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Due to the COVID-19 situation, the GnT Tours Egypt Experience is currently only taking provisional bookings for a tour later in 2021

A weekly round up of the Ancient Egypt News stories that made the headlines

Ancient Egypt News 12 – 18 April 2021

Welcome to the latest Ancient Egypt stories that made the headlines over the third week of April.

Egypt’s National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat received thousands of Egyptian and foreign visitors at the central exhibition hall following its inauguration during the royal mummies procession. 

Dr. Ahmed Ghoneim, CEO of the Museum Authority, explained that the number of museum entry tickets sold in the first week reached 25,000. This included those visitors who are allowed to enter the museum for free; elderly Egyptians "over the age of 60", Medical staff, people with special needs, and public school students under 12 years old, among others. 

Egypt has just submitted a draft law to establish the General Authority for National Records and Archives, aimed at prohibiting the transfer of historical documents out of the country. 

Through the new draft law, the Prime Minister - upon the request of the Authority’s Board of Directors - is able to decide whether any document held by individuals, bodies, or legal persons, public or private, is of national or historical value. In which case, the document’s holder is responsible for its safe keeping. 

The holder of the document is also prohibited from transferring it out of Egypt or disposing of it in any form, except with a licence or permission. When disposing of it, the owner must inform the administrator in writing.

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina has organised training courses to teach hieroglyphs to Grade 4 elementary school social studies teachers.

The move comes as part of the cooperation between the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, represented by the Calligraphy Studies Center in the Academic Research Sector, and the Directorate of Education in Alexandria, represented by the General Administration of General Education – School Resources Development.

These courses aim to provide elementary school ‘social studies’ teachers with scientific development in the two fields of the Ancient Egyptian language. It also aims to help them get acquainted with the latest scientific theories that contribute to supporting the educational process, and to raise the academic and intellectual level of students.

This comes in line with Egypt’s Vision 2030 for pre-university education, which was established to nurture the gifted and provide them with higher quality education. At the same time, it aims to encourage school students to undertake research.

The courses are designed to support the understanding of Egypt’s ancient civilisation, and to learn the basic principles of deciphering the Ancient Egyptian language. It helps participants study basic sentences and rules, such as simple hieroglyphs, reading the names of kings and nobles, and learning basic grammatical constructs on which the Ancient Egyptian language is based.

Earlier this year, Egypt’s Ministry of Education and Technical Education announced that hieroglyphics will be taught as part of the new school curricula in the academic year. The new curriculum will pay special attention to archaeology and tourism, starting with kindergarten up to Grade 3 of elementary school. Meanwhile, hieroglyphic symbols will be taught starting from Grade 4.

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities recently conducted tests on firing the Ramadan cannon again after a pause of nearly 30 years, from the square of the Police Museum in the Citadel of Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi. 

Dr. Mustafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, explained that the works of repairing the cannon included removing the rust layer formed on the cannon body and cleaning it from the inside. 

Ms Iman Zidan, Assistant Minister of Tourism and Antiquities for the Development of Museums and Archaeological Sites, explained that the works of restoring the cannon came within the framework of the ministry's plan to raise the efficiency of tourism services in museums and archaeological sites, including the Citadel, pointing out that the cannon will fire at sunset and at iftar, throughout the whole month of Ramadan, while at the same time keeping pace with modern technology by firing a laser beam next to the cannon.

Although 30 years have passed since it last fired, it has remained in the hearts and minds of Egyptians, as it had become a well-established tradition and an aspect of the holy month. 

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s Museum of Antiquities organized, for the sixth year in a row, a competition entitled "Draw & Search" for those participating in the museum’s educational activity, from the ages of 9 to 16. 

This year's competition revolves around the goddess "Isis", the goddess of motherhood and fertility, who played an important role in the ancient Egyptian creed.

The Antiquities Museum presented three valuable prizes to the winners in the field of painting, and three other prizes in the field of research, in addition to honoring the participants in this year's session by giving them certificates of appreciation.  

This comes within the framework of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina's interest in achieving the goals of museum education, spreading archaeological awareness among children and young people, developing their talents and helping them show their artistic creativity.

The Mallawi Museum, affiliated to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, announced that the price of the entry ticket for Egyptian visitors is LE 5. This discount will run until May 15.  

The museum had previously been attacked in 2013 by terrorists, who burned it and looted its contents. It contained over 1000 artifacts from different historical eras. 

The result of that attack was the destruction of 50 pieces and the death of archaeologist Sameh Ahmed Abdel Hafeez, an employee at the museum, who was killed while carrying out his work.  

The Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities undertook to bring the pieces back to life and the processes of re-sorting the remains, pottery fragments and other monuments of stone, marble, wood and plaster began.  

After 3 years, the museum was opened again, which was considered a victory for the Egyptian state over chaos, and terrorism.   

The Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled el-Enany received in his office the Ambassador of the European Union in Cairo, Christian Berger, to discuss strengthening the cooperation between Egypt and the European Union in the fields of archaeology and tourism.  

For his part, the Ambassador of the European Union congratulated Enany on the success of the celebration of the Pharaohs’ Golden Parade.   

During the meeting, developments were discussed about the project to develop and raise the efficiency of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir; the project is being carried out in cooperation with the European Union. 

Enany reviewed the health safety controls and the precautionary and preventive measures applied by Egypt in accordance with the standards of the World Health Organization in airports, hotel and tourist facilities, tourism activities, archaeological sites and museums, to ensure the health and safety of all visitors, tourists and workers in the sector. This contributes to pushing the inbound tourist movement to Egypt, since the COVID-19 infection rates in the governorates of South Sinai and the Red Sea are almost non-existent. 

Moreover, the minister indicated that the state began vaccinating workers in the tourism sector against COVID-19 which in turn will contribute to stimulating the tourism movement to Egypt. 

The ambassador praised the introductory visits that the ministry is keen to organize for ambassadors of different countries to the various Egyptian tourist cities to get acquainted with the archaeological potentials of these cities, and to witness first-hand the applied health safety controls and precautionary measures. 

At the end of the meeting, Ambassador Christian Berger promised to convey the facts about Egypt’s efforts to ensure the safety and health of tourists and workers in the tourism sector to the European Union countries. 

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities mission to revive Luxor’s Al-Kebbash Road, known to the Ancient Egyptians as the ‘Path of God’ is almost complete. 

This 2700 metre road connects the Luxor and Karnak temples, with 1,200 ram-headed sphinxes lined up on either side of it. The ram heads represented the deity Amun, who was said to protect the two temples. 

Around 90% of the renovation has already been completed. The road will be inaugurated in a grand ceremony at the end of June 2021.  

And that is it for this week.   

This weekly round-up is sourced from public sites on the internet and do not necessarily reflect the views of GnT Tours. Please feel free to contact us regarding these and any other stories posted here.

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