01/05/2006 Issue 171 Past Issues

Red Sea Newsletter

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Feature Article

Egyptian pound is now a coin instead of banknotes

Finally it was officially in Al Ahram newspaper that the 1 LE bill and the 0.50 (50 piasters) bill will be replaced by coins effective 1st of June 2006. The equivalent papernotes will be taken out of the market eventually. The 1 LE coin consists of a copper-nickel outer ring and a copper-aluminium inner core. It will be similar to the Canadian toonie and the british sterling 2 pound coin. It will bear the face of Tutankhamoun and the word 1 LE in Arabic on its back. Its radius will be 25 millimetres (1 inch") and weigh 8 grams.

Many problems plague Egyptian currency in circulation, including the quality and abuse of banknotes. In keeping with the trend in many Western countries to turn smaller denomination bills into coins, the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) have held lengthy talks over the last year to hammer out an agreement on issuing brand new LE 1 and 50 piastre coins, scheduled to be released into circulation sometime in the middle of next year.

The LE 1 coin will be engraved with a picture of King Tutankhamen on one side, while the inscription (of date of issuance and coin value) — which he says will be in Arabic only — will be on the other side. The design of the 50 piastre coin will feature Queen Cleopatra. After the introduction of the new coins, the Ministry of Finance and the CBE will take old, unfit banknotes out of circulation to be shredded or burned.

It will probably not be an easy task to persuade paper-oriented Egyptians to let go of their familiar currency for the more burdensome, heavy coins. But the responsible ones say it’s a necessary step as coins have a circulation life of 20 to 25 years, as opposed to the short-lived six-to-12-month life of a banknote.



Make your Escape.... The Egyptian Museum


There is too much to see in a single visit to the Egyptian Museum, but with some advance planning, you just might be able to take in most of the Pharaonic glory

Unlike tourists with their crammed itineraries — who will undoubtedly emerge from the Egyptian Museum stunned, overwhelmed and unable to process the incomprehensibly vast collection of treasures on display within the enormous building — we Cairenes can take our time to savor the treats squirreled away within the museum’s walls.

A plan is essential: The Egyptian Museum houses a staggering collection of over 100,000 objects, too many to absorb in a lifetime, let alone in a single trip. While some displays are well-marked (generally in Arabic and English, occasionally in French), the signage is erratic and you often won’t know what you’re looking at unless you’ve educated yourself beforehand. Decide in advance what you want out of your visit — a broad introduction to Egyptology or a focused look at a particular feature.

Either way, if you aren’t already familiar with the museum’s layout, it is probably wise to invest in a map or a professional guide. The former sells for LE 35 in the gift shop to your left as you enter the building; it is color-coded and numbered so you can sort out which gallery contains displays from which kingdom or ruler. There is also a wall map of the ground floor, though it isn’t terribly detailed and you can’t refer to it as you wander about. Look for it just to your left after you’ve gone through the final security check within the museum building.

As for hiring a guide? Although the tip can add substantially to the cost of your outing (LE 50 is the suggested rate for a khawaga), it could be the difference between confusion and enlightenment. The guides who offer their services in front of the building are licensed by the government; all are official and no freelancers are allowed. Some are former museum curators and the languages offer edrange from English, Arabic and Italian to German, Spanish, French and Russian. Find one who speaks your preferred language and let him know how long you want to spend (a minimum of two hours is recommended) and what you want to see.

A special note for families: if you are taking children, head straight for the second floor and go to the Royal Mummy Room, the Tutankhamun Room and the animal mummy exhibit. If your youngsters aren’t worn out after these kid-friendly spectaculars, head downstairs and wander through the central and left-hand side (as you enter) focusing on sarcophagi and colossi — easily appreciated at any age.

With a strictly adult group, your choices are wider. On a single visit, think about taking in one or a selection of these especially spectacular collections and exhibits:

Old Kingdom: A significant portion of the ground floor to the left is devoted to Old Kingdom treasures, with endless sarcophagi, statues, figurines, stelae, and statuettes to admire. If you prefer your treasures well-labeled, be sure to take in the monuments of Queen Hetep-Heres (wife of Snoferu and mother of Khufu) from the Fourth Dynasty. Her personal belongings, including a bed, jewel box, alabaster plates and a reconstructed litter, are well displayed. Nearby, you’ll find a pink granite column from the pyramid temple of King Sahure (Fifth Dynasty) — a remarkable feat of engineering whose circumference varies by no more than 8 mm from one point to another despite towering two stories high.

Middle Kingdom: Continue past the Old to the Middle Kingdom and keep your eyes open for changes in style as you walk through history to the 11th through 13th Dynasties (you’ll see your first sphinxes in this part of the museum). Many exquisite pieces are located here (the false door of Amenemhat-onkh, for example), but be forewarned: The labels are sparse.

New Kingdom: Toward the rear of the first floor is the New Kingdom, where you’ll see gorgeous painted frescoes of plants and birds in a naturalistic style, along with the gold foil from the lower part of the coffin of King Akhenaten reconstructed onto a Plexiglas frame for a striking mix of ancient and modern. Don’t miss the monumental dyad of Amun and Mut from Karnak, which was found in fragments that have been mounted onto armature. Since too little data is available to reconstruct the missing parts, the pieces seem to float in mid-air; the effect is eerily reminiscent of M.C. Escher. Also part of the New Kingdom is the colossal group of King Amenophis III, his wife Queen Tyi and three of their daughters. Towering fantastically high, these huge statues change in aspect as you consider them up close or from afar.

American Contributions to Egyptian Archeology: This special exhibit (ground floor, on the right-hand side) runs from February 28 to May 31, 2006, and features approximately 50 items from the permanent collection which were excavated by American missions to Egypt. Mounted by the American Research Center in Egypt (with support from Dr. Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and Dr. Wafaa El-Saddik, director of the Egyptian Museum), it displays objects from the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms with explanatory labels. Also included are descriptions of prominent American Egyptologists and museums that have played a significant role in curating Egyptian artifacts.

Royal Mummies: A separate ticket is required for entrance to the Mummy Room. It is hard to pass up a chance to be in the same room with fabled pharaohs including Ramses II. The displays are tastefully simple and don’t require a great deal of time to absorb, so you can pay your respects quickly and move on.

If you’ve heard the hype about the ‘Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs,’ a 27-month tour of four US cities currently underway and not over until August 2007, you may wonder if what’s left in Egypt is still worth a visit. Never fear — the Boy King had more than enough treasures to go around, and the second floor of the museum is laden with sumptuous objects from Tutankhamun’s reign even before you enter the special Tutankhamun Room. You can begin by taking in the artistry of the gilded human and animal figures and the exquisite carving, inlay and painting on various chests and boxes. Then visit the Tutankhamun Room, where you will find kingly treasures and the iconic second and third coffins of the ruler. These gold-coated, mummy-shaped works of art depicting Tutankhamun as Osiris are instantly recognizable.

Ancient Jewelry: A special room on the second floor is dedicated to artfully displayed jewelry, from simple stone bracelets to exotic necklaces and earrings set with semi-precious stones. But if jewelry is your passion, you’ll need to wander widely to see it all — there are examples in many places, including faience and carnelian dating to very early dynasties in the central atrium of the first floor.

Animal Mummies:
Tucked away in a somewhat secluded room on the second floor, this section is easy to miss, but is worth asking directions to find. This room has some of the most complete signage in the museum, so you can learn a great deal about the relationship of Ancient Egyptians to the animals they ate, worshipped, sacrificed, and loved. You can also shudder at the gigantic and very scary mummified crocodiles.

The Egyptian Museum (tel: (02) 578-2448/52) is open daily, including weekends and holidays, from 9am–6:45pm.
Egyptians pay LE 2 for admission; foreigners pay LE 40. Separate admission is charged to the Mummy Room: LE 10 for Egyptians and LE 70 for foreigners. (Students and children pay half all quoted prices.) No cameras are permitted.
The museum is a perpetual draw, so there are throngs of sightseers about at any time; however, March and late December tend to be the busiest periods. Mornings are often the most crowded.








News ...


Weekly Flights between Cairo and El Gouna operating again

Starting April 20th, 2006, Sun Air will operate weekly flights between Cairo and El Gouna!

Flights from Cairo to El Gouna will take off every Thursday from Cairo Airport at 18:30 pm; and back from El Gouna to Cairo on Saturday at 19:00 pm.

Sun Air is a private Egyptian Charter Airline joint venture between three well known groups: Orascom, the new airline Sun Air and the Tunisian Karthago Group. Sun Air will service you all around Egypt (Gouna, SSH, ASW, LXR, ASW, etc.) and will provide charter services within Egypt and to / from neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Cyprus, and Turkey. Sun Air’s fleet consists of ATR-72 aircrafts with a configuration ranging from 64 to 72 seats.

For more information & reservations, please contact
Sun Air
Villa 20, El Krom Street, Mohandessin, Giza, Cairo.
Ms. Rasha El-Sopki OR Ms. Mariam Gamal
Tel.: 02 - 335 7440
Fax: 02 - 337 9178
Cell.: 012 314 4195
Website: www.sunair-eg.com

For reservation and further information, please call:
El Gouna Office:
Mr. Mohamed Yousef
Sun Air/ Orascom Aviation
El Gouna Airport Agent
Tel.: 065 3 580 211
Fax: 065 3 580 211
Cell.: 012 401 0587






El Gouna, The Red Sea's Premier Leisure Destination

What's on... Israel


Moshe Lilos
Kenes Exhibitions
Tel: +972-3-9727585
Fax: +972-3-9727588
E-mail: mlilos@kenes.com

Agritech 2006

Come discover the latest innovations in the 16th International Agritech Exhibition, which will be held in Tel Aviv, Israel from May 9th - 11th.

Israel's agriculture industry is one of the most important economic and cultural possessions.
An international convention on "Agriculture Under Limited Water Conditions" chaired by Prof. Avigad Vonshak, Director, The Institutes for Desert Research will be held during the exhibition.

The first Agritech exhibition took place during the sixties of the previous century. It started as an annual one day workshop that took place at the "Mikveh Israel" agriculture school near Tel Aviv.

The Agritech association members include among others: the Ministry of Agriculture and the Industrial union of the kibbutzim which includes factories from the Kibbutzim in charge of agriculture products, the Union of agriculture workers in Israel, the farmers union and the water suppliers, the Institute for Desert Research in the Ben Gurion University and the Association of Agriculture Engineering.

Since the first workshops in Mikveh Israel, the Agritech association is supported by the Israel Institute for Export and International Cooperation. The Institute is mainly supporting the international activity of the exhibition, promotion of foreign buyers and visiting Ministers from all over the world.

The exhibition is also encouraged by the cooperation of the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Employment. Lately, it is a triennial event organized by Kenes exhibitions - international exhibitions, congresses and Events Company.

We are looking forward to the 16th International Agricultural Exhibition from 9-11 May 2006 and also wish everybody a very successful exhibition.







Body & Soul

Modernstes Dialyse-Zentrum im exklusiven Ferienresort "El Gouna" am Roten Meer

Im Ferienresort El Gouna am Roten Meer steht den Feriengästen die modernste medizinische Infrastruktur des "El Gouna Hospitals" zur Verfügung: Neu werden nun auch Behandlungen für chronisch kranke Nierenpatienten durchgeführt. Dank dem modernen Dialyse-Zentrum können Nierenkranke nun ihre Ferien am Roten Meer unbeschwert verbringen und einen erholsamen Urlaub geniessen.

Entspannte Ferien für Dialysepatienten sind oft unmöglich. In El Gouna am Roten Meer ist dies jedoch kein Problem mehr: Das "El Gouna Hospital" unterhält das modernste Dialyse-Zentrum am Roten Meer. Dank den 4 modernen deutschen Dialysemaschinen können alle gängigen Dialyse-Behandlungen während 24 Stunden angeboten werden. Bis Ende 2006 sollen rund 6 weitere Dialyse-Geräte dazu kommen, was die Behandlungskapazität nochmals deutlich erhöhen wird. Das Zentrum wird in Kooperation mit dem renommierten "Cairo Kidney Center" in Kairo vom ägyptischen Spezialisten Prof. Dr. Rashad Barsoum geführt.

Das 1998 erbaute Krankenhaus "El Gouna Hospital" verfügt über 40 Betten und entspricht den modernsten europäischen Standards. Das Hospital umfasst neben einer Intensiv- und 24-Stunden-Notfallstation auch Abteilungen für innere Medizin, Kardiologie, Augenheilkunde, Pädiatrie, Urologie und Gynäkologie. Ebenso ist im "El Gouna Hospital" eine moderne Zahnarztpraxis integriert. Neben allen notwendigen Behandlungsgeräten, Operationssälen und einem Labor verfügt das Krankenhaus in El Gouna über die grösste und modernste Dekompressionskammer des Mittleren Ostens.

Des Weiteren unterhält das "El Gouna Hospital" ein modernes Zentrum für plastische Chirurgie. Gegründet und geleitet von international renommierten Schönheitschirurgen, bietet das Zentrum ein vielfältiges Angebot an Behandlungsmöglichkeiten: Von umfangreichen OPs bis hin zu Spritzenkuren werden alle möglichen Schönheitsbehandlungen angeboten. Viele internationale Kunden profitieren bereits von der therapeutischen Professionalität sowie den finanziellen Vorteilen des "Plastic Surgery Centers" in El Gouna.






  • International Cuisine
  • T-Bone, Porterhouse and Filletsteaks
  • Incredible Delicious Salads
  • Daily Specials
  • Sandwiches to match a Main Course
  • Cake & Sweet of the Day
  • Variety of Bread from our Bakery
  • Catering & Party menu

Parents & Kids


How To Create The Perfect Infant Nursery

Decorating and furnishing a nursery for your newborn is one of the most enjoyable do-it-yourself projects you can do. There are tons of books, magazines and Internet sites out there that will provide you with all the inspiration you need to get started.

That said, any decorating scheme should be carefully thought out and personal. Your infant’s nursery should be a place that comforts both you and your child during the bonding process.

Selecting the overall room color is your first step to creating just the right feel. For instance, a calm color scheme in aqua or sky blue gives a sense of space in an otherwise small room.

Decorating an infant nursery is all about creating a calm and cozy environment. The key is to find the right combination of cool and warm colors to nurture your newborn.

When used in moderation primary colors add interest and visual stimulation. In my opinion though less is more. Go easy with bold and bright colors.

Introduce colors in small doses here and there – in wall hangings, bedding and in accessories like lampshades and decorative photo frames.

Coordinating bedding and window coverings is one of the easiest ways to decorate infant nurseries. The key is to select something that you love and makes you feel good. After all, remember your infant’s nursery is more for you than for her.

Select bedding, wall decor and accessories that will grow with your child. Colors and hues that you like and won’t tire of too quickly are always best.

A good approach is to select decor elements that work well together. It’s amazing what can be done with neutral walls and floor coverings. A few simple changes here and there can give the room a whole new look as your child grows.

A harmonious nursery where bedding sets, window treatments and wall coverings all coordinate can create a comfy place of slumber and lullabies. That said, an understated mix and match approach can be equally effective.

It’s fun to use your imagination for decorating possibilities. Put your own unique spin on your infant’s nursery by incorporating accessories that share similar color and pattern elements. Turn to framed wall prints, photos and rugs for fresh ideas and inspiration.






Special Announcements :::May 2006 :::

::9th May:::
Legendary iQ Party @ Cafe del Mar
Free entrance, surprise and raffle...

:::15th May:::
Exhibition opening Photography and paintings by Norwegian artist Berit Moe @ Cafe del Mar

Ladies Cocktail Night @ Cafe del Mar

Not forget to catch your new resident discount cards!

Café del Mar jetzt auch in Marsa Alam, @ “The Oasis”, Beach Resort für Taucher und Individualisten, die nicht in Hotelfabriken wohnen wollen! Power Relaxing am Roten Meer
Also check our regular Menu for Breakfast, Salads, Sandwiches, Pizza & Pasta and Desserts



Chocolate and Biscuit Sucettes


  • 1 tin or 397g Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • ¾ cup or 150g butter, chopped
  • 1 tin 170g Cream
  • 500g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 1 cup or 200g almonds, finely chopped
  • 4 cups or 400g plain biscuit, broken into pieces







  1. Combine Sweetened Condensed Milk, butter, Cream and chocolate in a large saucepan, and stir over low heat for 6 minutes or until chocolate melts. Remove from heat.

  2. Add vanilla powder, almonds and biscuits, then mix well.

  3. Place an aluminum foil sheet on a table, then cover it with the same size cling film.

  4. Spoon half of the chocolate mixture over the film lengthwise. Then roll to enclose forming a long roll. Repeat the steps with the rest.

  5. Put in freezer for 2 hours until it becomes firm. Cut into slices and serve.

  6. Tip for serving: Another way to serve is to pour the mixture into a 22cm x 30cm shallow tin, smooth the surface and place it in freezer for 2 hours ,then cut into squares and serve



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