Danny Glover to be honoured at Luxor film festival and he is today in Cairo

zap-photo-dannyglover_240

 

 

 

 

 

The Luxor African Film Festival begins on Tuesday with a screening of Guinea-Bissau’s The Children’s Republic, starring Danny Glover

The third Luxor African Film Festival will begin on Tuesday.

The festival will open with a screening of Flora Gomes’s The Children’s Republic, a joint production between Portugal and Guinea-Bissau, about a small, fictional country in Africa where children rule after every adult abandons the place. The country prospers, but the children can no longer grow.

The film’s director, as well as its star, Danny Glover, will be present at the opening ceremony in Luxor’s famous temple. He will be receiving an honourary award for his long and fruitful career in film.

In the Long Narratives competition, Egypt is taking part with The Mice Room, while in the Short Narratives and Short Documentaries competition, Egypt’s contenders are El-Bostan El-Said Street, Sidhom and Erkie. In the Freedom Films competition, Egypt’s entry is Logical Revolt, while I Am the Film Director, another Egyptian film, will be screened in the out-of-competition selection.

Forty-one African countries are participating in the festival with more than 55 films, in addition to nine non-African countries taking part in the Freedom Films competition.

@Ahram online

Replica Tutankhamun tomb set to open in Luxor

A painstakingly accurate replica of King Tut’s tomb is set to open in EgyptLuxor

Its existence will present visitors with the moral dilemma of paying to see the original tomb or helping to preserve its future existence by visiting the facsimile version instead. 

The Supreme Council of Antiquities commissioned carefully-crafted replicas of the tombs of Seti I, Nefertari and Tutankhamun back in 2009.

The move was a bid to stave off further irreparable damage caused by decades of tourists flocking to see the boy king’s burial chamber and other ancient tombs.

Wall painting of Tutankhamun flanked by Anubis and Hathor
Changes in temperature and humidity, say experts, is causing the intricately painted plaster to crumble away from the walls. Visitors could soon be completely banned from entering them

article-2228120-15E00680000005DC-737_634x438

A Madrid-based company, Factum Arte, which has worked with museums all over the world to produce facsimiles of endangered art, used high-tech 3D scanners to create the replica of King Tut’s tomb in a process that has taken several years to complete.

November will see the new version of the tomb of Tutankhamun installed just outside Howard Carter’s house, around half a mile from where the original lays in Luxor‘s Valley of the Kings.

Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon at Opening of King Tutankhamun's Tomb

On November 4th 1922, after years of toiling away in the Valley of the Kings, British archaeologist Howard Carter sensationally discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb and revealed one of the most significant Egyptian excavations of all time.

The fascination with Carter’s story and the perpetual promise of more discoveries has seen tourists pouring into the sun-drenched site although there has been a significant dip in tourism this year as the country has suffered from ongoing political protests.

One of the Factum Arte team, Briton Adam Lowe, is hopeful that the replica will become as popular as the orginal as visitors ‘become part of the force that protects it [the original] rather than a force that is leading to its destruction.’

He told the BBC: ‘They will have the thrill of visiting something they know is 3,000 years old and they have the guilt of knowing, as they look at it, that their presence is part of the reason why it won’t be there in another 100 years’ time.’

Source: dailymail

Classic Egypt back on map as FCO relaxes advice for tourists visiting Luxor and Aswan

British tourists wishing to visit the Valley of the Kings, home to Tutankhamun’s famous tomb, can once again do so safe in the knowledge that they will be covered by travel insurance after the British government relaxed long-standing advisories.

The FCO is still warning against all but essential travel to a large part of the country including Cairo and the North Sinai but destinations such as Luxor, Aswan and the Abu Simbel temples in Nubia are back on the map.

A spokesperson for the FCO said: ‘We continue to urge British nationals already in Egypt to follow the instructions of the local authorities and obey curfews where they are in place. There remains a high threat from terrorism throughout Egypt. This has not changed.’

They continued: ‘As always, the safety of British nationals is a priority. We continue to follow developments carefully, and keep our travel advice under continuous review.

‘British nationals should continue to monitor FCO travel advice closely for any updates and stay away from any demonstrations or protests.’

Speaking at a holiday industry conference in London last week, Egypt’s minister of tourism Hisham Zaazou told journalists: ‘More than 18 countries have lifted the travel advisory on Luxor and Aswan. As soon as the FCO revises its travel advice for the UK, we will work tirelessly with our valued media, travel agent and tour operator partners to communicate that the whole of Egypt is open.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2500039/Egypt-map-FCO-relaxes-advice-tourists-Luxor-Aswan.html#ixzz2kdoGTpIN

Lavrov hopes to restore tourism cooperation with Egypt

Egypt

 

 

 

Moscow is confident that the scale of tourism cooperation with Egypt will be restored after the lift of the state of emergency in that country, the Voice of Russia correspondent Ksenya Melnikova reports.

“We have agreed on the intensive development of dialogue on tourism. This is an extremely important area of our relations and part of stabilization efforts in Egypt; as I understand, the lift of the state of emergency regime which occurred yesterday can restore the scale of tourism cooperation. I am absolutely positive about that,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a press conference after his negotiations in Cairo.

Voice of Russia 
Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_11_14/Lavrov-hopes-to-restore-tourism-cooperation-with-Egypt-after-state-of-emergency-is-over-6248/

Minister of Tourism said : Egypt open for tourism

Egypt

 

 

Egypt will end its state of emergency and lift all curfews in the country by November 14, according to Egypt’s Minister of Tourism Hesham Zaazou Speaking at World Travel Market at London’s Excel, he said, ‘Over 18 countries have now lifted their negative travel advice to key regions of the Red Sea, Luxor and Aswan. Egypt’s compass is now pointing in the right direction.’

Apart from the Red Sea resorts, the UK government currently advises against all but essential travel to most of Egypt including Luxor and Aswan, but the Minister hopes this is reviewed and expects to meet with the Foreign Office in the coming days.

 

Following this summer’s revolution and subsequent protests, Egypt has seen a huge drop in tourist arrivals. ‘It’s been a challenging time as over 4 million Egyptians work in tourism,’ he said. ‘In the last week of September, we saw a drop of 90% compared to last year which is huge. However, while the media has focused on negative images of Cairo, I want to stress that not one single tourist has been targeted.’

 

As part of the mission to win back tourists, the tourist board has launched their ‘Egypt Now’ initiative with live streams of key tourist hot spots in Egypt available on their website, as well as an ‘Egypt Travel’ mobile application  for visitors to plan their holiday.

 

‘One million British tourists visited Egypt last year and 1.46 million in 2010. We must be doing something right and we’re adamant we can retrieve these figures.’Blue hole entrance

555555_653135994704695_551164658_ncropped-bloog.jpgdownload

 

Egyptian Tourist Authority reassures travel industry at WTM 2013

During a press conference at World Travel Market (WTM) on Monday 4th November, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism, Mr. Hisham Zaazou, gave an update on the current situation in Egypt and the tourist authority’s plans for 2014. Mr. Zaazou stated, “More than 18 countries have lifted the travel advisory on Luxor and Aswan.” “Egypt ranks amongst the top destinations in the area; over a third of UK visitors have been to the country three times or more. Currently we are ranked as the top tourist destination across the Middle East and North Africa, accounting for up to 21.5% and 37.6% of tourism respectively. As soon as the FCO revises its travel advice for the UK, we will work tirelessly with our valued media, travel agent and tour operator partners to communicate that the whole of Egypt is open,” he continued. Looking ahead, Mr. Zaazou commented, “We’re embracing real-time online communications by utilising the latest visual technologies such as webcams and mobile apps to show exactly what is happening on the ground in Egypt now.

“2014 will bring a renewed and reinvigorated interest in Egypt as the ideal medium-haul historical, cultural and beach destination for British and Irish travellers. The destination’s abundance of world-class tourism attractions will again see travellers choosing Egypt for their holidays year-round,” he concluded.In 2014, the Egyptian Tourist Authority (ETA) will be undertaking a vigorous programme of education to ensure that the UK travel industry is kept up to date on all the latest tourism developments in Egypt. The UK team led by Omayma El Husseini, Director UK & Ireland, will develop and activate a strategic mix of tactical travel trade and consumer marketing campaigns to promote the destination’s abundance of world-class tourism attractions.

What’s new in 2014?
New developments in 2014 include:

  • El Gouna Water sports Complex Set to be one of the world’s largest cable water parks, the new complex will combine world-class water sports facilities with a new leisure and entertainment venue.
  • Ancient Sands Golf Resort, opening April 2014
  • Orascom Development is opening a new five-star, luxury apartment hotel as part of the new Ancient Sands Golf Resort. The hotel complex will offer 261 apartments in total, with 114 apartments opening with the hotel in April 2014.
  • Ritz-Carlton Hotel , Cairo will welcome a new Ritz Carlton Hotel in 2014.

Tourism minister sounds optimistic about Egypt tourism

hisham zaazou Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said he is optimistic that tourist rates in Egypt will return to normal.Many nations have dropped their travel warnings against traveling to Egypt,” he said in a press conference held on the sideline of his participation in the World Travel Market 2013, which is held in London on Nov. 4-7 That will help in restoring the normal rates of tourism after many nations have issued their travel warnings in the wake of the June 30 revolution,” he said.He acknowledged the country has suffered from setbacks in tourism.

The tourist rates decreased by 35 percent in July compared to the same month last year, the minister said, adding the number of tourists continued to decrease till reaching 90 percent in September.The minister criticized the bleak and negative image that is being portrayed by some media outlets regarding the latest developments in Egypt.

No photography: Why camera bans might make us smarter tourists

King Tut

By Mark Hodson, Editor of 101 Holidays

I’ve just returned from a visit to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo where I spent three hours utterly enthralled by the treasures of King Tutankhamen. I don’t think I’ve seen a more impressive collection of artefacts anywhere in the world, brilliantly brought to life by our expert guide, Akram “Aki” Allam.

The museum is cavernous, dusty, unkempt and in many places badly lit. But it’s a wonderful experience, and sufficient reason alone to visit this baffling and exciting city.

It’s also unusual in enforcing a strict ban on photography. No snaps are allowed anywhere in the museum building.

In an age when most people pack a camera in their handbag or hip pocket, this seems almost like an infringement of human rights. If I want to whip out my iPhone and quietly peel off a few snaps, why shouldn’t I? After all, it’s all good publicity for the museum, isn’t it? Sharing on Facebook and Twitter is only going to encourage more tourists.

But the Egyptians seem immune to these arguments, something for which I find myself feeling immensely grateful.I admit that when I first saw the “No photography” sign I felt mildly irritated, but once I started to view the astonishing exhibits and get sucked into the amazing story of Tutankhamen, I was relieved to be freed from the urge to take pictures.

What’s more, I didn’t have other tourists with cameras pushing in front of me for a shot, apparently feeling that holding a camera or a phone gives them carte blanche to barge others out of the way.

The treasures of the teenage Pharaoh – including his iconic death mask, pictured above – are so extraordinary that the only proper response is to stand and gaze. Which is what I did.While other tourists strolled past and made small talk, I enjoyed a long period silently staring into the eyes of King Tut, soaking up the majesty of this most intimate of art works.

It is said that in some regions of the world, people believe that cameras can steal their soul. But maybe the truth is that they are stealing ours.Just as our ability to read is being corroded by Twitter feeds and 24-hour rolling news, perhaps the constant photographing of everything around us is affecting our very ability to see.

Maybe the way to enhance our experience as tourists is to put away the cameras and open our eyes instead. And if we can’t, then perhaps more museums should ban photography all together?

After all, it’s likely that the photos on your phone will be quickly forgotten, replaced by the next batch of shiny new digital images. Memories, on the other hand, will burn themselves into your soul, and shape who you are.

* I am in Egypt as a guest of Abercrombie & Kent with a small group of travel bloggers including Jayne Gorman of 40 Before 30 and Abigail King of Inside the Travel Lab.  The photos on this page were – of course – supplied by the Egypt Tourist Authority.

the source of this essay is : http://www.101holidays.co.uk

 

10 Things not to miss in Egypt

1 The pyramids

It would be a travel-weary soul indeed who failed to be impressed by the spectacles of Giza, the only survivors of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It took teams of 10,000 workers they have non-farming months of 20 years to build each pyramid and they are awesome. Although climbing the pyramids is no longer permitted, you can walk right around them, take a camel ride between them and even go inside to the main chambers (providing you don’t suffer from claustrophobia as the entry tunnela are narrow, steep and hot). By contrast, the nearby Sphinx is, as English playwright Alan Bennett observed, like meeting someone famous who turns out to be smaller than you might have imagined from seeing them on TV or in photographs.

pyramids

2 Egyptian Museum in Cairo

You could spend a month in this vast, fusty and cavernous museum and barely scratch the surface. Highlights include the Tutankhamun Galleries with everything from clothes, funerary couches, golden sarcophagi and statues to canopic jars containing the boy king’s internal organs. Tut’s death mask, 11kg of solid gold with details in lapis lazuli, obsidian and quartz, completes the sensory overload. Don’t miss the royal mummy room with 11 of Egypt’s most celebrated rulers laid out for the passing parade, or the animal mummy exhibit where royal pets from cats and dogs to crocodiles are preserved. The ancient Egyptian jewellery room is also astonishing, particularly for the inspiration it has provided modern jewellers with lots of seashell and star?sh motifs.

Egyptian_Musesum4-800x600 (1)

3 Old Cairo

The history of the Coptic Church is tied to the history of Christian monasticism. The ancient tradition of monasticism continues to be practiced in Egypt and offers a great opportunity to visit Coptic monasteries, such as the monastery of St Simeon in AswanSt Anthony and St Paul Monasteries in the Red Sea mountains, and Deir Al-Kashef Monastery, an early Coptic monastery in the Western Desert. Some of Egypt’s churches also rank among the oldest Christian landmarks in the world, such as the church of the virgin in Asyut and the Coptic Cathedral of St. Mark in Alexandria.Several churches and monasteries also mark the Holy Family Journey trail as described in the Bible. Take an angle’s advice and “Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt.”

hanging_church1-800x600

4 Khan Al-Khalili

Cairo’s bustling central market since the 14th century, it meanders across countless alleys. In the midst of all the touts and tat, this is a great place to pick up souvenirs as long as you’re prepared to bargain. Take a break at Fishawi’s Cofee house, which claims not to have shut in 200 years except in the mornings during Ramadan when everyone is fasting. And try fateer from the stall that has “Egyptian pancakes” written on the wall.

Cairo-Khan-El-Khalili-souq

5 A ride on the Nile

A felucca ride on the Nile is the best way to escape the hustle on land. We took a two-hour sunset cruise in Luxor, but there are full-day and even week-long cruises on these time-honoured Nile sailing boats. Longer cruises usually head up-river from Aswan — the strong current keeps you moving even when the wind drops.

Cairo-view-from-Cairo-tower

6 Luxor Museum
If Cairo’s museum is old-school, the Luxor Museum is new age, with multi- media presentations and well-documented exhibits. There are mummies (including one thought to be the mummy of Rameses I) and statues aplenty, but we delighted in the everyday objects including sandals, a quiver of arrows and even a slingshot from Tutankhamun’s tomb.
800px-Luxor_Museum_1
7 Luxor
Allow at least a couple of days to explore the temples and tombs of Luxor . Anything less and you’ll end up with pharaonic fatigue not able to tell a sphinx from a scarab. Karnak and Luxor temples are the highlights of the East Bank in the actual city of Luxor, while on the West Bank you can visit the underground tombs of The Valley of the Kings (including Rameses II and Tutankhamun), the temple of Hatshepsut, the queen who ruled ?rst as regent and then as pharaoh, even to the extent of dressing as a man, the twin pillars of the Colossi of Memnon and the tombs of the Valley of the Queens. It gets very hot in these parts, so start early, wear sunscreen and take plenty of water.

luxor temple 5

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
8 Alexandria’s waterfront walk
A stroll along the Corniche in Alexandria, two hour’s drive north of Cairo, provides a pleasant respite from antiquity overload. The fishing boats place you firmly on the Mediterranean and the Alexandrian Bibliotheca (library) is a modern architectural wonder worth visiting. Stroll down the seafront to see the Hotel Cecil where Lawrence Durrell stayed when he came to Alexandria in 1942 and later immortalised in the Alexandria Quartet. Somewhat incongruously, it’s now a Sofitel.
Alex_panorama1

9 Oriental cuisine 
From dips such as baba ganouj and homous to salads including tabbouleh and fattoush and chickpea-based felafel, it’s almost impossible to eat badly in Egypt. We fell in love with fattah, a slow-roasted lamb dish with a rich tomato sauce, and hamam, pigeon stu?ed with spiced rice. Sweet-tooths are well catered for, with honey-sodden pastries ?avoured with rosewater and pistachios, pinenuts, almonds and cashews. Though most Egyptians don’t drink alcohol, beer is easy to come by (a bit harder during Ramadan). Egypt also has an emerging wine industry producing creditable wines under licence to French winemakers. Wine and spirits are mainly available in the tourist hotels. There’s also an astonishing array of juices, from limoon (lemon) and rumman (pomegranate) to karkadai (hibiscus flower).

egyptian food


10 A dip in the Red Sea 

The Red Sea is justifiably famous for the spectacular coral reefs and more than 1000 species of making it a diving and snorkeling paradise. Many Egyptians and tourists base themselves in the resort town of Sharm el Sheikh on the point of the Sinai Peninsula and explore Ras Mohammed National Park, 20km to the west.

Picture

 

the 90th anniversary of the discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun

Today is the anniversary of the entry into the tomb of Tut-ankh-amun (4th November was the discovery of the steps) and there is going to be an event in the valley of kings today starting at 10:00. The tomb of Merenptah is going to be opened at 10:30 then a visit to Tutankhamun finishing off with a viewing of photos in the visitors center.