Hosni Mubarak finally resigned, the lions witnessed victory as some protestors climbed onto their pedestals to hold up the Egyptian flag. Similar scenes were repeated on 30 June and 3 July 2013 when protestors toppled the Muslim Brotherhood regime.

However, this history has taken its toll on the magnificent lions. Ezzat Salib, director of the restoration of archaeological sites and museums in Greater Cairo, told Al-Ahram Weekly that the lions were suffering from erosion and that the graffiti written on them by protestors had had negative effects.

Restorers from the Ministry of Antiquities were working at full swing for two shifts a day to meet the deadline for the restoration of the lions by the end of August, he said. Graffiti and previous paint on the lions has had to be removed, and their surfaces cleaned with lasers and using nano-technology to consolidate the bodies.

“An anti-graffiti material is to be used to cover the surfaces of the lions to prevent the writing of graffiti or painting on them,” Gharib Sonbol, head of restoration, told the Weekly. He said that this material could not prevent the writing of graffiti, but it could facilitate its removal using only a dry rag.

Eissa Zidan, director of restoration at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), told the Weekly that the lions were previously restored in 1998 and the present project was under the supervision of the cabinet. The working team includes restorers, professors of fine arts and archaeologists.

The lions have been suffering from calcification and thick layers of paint due to the polishing of the statues over time. Graffiti is spread all over them. Zidan said that the restoration included mechanical and chemical cleaning as well as covering the statues with a special layer to protect the bronze from corrosion. The work will cost some LE90,000.

The history of the lions goes back to 1869, when the khedive Ismail commissioned famous French sculptor Henri Alfred Jacquemart to make four bronze lions and a statue of the viceroy Mohammed Ali. At the same time French sculptor Henri Joseph Charles Cordier was commissioned to make a statue of Ibrahim Pasha.

The lions were originally intended to stand guard around the Mohamed Ali statue in Alexandria, but were instead set up to guard the ends of the newly-built Khedive Ismail Bridge that linked Ismailia (Tahrir Square and downtown) with Gezira, Zamalek) in 1872.

When King Fouad took the throne in the early decades of the last century he ordered the renovation of the bridge. In 1933, it was reopened after reconstruction and opened twice a day for ships and boats to continue on their way up the Nile. After the 1952 Revolution the name of the bridge was changed to the Qasr Al-Nil Bridge, and since then it has never been opened.

Jacquemart’s works in Egypt include the Mohamed Ali statue in Alexandria from 1869, the Suleiman Pasha statue from 1874, and the statue of Mohamed Lazoglou Bey from 1875.

The Qasr Al-Nil Bridge used to open at 9am each morning for ships and boats to go up the Nile and again from 1pm to 2:30pm. Rare cinema footage of the lions was made by early filmmakers brothers Auguste and Louis Lumiére and is featured in Egyptian director Madkour Thabet’s documentary film Sihr Mafat Fi Kenouz Al-Mareyat (The Magic of Lost Visual Treasures).

News: Egypt’s Red Sea Gem: Sharm El-Sheikh Grappling with Tourism Decline

While domestic and Arab tourism attempts to fill the void left behind by foreign travellers, the Red Sea resort city continues to grapple with the adjustment to tourism’s decline

The number of tourists visiting Egypt declined significantly following the crash of the Russian aeroplane in Sinai in late October 2015, which had a heavy negative impact on the Red Sea resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh.

The city, once the country’s tourism gem on Sinai’s Red Sea coast, has had to adjust to a significantly lower number of visitors, with many hotels shutting their doors and employees seeing a significant cut to their salaries.

The number of tourists coming to Egypt declined by 52% in the first half of the year, with a total of 2.3m tourists visiting compared to 4.8m tourists in the same period last year.

Daily News Egypt took a tour of Sharm El-Sheikh to observe the state of tourism in the resort city 10 months after the Russian aeroplane crash. To understand the status of the city, Daily News Egypt spoke to tourism sector employees, hotels, and shopkeepers to get a glimpse at the repercussions of dwindling tourism numbers.

Hotel employees: income declines as fewer tourists opt for Sharm El-Sheikh as a vacation spot                                                                                                           
The Russian aeroplane crash led to a severe decline in the number of foreign tourists visiting Sharm El-Sheikh, which pushed some hotels to lay off some of their employees. As a direct result, the 12% service charge that goes to hotel workers decreased and monthly tips declined by more than 50%.

Reception supervisor Eid Ibrahim said that the majority of hotels in Sharm El-Sheikh looked to lower their expenses by 50% under the losses in revenues they incurred in recent months.

He noted that all hotel departments are currently operating with just half the number of staff members, explaining that the average basic salary in the reception department starts at EGP 500 and goes up to EGP 900. Ibrahim noted that the 12% service charge currently ranges from 50 to 55 piasters per employee..... READ MORE

Sunday, August 14, 2016

News: Pyramids Archaeological Development Project 70% Complete, Scheduled for Opening Before Year’s End

The new Visitors Centre will have a theatre to play a short introductory documentary for visitors

The archaeological area around the Pyramids of Giza is one of ​​the most famous and most important historic sites in the world. It has a special place in the hearts of tourists and visitors of all nationalities.

Daily News Egypt toured the site and discovered the latest developments of the Ministry of Antiquities’ plan to improve it and make visitors’ time there more enjoyable. The project includes the construction of a visitors centre, as well as second entrance to the site from Fayoum road, which will later become the main entrance, in order to prevent traffic and congestion on Al-Ahram road.

Director General of the Giza Plateau Ashraf Mohi said that the Ministry of Antiquities is preparing to finalise all works of the second (and last) phase of the development project, which will be opened before the end of the year. He added that 70% of the total work has already been completed.

The remaining 30% will be completed within the next few months. This includes finishing the administration building and the visitors centre, as well as completing the roads around the site and contracting with companies that supply electric cars.

Director General of the Giza Plateau Ashraf Mohi
The first phase of the project had already been completed before 2011, including the new ticket building and the construction of a new entrance on Fayoum road, in addition to fencing the site. The final stage includes moving the main entrance—currently located next to Mena House Hotel—to Fayoum road.

The new entrance will feature a wide-space parking lot to accommodate tourist buses and visitors’ cars. Visitors of the site will then be welcomed through the Visitors Centre, which will include stereographs of the pyramids and the monuments within the site, along with a map to the area. Moreover, the centre will have a theatre to play a short six-minute documentary introducing visitors to the site and its monuments.

Following the development, the site will offer electric cars to transport visitors around the shrines and monuments. The tour includes the three Great Pyramids, Khufu ship, and the Sphinx. The cars will then take visitors back to the parking lot.

The Ministry of Antiquities is considering a number of offers submitted by companies to secure the electric cars based on their efficiency and the cars’ ability to withstand the terrain, Mohi said.  special area will be designated for a promenade where horses and camels can be ridden. Bazaars and vendors will be moved to an area adjacent to the main entrance.... Read More

Thursday, August 11, 2016

News: Egyptians Push Growth of Sharm El-Sheikh Hotel Occupancies, Tourist Workers

South Sinai has 65,000 hotel rooms; Egypt has a total of 225,000 operational rooms distributed across governorates of the Red Sea, Greater Cairo and South of Upper Egypt.

The improved flow of Egyptian individuals and families to tourist towns and resorts has pushed occupancies in Sharm El-Sheikh up to more than 40% during the second week of August.

Workers in tourism expect occupancy to continue growing with Egyptian families travelling during the summer season until the beginning of the new academic year in mid-September.

Hisham Ali, chairperson of the Tourism Investors Association in South Sinai, said that throughout the past two months, hotels have made offers for families in order to attract them to spend their summer vacations in Sharm El-Sheikh and other tourist areas in the governorate.

In response to some resorts’ negative reactions towards the idea of Egyptians staying in Egyptian hotels and resorts, Ali said that whoever does not want Egyptians there can shut down their hotels without senselessly talking about the issue. The presence of Egyptians there is actually protecting hotels from the tourist recession.

He believes that if it were not for domestic occupancies over the past period, the number of hotels needing to shut down would have increased significantly, especially considering the conditions of the sector from Novembe.... READ MORE  

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

News: Fees Cut in Half For Filming at Egypt's Archaeological Sites & Number of Egyptian Museums Visitors Increases

The decision comes as part of the antiquities ministry’s agenda to encourage tourism to Egypt. / The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir received the most museum visitors in July. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
The Supreme Council of Antiquities board approved yesterday a 50 percent reduction in fees for the filming of movies and TV shows at archaeological sites and museums all over Egypt starting November 2017.

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany told Ahram Online that the decision comes as part of the ministry’s agenda to encourage tourism to Egypt, as films and shows depicting Egyptian sites could attract tourists to the country.

The number of visitors to museums around Egypt in the last week of July reached 32,497, with an income totaling EGP 745,533 ($84,431), the secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities announced.

Mostafa Amin also said that the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir received the most visitors, at 17,206, while revenues reached EGP 624,101 ($70,679).

"This indicates that the number of visitors to Egypt has increased which in turn suggests that the tourism industry in Egypt is on its way to recovery," Amin told Ahram Online.
Source: Ahram Onlline