28/02/2005 Issue 110 Past Issues

Red Sea Newsletter

Packed full of information, articles, advertisements, jobs and tips for easy living in The Red Sea!
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Feature Article ...


Egypt: Sea of change
A country of contrasts
... If you think Egypt is only about pyramids and the Nile,
you're missing a fantastic experience, says Cathy Winston
26 February 2005

Every muscle in my body was aching after the two-hour climb up the mountain but, as the sun rose, illuminating the desert around Mount Sinai, I knew every step had been worth it.

Traditionally, according to Christians, Jews and Muslims, the mountain is where God gave the 10 Commandments to Moses, and it towers over the centuries-old monastery of St Katherine, which includes what is believed to be the burning bush from which God spoke to Moses.
One thing is certain about this area of Egypt - there's far more to enjoy than you might expect.

We were staying in one of the best-known Red Sea resorts, Sharm el-Sheikh, itself divided into several areas - Naama Bay, the touristy, bustling restaurant-packed hub, Ras Um Sid, further down the coast where our hotel was based, and Old Sharm, which offers a real taste of Egyptian life.

If you think Egypt is only about pyramids and the Nile, you're missing out on a fantastic experience.
Many people flock to the Red Sea for the incredible coastline. The coral is simply spectacular, with shoals of brightly coloured fish. You might even come across a reef shark. The biggest dilemma is which of the many reefs to choose. The best-known site is Ras Mohammed, which is a national park ideal for diving, although the currents can be a little strong for snorkellers.

A holiday wouldn't be complete without getting on a camel at least once. I certainly wasn't complaining about bumpiness as I took a well-earned rest on my patiently plodding camel on Mount Sinai. Our climb, lit only by the moon and stars, was finished on shanks' pony as we headed up the steps of repentance - around 750 steps at the top of the mountain, created by one of the monks as penance.
Settling on a handy rock, we watched the sky turn silvery, before glowing golden red as the sun appeared, illuminating the whole landscape, as barren as the surface of the moon. It's a truly awe-inspiring experience, though there's still a two-hour walk back down. Spurring us on to the bottom was a visit to the museum within the 6th century monastery of St Katherine, packed with precious crosses, ancient manuscripts and world-famous icons.

The monastery's charnel house features a floor-to-ceiling collection of skulls and bones of past inhabitants - partly a practical solution as the ground is too rocky to dig graves, and also a spiritual one, to concentrate the living monks' minds on their eventual fate.
But even this chilling memento mori didn't overshadow our lasting impressions of this truly memorable holiday.
Images from www.geographia.com



Around the Red Sea and surrounding areas
Posted on Sun, Feb. 27, 2005 By Neil MacFarquhar NEW YORK TIMES
Egypt's president seeks multiparty elections this year

CAIRO, Egypt - President Hosni Mubarak asked Egypt's parliament on Saturday to amend the constitution to allow for direct, multiparty presidential elections later this year, for the first time in the nation's history.

On the face of it, the unexpected proposal from Mubarak, a former Air Force general who has ruled Egypt unchallenged since 1981, represents a drastic change in a country with a 50-year history of autocratic, one-party governments.
"The president will be elected through direct, secret balloting, opening the opportunity for political parties to run in the presidential elections and providing guarantees that allow more than one candidate for the people to chose from with their own will," Mubarak said, speaking live on TV before an audience at the University of Menoufiya.
Some opposition politicians and other analysts praised the proposal as heralding a new political era for Egypt, the Arab world's most populous nation.
Skeptics said they wanted to await the details to be sure that the eventual constitutional amendment would not create only the appearance of democracy, a commonplace in the region.
Proponents said the measure was the first, central step in reviewing Egypt's entire constitution and answered domestic demands for increased democracy as well as stepped-up pressure from the Bush administration.
The announcement also follows historical elections in Iraq and the Palestinian territories as well as the first limited nationwide municipal polls in Saudi Arabia, leaving the region bubbling with expectations for political reform.
"This is a major decision. You are talking about the structure of the political system in Egypt," said Mohamed Kamal, a political science professor who serves on an advisory committee of the country's ruling party, the National Democratic Party.
Other analysts, however, sounded notes of doubt, pointing out that Egypt's parliament, dominated by the National Democrats, planned to take about two weeks to work out the details of the constitutional amendment.
Egypt's parliament has a long history of diluting reforms, critics noted, and may yet announce rules on candidacy that would create the aura of democracy while preventing any real change.
Also the president mentioned amending only the constitutional article on how the president is chosen, No. 76, not No. 77, which provides for unlimited terms.
"This is a way to improve his image with the Americans and to please them with some formal changes," said political analyst Ibrahim Eissa.
"While at the same time he is keeping everything else unchanged like the emergency laws, imprisoning the opposition, the state controlling the media and political parties existing just on paper. This is deception."
Mubarak, who assumed office after President Anwar Sadat's murder, has never faced a rival during four referendums that allowed Egyptians to vote either yes or no on his continued rule. His announced tally was always more than 90 percent.
He was expected to stage a fifth such referendum this September, repeatedly rejecting calls to amend the constitution.
During his speech on Saturday, the president said his proposal came from "my full conviction of the need to consolidate efforts for more freedom and democracy."
The proposed change is expected to be put to a public referendum within nine weeks.














What's on ... in Hurghada

Medical facilities update in Hurghada:
Barbara, an Austrian national, has recently joined the Red Sea Hospital in Hurghada and offers her professional help in translating and organizing the emergency department. Welcome to Hurghada, Barbara!

RED SEA HOSPITAL 065-3543850

What's on ... in CAIRO

Event Date
Event Name
Event Type
3 Mar - 6 Mar 2005
The 34. International Cairo Fashion (Defile Creation) Fair
Fairs & Festival
3 Mar - 6 Mar 2005
The 34. International Cairo Textile Fair
Trade Show
3 Mar - 6 Mar 2005
The 7. International Cairo Cosmetics Fair
Trade Show
4 Mar - 16 Mar 2005
Mastering Project Management Course
Trade Show
6 Mar - 7 Mar 2005
Social Insurance Act
6 Mar - 10 Mar 2005
Understanding The Freight Business
15 Mar - 25 Mar 2005
38th Cairo International Exhibition
23 Mar 2005
NetSec-2005 - Cairo
for more information please visit www.middleeastevents.com
UNISUB WETSUITS delivery arrived in Sharm el Sheikh
Prices start from 340 LE - Save money and buy now, while the dollar rate is low


One piece wetsuit
4mm Neoprene (jump suits). Perfect for divers


Female & Male Shorty
4 mm Neoprene Shorty. Ideal for snorkellers


Two piece wetsuits
Each suit
4 mm Neoprene. Specifically designed for dive center use

Please click on the pictures to enlarge them
Orders by mail please to seamus.forde@colona.com

Parents & Kids this week in german language

  • Für 4 Personen:
  • 300 g grüne Bohnen
  • 400 g Lauch
  • 2 gelbe Paprikaschoten
  • 600 g Fleischtomaten
  • 1 EL Olivenöl
  • 3 TL italienische Würzmischung
  • 2 Knoblauchzehen
  • Jodsalz
  • schwarzer Pfeffer
  • 1 1/2 EL Butter oder Margarine
  • 60 g Mehl
  • 3/4 l Milch (1,5 % Fett)
  • 50 g frisch geriebener Parmesan
  • 12 Lasagne-Blätter ohne Vorkochen

Zubereitungszeit: 45 Min. (+ 40 Min. backen)

GRÜNE BOHNEN , Lauch und die Paprikaschoten waschen, putzen und alles in sehr kleine Stücke schneiden. Die Tomaten überbrühen, häuten, halbieren und klein würfeln, dabei die Stielansätze entfernen.

LAUCHWÜRFEL im heißen Öl 5 Min. andünsten. Das restliche Gemüse und die Würzmischung unterrühren. Knoblauch dazudrücken. Das Gemüse zugedeckt bei schwacher Hitze 15 Min. garen, bis alle Flüssigkeit verdunstet ist. Mit Salz und Pfeffer abschmecken.

BACKOFEN auf 200°C vorheizen. Die Butter oder Margarine in einem Topf schmelzen lassen, das Mehl darin unter Rühren hellgelb anschwitzen. Nach und nach die Milch einrühren und bei schwacher Hitze in 5 Min. zu einer leicht dicklichen Sauce einköcheln. Den Parmesan unterrühren.

EINE große Auflaufform dünn einfetten und etwas Käsesauce auf dem Boden verstreichen. 3 Lasagneblätter nebeneinander darauf legen, mit etwas Gemüsemischung belegen und Sauce begießen. So fortfahren, bis alle Zutaten verbraucht sind, dabei mit einer Nudelschicht abschließen und die übrige Käsesauce darübergießen.

LASAGNE auf der mittleren Schiene des heißen Ofens (Umluft 180°C) in rund 40 Min. goldbraun backen.

Diese Lasagne kann in Portionen eingefroren und als Mittagessen für Kinder und Erwachsene zubereitet werden.
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