31/07/2006 Issue 184 Past Issues

Red Sea Newsletter

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Feature Article... The Red Sea

Why is the Red Sea called 'Red'?

Some believe it was named after the majestic red mountain ranges lining its shores. Or is it from the strange phenomena that occurs every few years when rare floating algae give it a reddish-brown tinge?

The Red Sea is known the world round for its clear blue waters, pristine beaches and abundance of underwater life. The Red Sea is the habitat of over 1000 invertebrate species and 200 soft and hard corals, of the many vertebrate species there are over 300 types of sharks.

It is the second saltiest body of water in the world-second only to the Dead Sea which lies between Israel and Jordan. The Red Sea's most northerly point forms the Sinai Peninsula and stretches over a thousand miles south to join the Indian Ocean, between Djibouti and Yemen. It is roughly 1900 km long and 300 km across at its widest point.

The Red Sea has long been used as a highway between East and West facilitating trade between many countries. Bordering countries on the African continent include Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea and Sudan. On the Asian continent, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen border its shores.

From the resort towns of El Gouna, Eliat and Hurghada to the spectacular diving at Dahab and Sharm el Sheikh, the Red Sea offers something for every traveler. Explore the almost untouched dive sites of Marsa Alam & Lahami Bay in the Southern Red Sea, snorkel your way through pristine waters off the shore of Makadi Bay, or embark on a liveaboard diving safari off the pristine waters of the Red Sea coast. For those who like to venture off the beaten track, head to Sudan where the coast is riddled with reefs or to Saudi Arabia where much of the Red Sea coastline is now open to scuba diving. Jordan is one of the most welcoming, hospitable countries in the world and Aqaba, located in the far South, boasts some of the best diving.

More information regarding the Red Sea and its countries browse www.SpotRedSea.com




Make your Escape... Luxor and Aswan


Luxor and Aswan
Welcome to the antiquities capitals of the world

Once ancient Thebes, the City of a Hundred Gates has aged with impeccable grace. The recent discovery of a tomb containing seven sarcophagi at Luxor’s Valley of the Kings, the first of its kind in about 80 years, has already boosted the city’s tourism numbers — as if tourists needed another excuse to visit one of the world’s most archaeologically significant locales.

Start with a visit to the awe-inspiring Karnak temple. Once upon a Pharaonic time, everyone was allowed to stand in the first of its three courtyards, while only the nobles were granted access to the second, and the third and most sacred was solely reserved for the High Priest and the Pharaoh. Attend the daily multilingual sound and light show and learn the story of Thebes by the Sacred Lake.

The Luxor temple, which preserves the remains of a church on its grounds, also houses the mosque of Sufi Sheikh Yusuf Abu Al-Hajjaj. Other perennial tourist favorites include the temple of Hatshepsut and the grand tombs in the Valley of the Nobles, the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens — all well worth the visit. Touring the antiquities is lots of fun, but expect to walk a lot and stand even more.

On the West bank, Deir El-Medina (the Valley of Artisans) is where workers from the royal tombs lived, and the remains of the tomb decorations are still worth seeing. Other must-sees include the Ancient Egyptian art at the Luxor Museum, the Mummification Museum (where you’ll see preserved fish, cats, crocs as well as tools), and the Ramasseum, where the remains of the ancient statue that inspired Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias” can be seen; the head is at the British Museum. The Colossi of Memnon (the singing statues) — although they’ve gone mute post renovations — are still stunning. The movement of wind through cracks in the statues accounted for the eerie whistling that can no longer be heard.

But Luxor is not only about ancient monuments: hone your haggling skills on a serene sunset felucca ride along the banks of the Nile or a hantoor (carriage) ride into the heart of the city. Make sure to dine at a restaurant by the Nile, then hit the cafés for a shisha to end your night.

No trip to Luxor is complete without a dash to Aswan, which sits majestically along the banks of what many regard as the Nile at its most beautiful. Its forbidding summer heat makes it an ideal winter destination where you can spend your days walking along the Corniche or relaxing on a felucca ride at the end of a long day of sightseeing.

Start with Elephantine Island, which dates to the pre-dynastic period. So named because the boulders off its shore are said to resemble bathing elephants — and for the trade in ivory that continued there through 2600 BC — attractions include the Nilometer, used to measure the river’s water levels. On the west bank, visit the Aga Khan Mausoleum, where the spiritual leader of the Ismaili sect is buried. The impressive pink granite structure was built in 1950 and it is said that, until she died in 2000, his widow placed a red rose on his tomb every day during her annual three-month stay in Aswan. The mausoleum is not open to the public, but you can get a good view of it from Elephantine. Also check out the extensive Yebu ruins on the southern end of the island and the Nubian villages of Siou and Koti on the northern shore.

Two must-sees in the area: The Temple of Philae in Aswan and the Great Temple of Ramses II in Abu Simbel. The island of Philae housed the temple complex of Isis, which was disassembled and reconstructed by UNESCO between 1972 and 1980, moving 20 meters higher to the nearby Agilkia Island to save it from the swamps created by the High Dam (which happens to be a major tourist attraction itself). The temple can be reached by a short boat trip.

A trip to the Nubian Museum is a must; its displays include over 3,000 antiquities spanning from the Pharaonic and Roman, through to the Coptic and Islamic eras. Across the street near the Basma Hotel look at the permanent display of sculptures from the Annual Aswan Sculpture Symposium, featuring works by both Egyptian and foreign artists. Also see the unfinished Obelisk at the ancient granite quarries. Folkloric dance troupes perform at the Aswan Cultural Palace (Corniche El-Nil).

Make certain you check out the Monastery of St. Simeon, built in the seventh century and one of the best-preserved original Christian strongholds. The two-level fortress-like structure includes a church, shops, bakery and stunning views. Also worth a glimpse: more Pharaonic tombs than you can shake a stick at, including those of the Nobles, Mekhu & Sabni, Sarenput II Harkhuf, Pepinakht and Sarenpit I. The west bank tomb of local Sheikh Kubbet Al-Hawa offers stunning views.

Aswanis themselves are the highlights of a visit here. Mostly Nubians, they are as kind-hearted and hospitable as they come. The serene smiles of the little boat boys in their spotless white galabeyyas make you want to move permanently to this jewel of a city. It’s a delight to haggle with vendors in one of the most engaging souqs outside of Cairo, and Aswan’s market street overflows with colorful, tempting and aromatic spices. It is most famous for henna, karakade and sun-roasted peanuts — you’ll come home with bagfuls.

Karnak Temple

Hatshepsut Temple

Felucca at the Nile

Aga Khan Mausoleum

Temple of Philae









Egypt to move Ramses statue to site near pyramids

The giant statute of Pharaoh Ramses II will be moved next month from a congested downtown square to a more serene home near the Great Pyramids, in a bid to save it from damaging pollution and traffic gridlock, Egypt's antiquities chief said on Monday.

Exhaust fumes from trains, cars and buses and subway vibrations are eating away at the more than 3,200-year-old granite statue at Ramses Square, its home since the early 1950s when it was taken from a temple at the site of the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis.

To try to prevent further deterioration, the 125-ton statue a popular feature on postcards and guide books will be part of the new Grand Museum of Egypt, to be located about 2 kilometres from the pyramids, Hawass said. "The statue in that square now has pollution... and therefore there is no way (to keep it downtown), we have to move that statue," antiquities chief Zahi Hawass said. Contractors plan to test the move when they transport a replica statue next week. If all goes well, Ramses will make its way through the sprawling city on August 25. "Statues are not made to be in squares, they are made to be in temples or in museums," Hawass said.

Officials have been talking about moving the statue for more than a decade as experts bickered over where it should be. But Hawass said the Grand Museum location was recently agreed upon and engineers began investigating how to move the statue. Engineers plan to construct a steel cage around the statue and connect the cage to steel beams. Two flatbed trucks will carry the statue through the city, a move that will take several hours, said Ibrahim Mahlab, chairman of Arab Contractors, the company in charge of moving the statue.

Once the statue is moved, it will be renovated and wait for its new home to be built. The museum, which will also house King Tut's mummy and other treasures, is not expected to open for at least five years, officials said.

Egypt gets 500-mln-dollar loan from African bank

Egypt was awarded a loan of 500 million U.S. dollars from the African Development Bank (ADB), which would be used to support the country's structural and financial reform program, the English daily Egyptian Gazette reported on Friday.

An ADB press release was quoted as saying that the loan would support activities aimed at increasing private sector participation in the financial sector, restructuring state-owned banks, and strengthening regulatory and supervisory capabilities of financial sector regulatory agencies.

It would also help restructure the insurance industry and reduce the state's dominance of the sector through privatization and expansion of the capital market, said the report.

According to the daily, the main goal of the program, called the Financial Sector Reform Program, was to develop a market-based, competitive and sound financial system that would better serve Egypt's development and growth.

The program would be seeking to enhance the efficiency of financial intermediation and risk management to build sound banking and non-bank financial sectors through structural and financial reforms that will accelerate Egypt's economic growth and development.

The estimated cost of the program was 50 billion Egyptian pounds (about 8.7 billion dollars).

The ADB began operations in Egypt in 1974. To date, its commitments in Egypt stood at 2.2 billion dollars in 48 operations.






El Gouna, The Red Sea's Premier Leisure Destination

What's On @ Villa Kunterbunt


Hot Summer Nights at Villa Kunterbunt

! Free of charge !

Monday, 31st July, 8:30 p.m.

Dinner Concert with Europes best vocal
group Acappalla Express

Tuesday, 1st August, 8:30 p.m.
Purgatory Fireshow

Wednesday, 2nd August, 8:30 p.m.
Moonlight Shadows
Oriental dance in the moonlight

Thursday, 3rd August, 8:30 p.m.
The Best of Cats
Performance of Sabirova Dance Studio
Hurghada & Moscow Art School Dance Company

Friday, 4th August, 8:30 p.m.
Dinner Concert with Europes best vocal
group Acappalla Express

Chill out after concert at El Malek Coffeehouse
Reservation at 0101232354 or Villa Kunterbunt







Body & Soul

Secrets to a Long Life

A 38th-generation doctor of Chinese medicine, Maoshing Ni spent twenty years studying centenarians' habits. His new book, Secrets of Longevity: Hundreds of Ways to Live to Be 100, turns his findings into everyday advice. A few of our favorite entries:

+ Weekday Vegetarian, Weekend Carnivore:
Vegetarians generally suffer fewer degenerative diseases and cancers than their carnivore cousins. You don't have to give up meat entirely to enjoy longevity—limiting your intake or eating meat only on weekends is a perfectly balanced and healthy approach.

+ Long Walks Beget Long Life:
Every centenarian interviewed walked for at least 30 minutes as a daily activity, and most walked for more than an hour. It's no wonder: Studies have shown that walking can substantially reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease and raise levels of good cholesterol.

+ Bend, Don't Break:
Bamboo is prized in Asia not only for its usefulness as food, medicine, and construction material but also as a symbol of flexibility; it is able to survive devastating storms. Studies from China show that patients possessing flexibility as a personality trait often recover 50 percent faster than those who stubbornly cling to their ways.

+ Simple Living:
All centenarians studied led simple lives with little extravagance. Fiercely frugal, obtaining the most from the least amount of resources, they seemed to take pride in self-reliance. Those past 100 were still performing their daily chores. Conserve resources, and do not let others do what you can do for yourself.






  • 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

Now Wireless Internet Connection available!!!


Parents & Kids


Craft Supply Organizer

Made from a hanging shoe holder, with a craft item stored in each pocket, our space-frugal organizer lets little crafters find (and return!) what they're looking for--whether it's buttons, bottle caps or beads. A sample item is affixed to the pocket for easy visibility.


  • Hanging canvas shoe organizer (we used a 20-pocket model)
  • Needle and embroidery floss


  1. Determine what small craft supply items you'd like to store in your organizer (see suggestions below) and find a representative sample to sew onto each pouch. Tip: To make them easier to tie on, consider gluing together several similar items.
  2. With a loop of embroidery floss and a needle, sew through from the inside of the pocket (leaving a tail inside), wrap the thread around or through the object once or twice, then sew back through to the inside.

  3. Tie together the two ends of the thread. Repeat for each item.

Craft materials to collect and save

  • Bottle caps
  • Corks
  • Buttons
  • Craft sticks
  • Googly eyes
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Thread spools
  • Assorted beads
  • Plastic film canisters
  • Assorted caps and lids
  • Lanyards
  • Pom-poms
  • Modeling clay
  • Old keys
  • Clothespins
  • Assorted small plastic toys
  • Rubber bands
  • Packing peanuts









Broccoli Salad

A different type of salad that does not use lettuce. For a different twist, try raisins instead of grapes and toasted almonds instead of sunflower seeds.

Original recipe yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 Minutes - Ready In: 10 Minutes


  • 1 head fresh broccoli, chopped
  • 2 cups seedless grapes
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 12 slices turkey bacon
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar


Place turkey bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
Prepare dressing by whisking together the sugar, salad dressing or mayonnaise and vinegar. Pour over broccoli, grapes, onion, turkey bacon and sunflower seeds. Toss until well coated, refrigerate until chilled and serve.



NEW ::: Look for the printed version of Spot Red Sea Classifieds in your local Hurghada café ::: NEW

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KTM Motorbike for sale 4 boats for sale
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