Culture – Daily News Egypt https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Sun, 23 Feb 2020 20:15:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Is Nefertiti’s long-looked-for mysterious mummy buried next to Tutankhamun’s? https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/23/is-nefertitis-long-looked-for-mysterious-mummy-buried-next-to-tutankhamuns/ Sun, 23 Feb 2020 19:59:54 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=722968 Radar survey finds long rock corridor parallel to Tutankhamun’s burial chamber

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Centuries after her body was buried at what is still a secretive place, the mystery of queen Nefertiti might come to an end, as a recent radar survey discovered evidence that may lead to finding another burial chamber behind the walls of Tutankhamun’s tomb, according to Nature.

The survey, which has been published yet and only Nature has managed to get it, indicates that the young Pharaoh’s burial chamber hides a bigger tomb behind its northern walls that might hide the tomb of his stepmother, Nefertiti.

The research is led by an Egyptian mission headed by former minister of antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty. Through a ground-penetrating radar (GPR), the mission scanned the area behind the famous Tutankhamun’s chamber in Luxor.

They report, according to Nature, said that they have identified a previously unknown corridor-like space a few metres from the burial chamber. The mission’s results were submitted earlier this month to the Supreme Council of Antiquities, headed by Mostafa Waziri.

Through the x-ray, the mission found a long rock corridor that is parallel in depth to Tutankhamun’s burial chamber. The corridor is located near the east, and appears in the scan to be around 2 metres high and 10 metres long.

The report suspects that it might not be linked to the young king’s tomb, and might be a part of another, undiscovered tomb in the area. However, due to its location perpendicular to Tutankhamun’s tomb, it is believed to be connected as unconnected tombs tend to be aligned at different angles.

Examining the data of the report, Ray Johnson, an Egyptologist at the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute in Luxor told Nature that it identifies “clearly [that] there is something on the other side of the north wall of the burial chamber.”

The search for the royal queen’s tomb has been high and low for years, with no luck in finding an indicator to where she was buried. Last October, veteran Egyptologist Zahi Hawas revealed that an excavation mission is currently leading the biggest campaign since 1921 when Edward Hawart discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb. He added that the mission has been working in the site since December 2017.

Back in 2015, when Eldamaty was the antiquities minister, the British scientist Nicholas Reeves, a specialist in Egyptian history and material culture, was the first to come out stating his suspicions of having Nefertiti’s tomb hidden behind the wall of the young king.

In a press conference, both announced the results of Reeves’s 18-month research, that came to believe that the iconic tomb of Tutankhamun might house extra rooms. The professor went on to add that his research even supports the possibility that the missing tomb of Queen Nefertiti might be enclosed in one of the extra compartments. However, his suspicions were announced as inaccurate a year later by Hawass, who assured that he came to find nothing in Tutankhamun’s tomb.

Reeves’s findings include the fact that Tutankhamun’s mask was initially made for a queen, as the ears show significant piercing marks, something that was never associated to men in Ancient Egypt.

He further supported his beliefs with evidence. While the tomb’s north wall showed evident cracks that suggest the existence of hidden doorways, the paintings covering that particular wall seems to be drawn later than the others, as it was painted on a white wall then concealed with yellow painting, unlike the other three walls that were initially yellow.

“Plastid-over walls are often found in many tombs, especially in the Valley of the Kings,” Reeves added. “The tomb was made for a queen; yet, the young king’s sudden death changed the tomb’s primary plan.”

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Egypt discusses cooperation with Greece to promote antiquities’ replicas https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/22/egypt-discusses-cooperation-with-greece-to-promote-antiquities-replicas/ Sat, 22 Feb 2020 18:47:06 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=722868 Anany’s initiative comes amid Egypt’s establishment of the first antiquities replicas factory aiming to preserve the country’s cultural heritage

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Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities and Tourism Khaled Anany visited on Saturday a workshop in Athens, Greece specialised in making ancient Egyptian statue replicas in order to study the possible cooperation between the two countries in the replica making industry.

The visit is part of Anany’s official trip to Greece to meet his counterparts, looking to enrich the cooperation between the two countries in the field of replication.

Anany praised the production process after working with technicians to enhance cooperation between the workshop and the Egyptian Archaeological Models Production Unit at the Ministry of Antiquities, expressing his desire to have a number of local products sold at museums and outlets in Greece.

The minister’s initiative comes amid Egypt’s establishment of the first antiquities replica factory, aiming to preserve the country’s cultural heritage. The factory is to be the first of its kind that, according to Anany, works to save the local market from having low quality products as well as generate proper revenues in investing in Egypt’s legacy.

This comes a few days after Egypt launched its second replica exhibition in Venice, showcasing 70 antiquity replicas that were specially made by the unit to be on display.

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Tomb of Rome’s founder discovered https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/20/tomb-of-romes-founder-discovered/ Thu, 20 Feb 2020 12:31:42 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=722625 The rock sarcophagus is measured at about 1.4m long.

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Archaeologists unearthed on Tuesday the burial chamber of Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome, according to The Times news portal. The tomb, which dates back to the 6th century BC, was found at the Curia-Comitium complex, which was mainly an open-air public meeting space of Ancient Rome.

Alfonsina Russo, director of the Colosseum Archaeological Park, told the Times that the “discovery is extraordinary,” explaining that the “forum never ceases to yield amazing fresh treasures.”

The rock sarcophagus is measured at about 1.4m long.

The burial chamber was found right beneath the stairs of the Curia.

According to Russo, archaeologists believe that the temple’s altar was most likely positioned where ancient Romans believed Romulus was buried. Yet no bones were found in the coffin.

Romulus was the first king of Rome and the person who founded the country’s primary political, religious, and social institutions.

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1st Dendera Cultural Festival commemorates late poet Abdel Rahman El-Abnudi https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/20/1st-dendera-cultural-festival-commemorates-late-poet-abdel-rahman-el-abnudi/ Thu, 20 Feb 2020 09:45:12 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=722592 The festival is the first musical event to ever take place in Upper Egypt.

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Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem said on Wednesday that the first Dendera Cultural Festival in Qena is to commemorate Abdel Rahman El-Abnudi, a well-known Egyptian poet who passed away 21 April 2015.

The festival is the first musical event to ever take place in Upper Egypt.

The event, which will kick off 27 February, will last for a week and will take place under the cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism. The cultural festival aims at highlighting Qena’s heritage as one of the most prominent cities in terms of antiquities and handicrafts.

“Cultural activities include shedding light on the pillars of innovation. El-Abnudi was selected to be this year’s main figure, as one of Qena’s children who marked his name in the history of Arab poetry,” Abdel Dayem explained.

The temple of Dendera will host several musical concerts and shows by prominent and young talents.

She further added in a press statement that the ministry will also hold a book fair in Qena, sequencing the cultural festival.

The fair is organised by the General Egyptian Book Organisation (GEBO). It includes a number of the organisation’s productions, starting from EGP 3, targeting all family members.

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Young couple tie the knot on ancient Egyptian wedding ceremony https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/19/young-couple-tie-the-knot-on-pharaonic-wedding-ceremony-rituals/ Wed, 19 Feb 2020 08:58:06 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=722742 In front of a temple built inside the village, the couple walked down the aisle like their ancient Egyptian ancestors

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Marry like an ancient Egyptian? While the world celebrated Valentine’s Day last weekend with red roses and romantic dinners to the rhythms of love songs, an Egyptian couple broke the circle of traditional expression of love, tying the knot on the ceremony rituals of their ancient Egyptian ancestors.

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The Pharaonic Village in Giza witnessed on Sunday the first-of-a-kind wedding on Pharaonic ceremony rituals. The wedding followed rituals of ancient Egyptians, reflecting their traditions and following the steps for announcing the marriage.

In front of a temple built inside the village, the couple walked down the aisle in a procession with dozens of followers that witnessed the marriage. A priest officiated the wedding.

The wedding was a part of the Pharaonic Village’s policy of raising people’s awareness of the social ceremonies and traditions of the ancient Egyptian civilisation. At the time, men used to get married between the age of 16 to 20, while women usually were married right after puberty. There was not much mentioned about wedding ceremonies in ancient Egypt, except in the New Kingdom.

During the Late Kingdom, it was chronicled that the marriage of upper classes witnessed inking a contract between the couple. The contract included their names, the name of the ruling Pharaoh at the time of the marriage, and the craft of the husband that is considered the family’s main breadwinner. At the end of contract, witnesses had to sign and mention the settlement they belong to.

Traditionally, at the wedding, the couple started their lives by displaying sacrifices to the Gods in front of the temple. The groom also gave presents to the bride’s father.

As for the middle class, it was known throughout the ancient Egyptian era that they held wedding ceremonies collectively.

The most famous recorded account of marriage in ancient Egypt is when Ramses II married a Hittite princess. The Hittite princess’s journey to Pi-Ramses was engraved on a large stela in the Great Temple at Abu Simbel. Which says “Thou commandest them … forever and ever, together with the whole land of Kheta [the Hittites]. While thou shinest upon the throne of Re, every land is under [thy] feet, forever.” The stela then recounts the journey undertaken by the princess and her retinue: “Then they [came] with [their] possessions, and [their] splendid [gifts] before them, of silver and gold … The great chiefs of every land came; they were bowed down, turning back in fear, when they saw [his majesty].”

All photos taken by Fadel Dawood

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Farouk Hosni art exhibition opens 26 February https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/19/farouk-hosni-art-exhibition-opens-26-february/ Tue, 18 Feb 2020 22:28:36 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=722447 The exhibition will display 52 paintings that Hosni worked on in the past two years.

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Farouk Hosni, Egypt’s former minister of Culture, and veteran abstract artist,  is to hold an art exhibition showcasing some of his latest portraits at Zamalek’s Aisha Fahmy Palace (the centre of arts) on 26 February.

The exhibition will display 52 paintings that Hosni worked on in the past two years.

The exhibition’s opening night will be attended by Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem, and Khaled Sorour, the Head of the Fine Arts Sector at the ministry.

In his latest exhibition, Hosni returns to collage art, which he mastered in the 1980s. The artwork showcases blue, yellow and green as the dominating colours.

Hosni’s work has been on display at a number of international museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Carousel Louvre in Paris, the Tokyo Museum of Art in Japan, the Houston Museum of Art in Texas, USA, and Fort Lauderdale Museum in Florida(USA.

Hosni was the minister of culture from 1987 up till the cabinet was changed in 2011 due to the 25 of January revolution.   

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Naguib Mahfouz’s daughter donates some of Nobel laureate’s belongings to his museum https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/17/naguib-mahfouzs-daughter-donates-some-of-nobel-laureates-belongings-to-his-museum/ Mon, 17 Feb 2020 18:06:44 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=722323 The biographical museum, which was inaugurated last year in Cairo’s Al-Gamaleya neighbourhood, contains some manuscripts of Mahfouz’s most famous novels and their translated versions into different languages.

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Um Kolthoum Naguib Mahfouz donated 257 books and manuscripts written by her father to the library of Naguib Mahfouz Museum.

The biographical museum, which was inaugurated last year in Cairo’s Al-Gamaleya neighbourhood, contains some manuscripts of Mahfouz’s most famous novels and their translated versions into different languages.

The museum comprises four main libraries: Mahfouz’s personal library that has the 1,091 books he owned during his life and spent his time roaming among them, a literature library that offers visitors 119 of the world’s most known and famous literature icons, another of Mahfouz’s 169 art masterpieces, and the fourth is a general one with 165 books in different fields.

Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem stated that the donation comes as a part of the ministry’s efforts in adding Mahfouz’s belongings to the on display items.

Um Kolthoum previously donated some of her father’s belonging to the museum, including the desk he spent all of his life writing his novels on, as well as his Nobel medal.

The museum has a hall that is dedicated to the writer’s medals and awards including the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1988. Mahfouz is the only Arab writer to have ever won the award until this day. The alley hall in the museum is dedicated to the novels Mahfouz wrote during his residency in Al-Gamaleya. In his novels, Mahfouz opened a window for readers to explore the alleys of Old Cairo, like Haret El Maqaq, Midaq Alley, Bayen Qasren, and Sugar Street.

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AUC alumni foresee future of life in Egypt https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/17/auc-alumni-foresee-future-of-life-in-egypt/ Mon, 17 Feb 2020 18:00:06 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=722299 University’s centennial carnival’s two main highlights are fashion show, VR video that detail life features in 2120

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When thinking how life would be like in Egypt after a century from now, the sky was the limit to the American University in Cairo’s (AUC) alumni who spent months researching to create the possible image of life in 2120.

The AUC launched on Saturday its one-week centennial fiesta, under the theme “Be the Future”. The events commemorate the achievements of the university over the past 100 years and aspire to more successes in the coming years. The centennial celebration was dedicated to foresee the future through the eyes of the prestigious university’s alumni.

The Saturday centennial carnival gathered both AUC alumni and students, revealing the illustrations the alumni drew of lifestyle, architecture, and fashion in the year 2120.

Unlike the last year’s celebration which focused on the university’s achievements in the past 100 years, spotlighting the alumni’s attainments in their careers, this year’s celebration was all about what is coming ahead.

“We are proud to be a part of Egypt’s adopted plan of looking into the future,” AUC President Francis J. Ricciardone told Daily News Egypt.

He explained that the university is following Egypt 2030 vision, yet, with an even in-depth look to what is beyond 10 years only. “We are looking into making major investments in our labs and buildings. Those are things that would last for more than 10 years.”

Stepping into 2120 design

The carnival’s two main highlights were both the fashion show and the virtual reality (VR) video that displayed in detail the features of life in 2120.

Through the VR video, the carnival presented to attendees Egypt’s possible lifestyle in the coming century. The video, which saw the light with the help of veteran architects and several design students, displayed the way AUC campus would be like within a century, such as building shapes, education forms, and design features.

The event also hosted talented street performers: Sci-Tech Hub for attendees to watch an exciting science experiment and to see the galaxy in the next 100 years, archaeology labs, and popup museums.

“The majority of the future designs was based on the predicted future with its questions and struggles which we could see now with the indications. This includes integrating the way technology is shaping our lives, more into nature and environment, all in a quite optimistic approach,” Naglaa’ Samir, associate professor of graphic design at the AUC and coordinator of the two shows, told Daily News Egypt.    

Samir explained that during the two projects, her students from design and architecture majors joined forces and intensively studied current researches in the field of future technologies, so that they can form an image of how life would be in the next 100 years. For months, the students applied what they have been finding and imagining in an illustration and several designs that were finally adopted into a VR video and a runway glamorous designs.

Envisioning future fashion

Aside from architectural design, the carnival also witnessed a fashion show through which AUC alumni chronicled the fashion of the 1900s and predicted the attire people are to wear in 2120.

The fashion show was organised by several AUC students and graduates, who donated their work in documenting the fashion of the two decades. Twenty students worked separately to come up with designs they believe to be coming next.

“Some of them imagined the future to be a little bit dark and dystopian, while others designs reflected how worried they are of technology taking over or the way surveillance might prevail citizens, and they started seeing all of that through fashion and people’s look,” Samir said.

Mainly made of plastic-like fabrics, all with the dominating colours of black and white, the designs took attendees into a journey of the effect of global warming, invading technology, and invented materials on future people’s attires.

The futuristic collection was out based on intensive studies the participants conducted on the atmosphere and the technologies that would affect the way people would dress up accordingly.

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AUC continues centennial celebrations, focuses on the future https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/15/auc-continues-centennial-celebrations-focuses-on-the-future/ Sat, 15 Feb 2020 18:07:15 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=722155 Over the last year we wanted to be nostalgic and pay tribute to our history. This year, as Egypt is looking forward to 2030; we are sharing the same vision, but with a further look to 100 years behind it; says AUC president 

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The American University in Cairo (AUC) celebrated on Saturday its centennial with an Alumni carnival.

The carnival, which took place at AUC’s New Cairo Campus, is the start of a one-week centennial festival, during which, the university focuses on the future of education, culture, and lifestyle in Egypt for the next 100 years. 

The prestigious university has been celebrating its 100th anniversary for a whole year. During 2019, it focused on the history of AUC, and celebrated the successful and professional paths of its alumni. 

This year’s celebration is all about the 2120’s aspects of life. 

“Over the last year we wanted to be nostalgic and pay tribute to our history. This year, as Egypt is looking forward to 2030; we are sharing the same vision, but with a further look to 100 years behind it,” said Francis J. Ricciardone, AUC president. 

He further explained that the university is looking into applying huge investments into its labs and buildings 

“Which would last for more than ten years and be a part of eternal Egypt in the face of all of its problems,” he told Daily News Egypt. 

The carnival witnessed a fashion show, organised by 20 design students, which was dedicated to imagining the attires of 2120, and the lifestyle of that era. 

It also hosted a visual reality show, showcasing the AUC’s campus and education system after 100 years, with main focus on the imagination of architecture in 2120. 

For his side, Alaa Eldin Edris, the associate provost for research, innovation, and creativity stated in a press conference that the university has a research centre which mainly studies the future of education, and new and potential fields, assuring that the university’s educational system would be all about merging between sections, and having the needed integration between studied fields. 

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Where to celebrate Valentine’s Day? https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/14/where-to-celebrate-valentines-day/ Fri, 14 Feb 2020 09:39:16 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=722080 Daily News Egypt takes you on a tour into two fascinating places in which your love may flourish, either luxuriously or in a budget friendly way.

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Celebrating the big red day is only a few hours away. Escaping the long tiring week for a Friday break with your beloved one is just the perfect idea for commemorating the Valentine’s Day. Daily News Egypt takes you on a tour into two fascinating places in which your love may flourish, either luxuriously or in a budget friendly way.

JW Marriott Cairo

Nothing beats the lavishness of a high-end hotel when it comes to spending a special night. The hotel offers its visitors a variety of options to enjoy a Valentine’s Day dinner in a number of cuisines that visitors get to pick from.

For the American and European cuisine lovers, the JW’s Steakhouse restaurant offers a variety of steak options and famous plates from the western world. For the lovers of Pasta, Cucina is an option that serves the best in Italian cuisine. The hotel also offers its visitors an option to enjoy a wide spread of hand-crafted international buffet specialties, at both the Mirage Café and The View Lounge.

Valentine’s Day cannot pass without some self-pampering for the couple. The opulence hub offers its visitors a chance to spend an unforgettable evening at the spa with therapists that are delighted to provide personalised treatments and packages for visitors.

InterContinental Cairo Semiramis

The splendour hotel, has always been a home of luxury and cosiness. Samiramis offers its loyal visitors this year a number of friendly packages that suit most Celebratory budgets.

For the Indian lovers, India Along the Nile restaurant opens its doors for people to spend an unmatched romantic experience in a contemporary and modern setting. Indulge in an exquisite Valentine’s set menu by Indian Chef Sanjib Kumar and dance along to their resident DJ’s tunes.

As for Thai food, Bird Cage is listed as one of Cairo’s top hits for Thai cuisine. The restaurant offers its tranquil waters, serene settings, and creative Thai chefs, the Birdcage captures the spirit and flavours of Thailand. Experience sizzling sounds and enticing aromas rising from Chef Narongs Thai cuisine who is always cooking up the most original and tasty meals and check out his Valentine specials.

Awarded the “Certificate of Excellence” Award for the eighth consecutive year in a row by Tripadvisor, the Birdcage is the destination for a romantic Valentine.

When it comes to self-pampering, the hotel offers a Be my Valentine spa journey, which starts with a chocolate wrap, and full body scrub before having a calming senses sauna and Jacuzzi.

For those seeking to attend a night of live performance, the Italian hub Pane Vino, is to host young artist Ahmed Harfoush for a night of interactive singing at the hotel’s most alluring Nile view place.

For the lovers of grilling, The Grill restaurant boosts a symphony of classic love songs for dinner on Valentine’s Day, where attendees can enjoy contemporary and imaginative cuisine in a romantic Valentine’s setting. With spectacular Nile views, French authenticity is preserved throughout its menu. Private dining corners and an unparalleled selection of wines complete the refined Valentine’s dinging experience.

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Egypt anticipates Blue Man Group’s first performance in March https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/11/egypt-anticipates-blue-man-groups-first-performance-in-march/ Tue, 11 Feb 2020 17:56:16 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=721820 Blue Man Group is known for holding one-of-kind shows that are all about mixing art, music, and comedy – paired with state-of-the-art technology and innovation.

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For the first time, the Blue Man Group will perform next month in Egypt. The international troupe’s remarkable performances are always filled with humour, physical interaction, and vibrant colours. With performances dubbed mind-blowing, the group comes to Egypt through Dino Activations, a brand activation agency.

Blue Man Group is known for holding one-of-kind shows that are all about mixing art, music, and comedy – paired with state-of-the-art technology and innovation.

The shows are to kick off 23 March, running for a whole week at Al Manara International Conferences Center in Fifth Settlement. Taking to the stage with their unique instruments in over 25 countries, the show portrays motion and expression with limited verbal communication, making it a universal event appreciated by audiences across the globe.

“Blue Man Group presents an unforgettable celebration of human connection through a multi-sensory experience that has captivated more than 35 million people of all ages worldwide,” Co-founder of Blue Man Group Phil Stanton stated in a press release.

For his side, Mohamed Amer, Founder of Dino Activations explained that “Blue Man Group is the only show as colorful as life and provides a totally different approach to live performance for all members of the family – from children to grandparents. The result is a euphoric celebration of life you’ve got to see to believe.”

Tickets for the performances have been available on TicketsMarche since 5 February.

  

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Egypt participates at 19th Meknes International Animated Film Festival as Guest of Honour https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/11/egypt-participates-at-19th-meknes-international-animated-film-festival-as-guest-of-honour/ Tue, 11 Feb 2020 17:53:15 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=721809 The festival, which is organised by the Aicha Foundation in partnership with the French Institute of Meknes, is the biggest animation film festival in the region, attended by thousands of passionate animated film fans from around the world.

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Egypt is to be this year’s guest of honour at the 19th Meknes International Animated Film Festival (FICAM), which will take place 20-25 March in Morocco.

The festival, which is organised by the Aicha Foundation in partnership with the French Institute of Meknes, is the biggest animation film festival in the region, attended by thousands of passionate animated film fans from around the world.

This edition celebrates the 85th anniversary of the release of the first Egyptian animation film, which will also be screened during the festival.

The latest Egyptian animation film, The Knight and the Princess, will be the opening film of the festival. Written and directed by Bashir El Deek, the film had its world premiere last year at the 3rd El-Gouna Film Festival.

A number of Egyptian animation films are also to be displayed during the festival as a part of reviving the history of animation in the Middle East. They include Mafish Fayda (There is No Hope) created in 1936, and Bilhana wel Shifaa (Have a Good Meal) produced in 1946.

An exhibition dedicated to the Frankel brothers, the pioneers of Egyptian animated cinema, whose filmography will be highlighted on this occasion, along with their 1930s character “Mish Mish Affendi.”

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Baron Empain Palace to opens its doors within days https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/11/baron-empain-palace-to-opens-its-doors-within-days/ Tue, 11 Feb 2020 17:49:47 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=721763 Anany explained that the palace would take its visitors into a journey to the past, starting from the early stages of Baron Empain first building Heliopolis as a district of modernism and fascinating beauty. The palace is to open within the next few weeks.

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As the Baron Palace inauguration is just around the corner, Minister of Antiquities and Tourism Khaled Anany visited the site earlier this week to follow up on the renovation works and the Heliopolis museum that would be inside the palace.

Anany explained that the palace would take its visitors into a journey to the past, starting from the early stages of Baron Empain first building Heliopolis as a district of modernism and fascinating beauty. The palace is to open within the next few weeks.

He further explained that the museum would be a window to the old days’ lifestyle, through showcasing cars that date to the last two centuries in order to reflect a real life vision of that era.

Anany previously told Daily News Egypt that the museum’s opening only waited for the complete restoration of one of Heliopolis tram carriages that was planned to be on display, as well as the surrounding wall of the palace.   

The museum will also display a film series of the Baron Empain himself with his partner Nubar Pasha, the former prime minister of Egypt, and Alexandre Marcel, the French architect who designed the palace.

The films will also explain the architecture of Heliopolis over the decades, starting from the district’s planning, going through its heritage, most famous places, and people’s lifestyle at different ages.

Baron Empain had a major role in designing the upper-class Heliopolis in Cairo, from the time he arrived in Egypt in 1904.

He established his own business, which was called Heliopolis Oasis Company, and bought a large desert land from colonial forces, turning it into what is currently known as Heliopolis.

He died in 1929, and was buried under the Basilica Church in Heliopolis, which was linked to the Baron Palace by an underground tunnel.

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Mouled Al Sayeda Nafisa celebrates generosity of Prophet’s granddaughter https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/10/mouled-al-sayeda-nafisa-celebrates-generosity-of-prophets-granddaughter/ Mon, 10 Feb 2020 11:00:51 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=721668   Thousands of Muslims gathered to celebrate Mouled Al Sayeda Nafisa in a night that was filled with Dhikr (Islamic enchantments), Sufi dancing, and praises of the Prophet Mohammed and his family. Mouled or Mawlid (birthday celebration) of Al Sayeda Nafisa, the great great granddaugther of Prophet Muhammad, was always witnessed by Sufi followers in …

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Thousands of Muslims gathered to celebrate Mouled Al Sayeda Nafisa in a night that was filled with Dhikr (Islamic enchantments), Sufi dancing, and praises of the Prophet Mohammed and his family.

Mouled or Mawlid (birthday celebration) of Al Sayeda Nafisa, the great great granddaugther of Prophet Muhammad, was always witnessed by Sufi followers in Cairo, as she spent most of her life in Egypt.

Islamic Mouleds are synchronised by the Islamic Lunar calendar. In Mouled celebrations, Muslims gather for days before El-Leila EL-Kebera (The biggest Night) which marks the actual birthday, to celebrate it with the night long Islamic enchantments, Tanoora dancing, and Dhikr circles in which a group of Sufi devotees gather in a human-chain singing short phrases of praising God.

El-Leila El-Kebera took place last Wednesday, ending the week-long festivity of the birth anniversary of Al Sayeda Nafisa. Egypt’s prominent enchanter Mahmoud El-Tohamy spent the night singing Islamic songs for the attendees whom had been residing at the tents specially sat up for days in anticipation for the event.

Sayeda Nafisa was born in Mecca, but moved to Egypt with her husband and two children at a young age. She was received with warm welcome by the Egyptians, and her house was soon a hub for religious lessons and Dhikr.   

She was known for her miracles in curing the ill, and extreme generosity with the people in need. Since she passed away, Sufi Muslims revive her memory every year in a Mouled where food is generously distributed to all the attendees.

Mouleds are celebrated by both Christians and Muslims in Egypt. Mouled Al-Adra (Virgin Mary) and Mouled Mari Girgis are the two largest Coptic Mouled celebrations.

Other popular Mouleds include Al-Mouled Al-Nabawy, Mouled Al-Hussein, and Mouled Al-Sayed Al-Badawi.

All photos taken by Mahmoud Fekry

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UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/10/unesco-intangible-cultural-heritage-lists/ Mon, 10 Feb 2020 05:30:27 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=721615 Arabic Calligraphy to be registered at UNESCO’s Intangible Heritage List

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Sixteen Arab countries headed by Saudi Arabia are to submit a registration for Arabic Calligraphy at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

The file will be discussed in the 15th session which will be held in Jamaica from 30 November to 5 December.

The full file of the history of Arabic Calligraphy is currently being prepared by the Saudi Heritage Preservation Society in order to be ready for the final submission in March.

The Saudi ministry of culture held a five-day workshop last Sunday with the attendance of representatives from participating countries in order to coordinate the details of submitting the file to UNESCO.

Hattan bin Mounir bin Samman, the secretary-general of the Saudi National Commission for Education, Culture, and Science, said in a press statement that Arabic calligraphy had an exceptional value due to its long history and uniqueness as one of the richest aspects of Arab and Islamic cultural identity.

“Arabic calligraphy has been — and will continue to be — the focus and passion of experts, stakeholders and those involved in cultural affairs, education, and science, who are interested in both human and cultural heritage,” he said.

Until last year, Saudi Arabia successfully managed to register, over the years, seven items on UNESCO’s Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage including falconry, the majlis, coffee, the Najdi ardah, Almezmar, Al-Qatt Al-Asiri, and was a part of the participating countries in submitting the file for palm trees at the last session in December.

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50% price cut on Luxor pass during summer months: Tourism minister https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/09/50-price-cut-on-luxor-pass-during-summer-months-tourism-minister/ Sun, 09 Feb 2020 15:09:37 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=721588 Minister of Antiquities and Tourism Khaled Al-Anany announced on Friday the pass would allow 50% discount starting from 1 July until 31 August, as a means of flourishing tourism during the hottest months of the year in Egypt.

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Aiming to counter the effect of Egypt’s hot summer on Luxor tourism, the Supreme Council of Antiquities is to apply a 50% discount on the newly launched Luxor pass.

The Luxor pass is a privilege card that allows tourists to visit all destinations located in Luxor at 50 % price cut. The card facilitates where a tourist may journey  as it allows them a number of visits to all of the temples, museums, and cemeteries without having to book a ticket for every single visit to each monument in the charming city.

Minister of Antiquities and Tourism Khaled Al-Anany announced on Friday the pass would allow 50% discount starting from 1 July until 31 August, as a means of flourishing tourism during the hottest months of the year in Egypt.

The pass was first launched last August with the aim of boosting tourism and easing tourists’ journey in the city, where the royal pharaohs were buried.

The five-day pass can be purchased from either Cairo or Luxor at the Karnak Temple Visitor Centre. The pass requires a personal photo of the holder, and their passports.

For his side, Mostafa Waziri, the Secretary General of Supreme Council of Antiquities said on Friday in a press release that there would be a standard and premium card.

The standard Luxor pass allows its holder to visit most attractions, except for the cemeteries of the 19th Dynasty pharaohs of Seti I, and Nefertiti.

Both are located in the Valley of the Kings, and are known for their mesmerising inscriptions drawn on their walls. However, both cemeteries are allowed for visits under the Premium pass.

The standard pass is currently sold at $100, and $50 for students under the age of 30, and the Premium one is at $200 and $100 for students, before the price cuts.

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World Hindi Day celebrations rock El Gomhouria Theatre https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/09/world-hindi-day-celebrations-rock-el-gomhouria-theatre/ Sun, 09 Feb 2020 15:08:19 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=721586 The celebration was organised by the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC), with the attendance of Indian ambassador to Egypt, Rahul Kulshreshth, and several Egyptian artists and public figures. 

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With dozens of passionate eyes closely following their swaying moves, a gala performance of Indian dances took over the stage of Downtown’s El Gomhouria Theatre, marking the World Hindi Day.

The Indian embassy in Cairo celebrated last week the day of internationally accrediting the heritage of Ghandi, veteran poets, enriching cuisine, and art that moves the soul.

The celebration was organised by the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC), with the attendance of Indian ambassador to Egypt, Rahul Kulshreshth, and several Egyptian artists and public figures.

World Hindi Day is celebrated under the auspices of the Ministry of External Affairs, the Government of India, for the promotion of Hindi world-wide,” said the ambassador. “Hindi is the fourth most spoken language of the world, the mother tongue of around 258 million people, and the official language of India. Outside India, a considerable proportion of population use Hindi in more than 20 countries.”

World Hindi Day is an annual celebration, usually taking place in January. It comes to fruition mainly with the aim of promoting the language world-wide. It is celebrated by Indian embassies over the world. The day has been celebrated worldwide since 2006.

Egypt’s mEgypt is one of the countries that witnesses mass-attraction towards the Indian culture. This includes thousands of passionate followers for the Indian silver screen productions, films, as well as music.

Kulshreshth previously stressed several times that the cultural ties between Egypt and India are strong due to the similarities they both have.

The celebration witnessed the distribution of the MACIAC awards for a number of competitions the centre held within the context of the World Hindi Day.

The competitions were held at the fields of  Urdu and Hindi Hand Writing for both junior and senior levels, as well as Hindi and Urdu Singing for both Indians and foreigners, and  Bollywood dancing.

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CIBF celebrates Cairo’s selection as Capital of Islamic Culture in Arab world https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/05/cibf-celebrates-cairos-selection-as-capital-of-islamic-culture-in-arab-world/ Tue, 04 Feb 2020 22:46:52 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=721227 The ISESCO adopted the Capitals of Islamic Culture programme, in which three ancient Islamic cities are chosen annually to represent Islamic Culture in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

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Choosing Cairo as the Capital of Islamic Culture in 2020 reflects Egypt’s position in the heart of the Islamic world as a crossroad of cultures in different ages, Minister of Culture Inas Abdel-Dayem said on Monday night.

In December, the Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) chose Cairo as the Islamic Capital of Culture in the Arab world, alongside Uzbek capital, Bukhara, in the Asian region, and Bamako, Mali, as the capital of the Africa region in 2020.

The ISESCO adopted the Capitals of Islamic Culture programme, in which three ancient Islamic cities are chosen annually to represent Islamic Culture in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

During a press conference on the sidelines of the Cairo International Book Fair (CIBF), Abdel-Dayem explained that the programme aims to consolidate the bonds between the Islamic world’s citizens to establish a creative dialogue between them.

She asserted that the programme is calling for tolerance and coexistence and presents a true image of the ancient Islamic civilization, highlighting the contents of the Islamic world’s rich heritage.

Cairo is more than a political capital for Egypt, it is a cultural, intellectual, and civil centre. She noted that the ministry has prepared a diversified programme to celebrate this occasion where all sectors will coordinate with other ministries to showcase Egyptian Islamic culture.

ISESCO’s Director of Culture Naguib Al-Ghayati said that choosing Cairo as the capital of Islamic culture for the Arab region is an important event, as the ancient Islamic city is a symbol of a cultural city which supports joint coexistence.

He added that Cairo will represent the ISESCO’s new vision for promoting the image of the Islamic world and its civilization. Cairo will be a strong start in doing away with Islam’s negative image, and overcoming cultural difference.

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51st CIBF breaks turnout record with over 3 million visitors https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/05/51st-cibf-breaks-turnout-record-with-over-3-million-visitors/ Tue, 04 Feb 2020 22:27:50 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=721213 CIBF Director Islam Biomy stated that until Monday, the number of visitors was around 3.25 million visitors, the highest the fair has ever received.

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The 51st Cairo International Book Fair (CIBF) broke the turnout record with over 3 million visitors in only 12 days since its inauguration, according to state-run Al-Ahram.

CIBF Director Islam Biomy stated that until Monday, the number of visitors was around 3.25 million visitors, the highest the fair has ever received.

However, the exact number of CIBF’s visitors has not been announced yet. Thousands visited the fair on its last day. This year’s CIBF ran from 22 January to 4 February.

The theme this year was “Egypt, Africa: The Diversity Culture”. Senegal was this edition’s Guest of Honour and late writer Gamal Hamdan was the fair’s main figure.

Hamdan’s most famous book “Wasf Misr” (The Character of Egypt) was sold out at the General Egyptian Book Organisation (GEBO) within the first few days of the exhibition.

There were thousands of copies sold, with purchase rates almost exceeding 500 purchases every half hour every day, according to sellers of the exhibition. The Character of Egypt Collection is being sold at the GEBO section for only EGP 140, a huge price reduction from the set’s original rate at $115 on Amazon.

One of the highlights of the 51st CIBF’s is the larger number of participating publishing houses, with over 900 houses showcasing their books in 808 sections.

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Prominent actress Nadia Lofti passes away, aged 83 leaving behind  memorable cinematic  legacy https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/05/prominent-actress-nadia-lofti-passes-away-aged-83-leaving-behind-memorable-cinematic-legacy/ Tue, 04 Feb 2020 22:15:48 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=721207 Lotfi, known for her star roles in Egyptian movies, was one of the most important actresses of the 1950s and 1960s.

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Veteran artist Nadia Lofti passed away on Tuesday at the age of 83, after a long battle with illness.

Lotfi’s last public appearance was in a video that she published mourning her friend actress Magda Sabahy, who also passed away on 16 January.

Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem mourned Lotfi. “She was one of the pillars that shaped the history of cinema in Egypt,” she said in a press statement.

Lotfi, known for her star roles in Egyptian movies, was one of the most important actresses of the 1950s and 1960s.

Known for her deep characters taken from novels, Lotfi’s roles included La Anam (I do not Sleep), and Al-Nzara Al-Sawdaa’ (Black Sunglasses), each granting her accolade from both the public and critics.

Born as Paula Mohamed Mostafa Shafiq, Nadia Lotfi became her nickname. She  starred with Omar Al-Sharif and Faten Hamam in La Anam, where she played the willful teen that destroys her father’s marriage.

Lotfi’s films always tackle women’s issues in the Middle East, and always defended quality between men and women.

Away from the screen, she was very politically and socially engaged. She was the first Egyptian star to meet Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, and captured the events of the Sabra and Shatila massacre before revealing it to the public.

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3,400-year-old ancient Egyptian anchor discovered in Israel https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/04/3400-year-old-ancient-egyptian-anchor-discovered-in-israel/ Mon, 03 Feb 2020 22:17:33 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=721117 The sea, where the stone was found is known to be a home for a number of Egyptian antiquities.

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A 3,400-year-old ancient Egyptian limestone anchor was accidentally discovered at Israel’s northern shores in Haifa, according to Israeli news portal Haartez.

The limestone with hieroglyphic inscription, which was used as an anchor, is to be on display at the Egyptian exhibit in Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

The limestone has engravings showcasing the image of an ancient goddess that is yet to be known. The inscriptions are shown clearly, as the limestone is well preserved due to being incased deep in sand.

“Its function is quite mundane and easily identifiable: it was a typical anchor used by ships during the Bronze Age, which ended some 3,200 years ago,” Shirly Ben-Dor Evian, curator of Egyptian archaeology at the museum told the local media portal, explaining that “these anchors were shaped like a trapezoid with rounded corners, with a hole drilled near the top end to secure a rope.”

This is not the first time Israel unearths ancient Egyptian relics. The sea, where the stone was found is known to be a home of number of Egyptian antiquities.

“This was a known site from which other finds have emerged, but we were not digging there at the time,”  Jacob Sharvit, head of the IAA’s maritime archaeology unit, told Haartez, “Sometimes the sea does our job for us, and fortunately a member of the public saw it and alerted us.”

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Al-Atony Museum in Minya to open year-end; showcasing King Akhenaten collection https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/03/al-atony-museum-in-minya-to-open-year-end-showcasing-king-akhenaten-collection/ Sun, 02 Feb 2020 22:10:48 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=721002 3,000-6,000 relics, mostly discovered in Minya, will be on display, says ministerial official

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In an attempt to counter centralisation and away from big cities whose museums host most of the antiquities, Egypt is set to open the long-anticipated Al-Atony Museum at the end of the year in the Upper Egypt city of hidden treasures, Minya, said Mo’men Othman, head of museums sector at Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism.

Al-Atony Museum, dedicated to Amon, the god of sun in ancient Egypt, is to showcase the antiquities that have been discovered in Minya over the past few years, and marked international attraction.

Othman’s statement was during his tour in Mallawi Museum in Minya, aside announcing the discovery of 16 burial chambers in the city.

The museum comes as a part of the ministry’s plan to put Minya on the world’s touristic map due to “its distinguished archaeological sites,” said Minister of Antiquities and Tourism Khaled Al-Anani.

The pyramid-shaped museum was originally planned to display only the collection of Akhenaten, the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh that ruled for 17 years in which he dedicated his life to change the traditional Egyptian polytheism beliefs and introduce the idea of worshiping one god, named Aten, the first known instance of monotheism in ancient Egypt.   After his death, Akhenaten’s statues, inscriptions, and symbols were all destroyed and erased from most of the temples and his name was removed from monarch lists.

However, Othman stated that this is no longer the plan, as the ministry is currently working on widening the scale of the showcased antiquities.

“It is still mainly dedicated to Akhenaten collection and his distinguished philosophy, but it will also include a big hall for the new discoveries in Minya over the past few years,” he said.

The museum’s opening was postponed several times .The museum’s construction started in 2002, with EGP 150m fund. It was built over three phases and the basic foundations were finalised in 2010. The construction was halted first in 2011 due to the 25 of January revolution, and later due to Mallawi Museum’s robbery and destruction that led to loosing 1,003 antiquities, of which 900 pieces only were restored.

The construction was also delayed due to the lack of financing provided by the Ministry of Antiquities. The work resumed in 2015.

A committee from the ministry selected the antiquities to be showcased, and is currently working on the display scheme.

“So far, we are planning to display from 3,000-6,000 relics, mostly discovered in Minya,” Othman said, noting that Al-Atony Museum was co-financed by a German fund.

Othman told DNE that the museum would have an interesting showcase system, similar to international ones, “that is all about highlighting the beauty of the relics away from piling them all in one place.”

He added that the new system the ministry is adopting in displaying relics at the museum focuses on settling the pieces separated from each other, each with the appropriate required lighting system, that attracts attention.

“It was a common complain that museums pilled antiquities that visitors did not have the chance to fully enjoy each of them separately; something we made sure not to happen at any of the soon opening museums,” he assured.

The number of museums Egypt has so far was 43, a number that the ministry is planning to increase to 50 by the end of this year through opening 13 museums across the country, notably the Grand Egyptian Museum, and Sharm El-Shiekh and Hurghada museums, according to Othman.

He stressed that Egypt witnessed a leap in museum visits in 2019 that it has not seen in years, revealing that the Egyptian Museum witnessed over 6,000 visitors daily, mostly foreigners, compared to around 1,500 visitors in 2013, mostly Egyptians.

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Al-Mashat highlights Discovery’s 1st promotional video for GEM https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/02/al-mashat-highlights-discoverys-1st-promotional-video-for-gem/ Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:31:51 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=720897 Khaled Al-Anany said that the opening ceremony of GEM planned by end of 2020

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Minister of International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat published Discovery’s first promotional video for the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) on her social media accounts on Saturday.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B8B7AsgHzk6/?igshid=nto1leciid7y

Discovery is one of the world’s leading content networks with more than 7 billion monthly video views across 220 countries while this video is the first segment created for GEM campaign, Al-Mashat who previously served as Minister of Tourism from January 2018 to December 2019, said.

This campaign is part of the Egypt Tourism: The Holistic Marketing Ecosystem communications plan launched in September 2019; which includes broadcast pieces on Egyptian cultural heritage and leisure destinations, adapted specifically for travelers across the US, Europe, Japan, China & India, Al-Mashat added.

The Ministry of International Cooperation has played a monumental role in mobilizing Official development Assistance (ODA) loans in 2008 and 2018 from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); allocated to the museum and exhibition construction, information and communication infrastructure and consulting services, Al-Mashat mentioned.

We look forward to opening this historical destination’s door to everyone around the world this year,” Al-Mashat said.

For his part, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Khaled Al-Anany said on 30 January 2020 that the opening ceremony of GEM planned by end of 2020, will be a legendary one, asserting that many state presidents and kings will attend.

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16 Burial chambers containing 20 well-preserved tombs unearthed in Minya https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/02/02/16-burial-chambers-containing-20-well-preserved-tombs-unearthed-in-minya/ Sat, 01 Feb 2020 22:30:38 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=720870 The sarcophagi belong to high-ranked priests, 10,000 ushabti statues found, some made of pure gold

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Almost 300 kilometres away from Cairo, ancient Egypt’s capital Minya is located where Pharaohs’ hidden treasure still wait to reveal its hidden gems to the world. A team discovered 16 burial shafts and 20 tombs from the Late Period in Tuna El-Gabal’s archaeological site in Minya.

Minister of Antiquities and Tourism Khaled El-Anany announced the discovery on Thursday, in a press conference that took place at the discovery sight.

The shafts belong to a number of high-ranked priests of the 26th Dynasty where Ashmunin was the fifteenth nome of Upper Egypt. Some of the shafts contain sealed tombs that are believed to contain well-preserved mummies. The found sarcophagi vary in shape and size, some of them were found in one chamber belonging to one family, while five were found made of limestone and engraved with hieroglyphic texts.

The unearthed treasures also contain 10,000 ushabti statues with the names of their owners, some of which are made of pure gold, as well as pottery vessels.

The mission also found more than 700 amulets of various shapes, sizes, and materials; including heart scarabs, amulets of the gods, and amulets made of pure gold such as the “Ba” and an amulet in the shape of a winged cobra.

El-Anany stated in his speech that the archeological site still had a number of treasures to be discovered, explaining that “it is still virgin, with much gems waiting to see the light.” Anany added that the ministry is currently working on listing Minya on the international touristic map, due to its distinguished archeological sites.

He said that the area would still fascinate people with much more discoveries.

Moustafa Waziry, the head of the excavating Egyptian mission and the Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said at the press conference that “one of the discovered stone sarcophagi belongs to the son of Psamtik, who took the title of the head of the royal treasury. He was named with many titles, most important of which are the priest of Osiris and Nut.”

The second sarcophagus belongs to Horus and has a scene depicting the goddess Nut, spreading her wings above the chest and below it inscriptions showing the deceased’s titles, especially the title of the royal treasurer, and the sarcophagus of Epy which has three vertical lines of hieroglyphic inscriptions showing the names and titles of the deceased.

The discovery, which is the first in 2020, also marks the first anniversary of a similar discovery in the same area where a family cemetery had a collection of 40 sarcophagi of different shapes and sizes, with statues and figurines with the names of the members carved on them.

Digging for history

The discoveries are the results of only three excavation seasons in the site. So far, the excavation that started in August 2017, came to find 35 burial chambers and 90 sarcophagi, all belonging to senior officials of the late Kingdom.

Mohammed El-Saeedy, Director of the Scientific Office of the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities told Daily News Egypt that the unearthed gems are only the beginning of a long way to go. “So far, we only discovered all of that from excavating one hill of the site, which contains over 12 more others.”

He explained that through discovered names engraved on the tombs and the attached relics, the mission managed to draw a family tree of the senior priests that were in charge of worshipping Gods at the time, “especially with the help of having some family members buried together.”

El-Saeedy explained that all of the shafts in the area are just the “beginning of a huge cemetery dating back mainly to the 26th Dynasty.”

“The priests buried in this cemetery are the highest priests of that time. They were dubbed with special names that were given to them only throughout the eras at Ashmunin,” he stated, explaining that the amulets that the mission found are unique, indicating their positions as the only priests who worshipped the five gods of that time.

He further noted that the main distinguishing element of the chambers is the fine-quality limestone used in them, which indicate, along with the other unearthed relics, their wealth.

Behind Al-Ghoreifa’s name 

The archeological site located 75 kilometres south of Minya was only listed as an archeological site in 1925. Al-Ghoreifa (the very small room), was named after the miracles it was believed to bless its visitors with. The area was long believed before that to be holy. Surrounded by hills in the middle of the desert, El-Ghoreifa was culturally believed to have a secret spell for fertility.

Women used to enter it in the dark, looking to be blessed with a male born son. The belief was  that the fear the grim brings to one soul is all what the upper power needs to bless the person with a male born and keep him safe from all danger.

Among the residents of Minya, the site is a well-known heritage location, and was frequently visited by pregnant women.

It was not announced as an historical site until 1925, when officials discovered an illegal digging in the area, that resulted in the discovery of one of the most fascinating and well-preserved limestone tombs, belonging to a high-ranked priest of the 26th Dynasty. The sarcophagus is currently on display at the Egyptian museum.

Future of discoveries 

So far, two of the unearthed tombs were transferred to be showcased at the new capital museum, according to El-Saeedy.

As for the rest, they are to be on display at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), Hurghada, and Sharm El-Sheikh Museums, amid their official openings, also planned to take place this year.

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51st CIBF presents 12 initiatives, training programmes: Executive Director https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/31/51st-cibf-presents-12-initiatives-training-programmes-executive-director/ Fri, 31 Jan 2020 17:35:55 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=720700 Participation of the "Azbakeya Wall" came after they agreed to conditions

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The 2020 Cairo International Book Fair is the oldest and largest in the Arab world, and takes place in the last week of every January, and this year it’s bigger and better than ever. The fair will welcome thousands of people from around the country and around the world looking to check out old and new titles. Daily News Egypt sat down with Shawkat Al-Masry, Executive Director of the CIBF, to get more information of this year’s festivities.

What are new book fair activities this year?

The Book Authority has prepared a diversified and distinguished programme for the fair’s pioneers. In the 51st session of the CIBF, it focused on artistic activity, in cooperation with Egyptian Opera and Folklore.

About 12 movie stars will be participating in the fair, most prominently, Yousra, Khaled El Nabawy, Ahmed Ezz, and Samiha Ayoub, in addition to leading writers, including Bashir Al Deek, and Abdel Rahim Kamal.

A hall will be dedicated to playing new films on a daily basis, including the Blue Elephant and many other award-winning ones.

Who are other superstars in this year’s fair?

The granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, Saudi thinker and novelist Turki Al-Hamad, and Rasha Kelej, and CEO of Merck International Charity Foundation, who was chosen among the list of the most influential figures in Africa in 2019, and archaeologist Zahi Hawwas, and others. Many seminars will be held by scholars like Dr. Magdy Ashour.

What are the most important initiatives adopted by this year’s book fair?

The 51st session of the CIBF will present 12 initiatives, in addition to “Fair Ambassadors”, including the Future Initiative by Dr. Ahmed Al-Sharif, Secretary of the Leaders Foundation, which aims to prepare and train young people for leadership and business management through six free training programmes. About 4,000 young men and women applied to it, and only 600 will be selected in cooperation with the Faculty of Higher African Studies at Cairo University for a period of six days in the second week of the fair.

Why were committees restructured at this year’s fair?

The fair committees were restructured in terms of philosophy and number, because the last golden jubilee session was exceptional in terms of the budget and the size of hosting from outside Egypt, as well as the number of its committees, which amounted to seven. During the current session, things returned to normal, so the number of committee members decreased to a third and we have one cultural committee divided into three main axes: intellectual, artistic, and children. The number of cultural and artistic activities is more than 850 activities so far.

Aren’t there many events to follow up?

Yes, the number of events is big, and in the upcoming fair we will try to reduce the number.

What about the publishing plan that comes with the fair every year?

Chairman of the Book Authority Haitham Al-Hag Ali, adopted a plan for publishing mechanisms according to a specific schedule, so that the Book Authority launches new works throughout the year and not only at the time of the fair, which removes publishing pressure and makes readers aware of new works. Some of the most prominent works include “Ro’ya” series, in addition to six books about geographic scientist Gamal Hemdan, in cooperation with Dar El Helal and Dar El Ma’aref, in addition to a book that brings together 34 geographic scientists, including seven from Arab countries. There are also geographic comics for children.

Why has the price of tickets increased? and does it affect the number of visitors?

This is a natural increase. There are also preparations for family tickets through “Fawry” services, and there are free passes given to students of universities, schools, institutions, and we print about a quarter of a million free permanent invitations. Also, in cooperation with the Public Transport Authority, nine lines will be provided for buses of the Transport Authority to transport the visitors of the fair. Communication is also taking place with a private transport companies to transport the public from anywhere within Cairo for EGP 5 through using the fair’s code.

What about the size of participation of Azbakeya Wall in the fair?

Some 45 libraries of the Azbakeya Wall are participating in the fair’s booths, and this is a reasonable size, according to the booklet of conditions announced by the Book Authority. One of its top priorities is displaying used books in order to preserve the copyrights, in cooperation with the Egyptian and Arab Publishers Union.

What were the most important of those conditions?

Not displaying books published since 2018, in order to preserve the rights of authors.

How much are children interested in the fair?

In addition to books available in all fair booths, there are a number of activities in building Plaza 2, most prominently “Child Activity” which will have a central place in Hall 4 with the children pavilion. Two side areas were allocated in Hall 1 so that children and their families do not accumulate in one hall. The pavilion includes a corner for artistic workshops, aiming to build the skills of children through various artistic workshops, including drawing and colouring on porcelain, recycling environmental waste, drawing African masks, murals and pharaonic letters, and creating various puppets.

The pavilion also witnesses interactive workshops for children on the rationalisation of consumption and merger workshops in conjunction with the National Council for People with Special Needs, in addition to interactive Senegalese workshops, “Make Your Own Game” workshop, various children’s theatre workshops like the “How to write a scenario” workshop, in association with the National Centre for Child Culture, alongside an animations workshop.

Why did you choose Senegal as the guest of honour?

The State of Senegal programme as the guest of honour  includes the session of “Sheikh Anta Diop, the icon of Africa”, in which Dr. Babakar Nadak Mabay speaks. There is also the “Leopold Cedar Senjour and black poetry” session, in which Rafael Nadiaye speaks, as well as a session for Senegalese literature in French, in addition to several other sessions on Senegalese literature and children’s novels and stories.

The death of young writer Mohamed Khalifa has raised many questions on the ambulances in the fair. What do you say about that?

An ambulance unit is already present in the fair, and the young writer Mohamed Khalifa was transferred immediately to a hospital, but he passed away shortly as a result of cardiac arrest.

As I said, the fair has two ambulance units, a rapid alert unit, breast diseases detection, and other major equipment that helps facilitate matters for visitors of the fair.

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16 ancient Egyptian burial shafts see the light in Minya https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/30/16-ancient-egyptian-burial-shafts-see-the-light-in-minya/ Thu, 30 Jan 2020 14:56:49 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=720644 Over 10,000 ushabti statues unearthed, some of which made of pure gold

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Minya — The Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism announced on Thursday, the discovery of 16 burial chambers and 20 limestone sarcophagus belonging to high priests at Al-ghoryfah archaeological site, in Minya.

The unearthed antiquities are the results of the third excavation season in the area which started last August.

The unearthed gems saw the light with through an Egyptian mission, headed by Moustafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.burial chamber in Egypt

More than 10,000 ushabti statues were found buried at the tombs, some are made of pure gold.

“This place is still virgin. It has still many secrets waiting to be unearthed,” Minister of Antiquities and Tourism, Khaled Anany stated in his speech.

Waziri explained that over the past three seasons 35 burial shafts were discovered, adding that the area still has much more to fascinate the world with.

The discovery is the first one in 2020, and the third in Al-Ghoryfah as an ancient archaeological site.

 

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Temporary exhibition for antiquity replicas takes place in Venice https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/29/temporary-exhibition-for-antiquity-replicas-takes-place-in-venice/ Wed, 29 Jan 2020 15:07:47 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=720554 Antiquity replicas include statues for Nefertiti, Akhenaten, Tutankhamun

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As a part of the Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism adopted policy in promoting ancient Egyptian antiquities through a number of foreign exhibitions, the ministry is to hold an exhibition of replicas for a number of relics in Venice, starting mid-February.

Executive Director of the Archaeological Models Production Unit at the Ministry of Antiquities Amr El-Teiby said in a press statement that the exhibition targets as many people as possible, especially children, to explore Egyptian antiquities, and discover the treasures of ancient Egyptian civilisation, while learning about its most famous tourist destinations.

The exhibition showcases 70 antiquity replicas, that were especially produced to be on display. This includes the most famous Nefertiti statue, and the statue featuring the head of Akhenaten as well as the well-known masks of Yuya, who was a powerful Egyptian courtier in the 18th Dynasty, and Tuya the wife of 19th Dynasty Pharaoh Seti I.

Replicas of a number of Tutankhamun’s belonging are also to be displayed at the exhibition, including the royal chamber, golden knives, as well as a number of warrior shields covered with gemstones. A number of jewelry replicas are also to be on display along royal hunting equipment.     

El-Teiby further explained that the exhibition highlights the passion and high turnout of Italians regarding the exploration of ancient Egyptian antiquities, highlighting that the exhibition is not the first of its kind.

A similar exhibition took place in Italy back in 2018 where over 100 thousand visitors attended.

The ministry of Antiquities and Tourism previously announced its plan of activating the Archaeological Models Production Unit.

El-Teiby stated last week that the unit is to produce a number of replicas that will be available for purchase at the Cairo International Airport’s duty free by the end of January. The almost identical replicas produced by the unit are the closest in shape and quality to the real relics, unlike the commercial ones that are commonly sold at bazaars.

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First Nubian dictionary reviving extinct language https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/29/first-nubian-dictionary-reviving-extinct-language/ Wed, 29 Jan 2020 15:07:39 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=720553 The self-funded initiative publishes a booklet with over 200 Nubian words that are translated in Arabic, English, and Spanish, as well as a number of videos of native Nubian speakers

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While a young big city woman was working on a documentary about her Nubian heritage, social activist Hafsa Amberkab was shocked at the fact that she didn’t understand the meaning of dozens of Nubian words spoken by natives. Despite her parents’ constant efforts in communicating with the language at home, it didn’t prevent Amberkab’s lack of knowledge of her hometown language, as a young woman who opened her eyes away from the land of beauty. She is one of many Nubians that left their hometowns years ago, but still holding closely their love for their motherland. Because of this, Amberkab felt the urge to change her situation, and dedicated her time into making the first Nubian language dictionary, to give both Nubians and foreigners a better understanding of the ancient tongue.

With the aim of reviving the almost demolished Nubian language, Amberkab started the “Koma Waidi.”

“Koma Waidi”, which is Nubian for Tales of the Past, is an individual initiative seeking to document Nubian vocabulary digitally and on paper. The campaign seeks raising people’s awareness of the language, which is only spoken in a very small and specific area in Egypt. The campaign is meant to open an access gate for Nubians living away from their hometown to reconnect to their culture.

“Even though my parents left Nubia years ago, they always paid attention that we communicate through our language at home, in order not to forget it; yet that did not prevent me from finding myself not recognising the meaning of dozens of words spoken by natives when I was filming my documentary last year,” Amberkab told Daily News Egypt.

She explained that through time, Nubians tended to Arabise the words, and replace most of them, “which ended up with having sentences that are half Nubian and half Arabic. But I never really recognised this, until the moment I personally communicated with natives.”

Thousands of Nubians were displaced from their hometown villages due to the building of the High Dam in 1960, which was officially inaugurated in 1971, as well as the Aswan reservoir. For them, there is only one official language, the Nubian one, and as a foreign language dealing with Arabic in their way of fitting in society.

About two-thirds of the Nubian Valley is now under Nasser Lake. The most famous of the monuments affected by the Aswan High Dam was the temple complex on the island of Philae.

The self-funded initiative publishes a booklet with over 200 Nubian words that are translated in Arabic, English, and Spanish, as well as a number of videos of native Nubian speakers.

When she first started the initiative, Amberkab never imagined the large number of young generations that knew very limited Nubian words, and were looking for a way to learn it.

“Even those who still reside in Nubia and speak the language fluently told me that there were ancient words in the dictionary they did not know about,” she said.

For four months, Amberkab went through the documentation journey of Nubian words, through the videos she captured of people speaking randomly.

“I wanted people to speak about all life aspects, in order to have all possible words in each field. These videos were published in a set of online broadcasts for people to learn the pronunciation and all about the Nubian language,” she explained.

“When my parents funding the dictionary printing, we weren’t looking for any financial benefit. However, based on peoples’ requests, we decided to sell it for a price that only covers its costs,” said she. The booklet is being sold for EGP 40.

The booklet is the first of a series of books. Amberkab plans to dedicate each part of the series to a certain topic.

“The book series is the first of my plan to have the biggest digital and printed library all about Nubian culture, where people get to explore the far away and shed light heritage,” she added.

  

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Gamal Hamdan’s ‘Character of Egypt’ shelves depleted https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/27/gamal-hamdans-character-of-egypt-shelves-depleted/ Mon, 27 Jan 2020 19:02:49 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=720335 Other than being the fair’s main Egyptian figure, the revival of Hamdan’s book is due to the currently unstable status quo Egypt has with Ethiopia because of the GERD.

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Only a few hours after the inauguration of the 51st Cairo International Book Fair (CIBF), the General Egyptian Book Organisation (GEBO) ran out of the prominent Egyptian scholar and geographer Gamal Hamdan’s most famous book  Character of Egypt, according to state owned media outlet, Al-Ahram.

Hamdan is the main Egyptian figure of this year’s edition, which runs until 4 February at the International Exhibition Centre, located at Al-Mosher Tantawy axis in Fifth Settlement. The 51st CIBF runs under the slogan: “Egypt-Africa: A Diversity of Culture.”

The Character of Egypt is considered one of the most remarkable chronicles that describes Egypt from several angles. The book’s Shakhseyt Misr (Character of Egypt), Studies of the Arab World, and The Contemporary Islamic World Geography, which are the most famous ones, come to create a complete image about Egypt’s natural, economic, political, and cultural situation, and where it stands among the countries in the world.

Character of Egypt Collection is being sold at the fair at the GEBO section for only EGP 140, a quite reduced price from the set’s original rate which is sold at Amazon for $115.

The head of the GEBO, Haitham Al-Hajj Aly, announced at the press conference of the book fair that the organisation is publishing a reduced-in-price collector’s edition of Hamdan’s geographic encyclopedia Character of Egypt in which four books are combined together.

He also said that the organisation published for the first time a comic book about Hamdan’s life, dedicated to children in order to know more about him.

Gouda Refaai, the organisation’s head of publishing, stated that the entity printed 3000 copies of the quadrilogy before the start of the exhibition, 500 of them were sold out only a few hours after the start of the exhibition.

Refaai said that the GEBO printed the copies in cooperation with Al-Helal Publishing House, the only authorised publisher of Hamdan’s work, explaining that they are currently providing the fair’s section with more editions of the book, “until they run out of it.”

Hamdan’s book was one of many others that ran out of libraries as 390,000 visitors attended the CIBF in its first three days.

For his side, Wael Hamdan, Gamal Hamdan’s nephew, expressed his happiness for picking his uncle as this year’s figure, stating that “it is a huge step in reshaping the national recognition through honouring innovators and researchers.”

His statement came at his honouring ceremony the GEBO held for him becoming the 51st main figure for the CIBF.

Other than being the fair’s main Egyptian figure, the revival of Hamdan’s book,  Character of Egypt, is also due to the current highlights of the unstable status quo Egypt has with Ethiopia over the GERD. As one of the most enlightened geographers, Hamdan’s book was an unprecedented scientific masterpiece on Egypt that predicted the potential danger Egypt might face in the Nile.

The excerpt explained that the heart of the Nile is Sudan, and its edges are in Ethiopia on the right, and the lakes on the left. Even though these edges lack some social and technological development, there is some danger to them. Therefore, Egypt has to develop and nurture its interests regarding the Nile in these places.

Hamden also wrote that the edge of the Nile, i.e. Ethiopia, is of great importance, not only due to its proximity to the head of the Nile, but due to its similarities with Egypt in history and civilization.

In his decade long journey of writing the encyclopedia, many of Hamdan’s predictions took place years after his death.

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A whisper from the past: voice of 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy reproduced https://eklutdvotyzsri.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/01/25/a-whisper-from-the-past-voice-of-3000-year-old-egyptian-mummy-reproduced/ Sat, 25 Jan 2020 15:04:14 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=720124 Scripted on his coffin, the high-ranking priest’s life desire was to have his voice immortalised

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Throughout his life, Nesyamun, an ancient Egyptian priest, had a belief that his worship to gods would find its way to immortality. He probably did not imagine that his actual voice would come to life after 3,000 years of his death.

Last week, scientist managed to reproduce the voice of Nesyamun through 3-D printing of his vocal tract. In a study, published last Thursday, the world could hear Nesyamun speaking for the first time after his departure from life. The one-second voice clip which took years to create was released, showing what the voice of the mummified Egyptian priest would have sounded like. The reproduced sound was like the priest saying “meh” without the “m”.

Nesyamun lived at the time of Ramses II which was unstable political era (1099–1069 BC). Throughout his life, the high-profile priest’s voice was of an essential use, as he was the main worshipper of gods at the time at the temple of Karnak in the city today known as Luxor (ancient Thebes).

Scientists chose the mummy of the priest to recreate his voice because it represented an essential part of his ritual duties which involved spoken as well as sung elements. Moreover, the mummy was in a good condition which allowed scientists to work on it.

“His documented wish to be able to speak after his death, combined with the excellent state of his mummified body, made Nesyamun the ideal subject for the Voices from the Past project, for which his body was re-examined using state-of the-art Computed Tomography (CT) scanning equipment, the study mentioned.

Academics behind the project are Professor David Howard in the Department of Electronic Engineering at Royal Holloway, University of London; John Schofield as well as Joann Fletcher and Stephen Buckley, professors in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. They started the project in 2013, only to come to this conclusion earlier this year.

The study revealed the dimensions of the mummy’s extant vocal tract following CT scanning. This enabled the creation of a 3-D printed vocal tract, known as the Vocal Tract Organ.

Schofield told Daily News Egypt that the process could be done only “with the right conditions of preservation.”

“But beyond that, the extra dimension it gives to experiencing the past. Typically, our experiences of the deep past are entirely visual or tactile – what we can see and touch. With this discovery, we’re adding sound into the mix, and not just any sound but the sound of an individual’s voice,” he said.

The study focused on using the Vocal Tract Organ, which led into the synthesised of a vowel sound that compares favourably with vowels of modern individuals.

The seven-year experiment focused on scanning the lungs and larynx and throat remains of the priest, as well as his tongue which was found missing the its muscular bulk because of time. This led into the a 3-D printed tract that was created for Nesyamun in order to figure out the fundamental frequency, loudness, and vibrato rate and depth that can be individually controlled.

“We needed to source human remains with good soft tissue survival of the vocal tract. We then CT scanned that tract to a high resolution and created a detailed and accurate 3D printed model of the tract through which a vowel sound was amplified. The sound that comes out is Nesyamun’s voice, with his head in an unnatural position (its position at death and after mummification)” Flitcher explained.

He elaborated that the scientists next step is to “use modelling to try to move his head into a more natural position, and to shape more vowel sounds.”

For Schofield, working on Nesyamun held the emotions of much more than a scientific project. It was a personal contact between two humans who live in two different eras.

“With human remains this the relationship we built with archeological elements are true and arguably real,” he explained.

Remembering the moment, the team listened to the voice of the person who became one of their closest friends, “It was a wonderful moment – for me a bit like it must have felt shining a torch into Tutankhamun’s tomb for the first time,” Schofield remembered.

Nesyamun’s body is not only lucky to be the first mummy with its voice heard, it was also the only mummy that survived the Leeds City Museum’s bombing during World War II.

Expressing his feelings previously regarding the opportunity to hear an over 3,000-year-old voice, Fletcher said in a statement that it is “a unique opportunity to hear the sound of someone long dead by virtue of their soft tissue preservation combined with new developments in technology

For his side, Howard explained that the study started while he “was demonstrating the Vocal Tract Organ in June 2013 to colleagues, with implications for providing authentic vocal sounds back to those who have lost the normal speech function of their vocal tract or larynx following an accident or surgery for laryngeal cancer.”

“I was then approached by Professor John Schofield who began to think about the archaeological and heritage opportunities of this new development. Hence finding Nesyamun and discovering his vocal tract and soft tissues were in great order for us to be able to do this,” he added.

Scripted on his coffin placed at the Leeds City Museum since his body was unwrapped in 1824, Nesyamun’s ultimate life desire was to have his voice immortalised at the afterlife.

According to the study, the inscriptions on Nesyamun’s coffin “asks that his soul receives eternal sustenance, is able to move around freely and to see and address the gods as he had in his working life.”

Scanning the mummy of his body, scientists previously found that died in his mid-50s and had suffered from gum disease and severely worn teeth, yet nonetheless “had a strong well-developed mandible”, which, like the maxilla, was ‘prognathic’, and “clearly Nubian blood had once coursed through his veins”.

Fletcher believes that this study finally gives the man the desire of his life having “ his voice heard in the afterlife in order to live forever, the fulfilment of his beliefs through the recreation of his voice allows us to make direct contact with ancient Egypt by listening to a voice that has not been heard for over 3,000 years, preserved through mummification and now restored through this pioneering new technique.”

For hise side, Schofield explained that such an experiment can be applied with other mummies, yet they are currently facing a number of “ethical procedures” that in a way did not take place with Nesyamun, as providing him with voice was “a clearly documented wish [of his] to be heard again in the afterlife.”

“Recreating the sound of a voice is the first step on what we hope will be a long and exciting journey,” he concluded.

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