20/11/2006 Issue 199 Past Issues

Red Sea Newsletter

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Feature Article...

Egypt is no longer just the land of pharaohs
by Shirien Elmasraya

Being Egyptian can be interesting at times.When I tell people I'm an Egyptian, I always love to hear what they ask me in response.

Just as a disclaimer, these were real questions and situations that have happened in the past.

1. Do you live in a pyramid?

Surprisingly I get this question a lot. And my answer usually is "Yes, I live in the biggest pyramid. The one in which more than 60 million other Egyptians live. You'd be surprised how big they actually are inside. We each have our own secret compartments. I live with my mummy and daddy."

Real Answer: Egypt is the New York of the Arab world. In big cities most people live in high-rise apartment buildings, and in rural cities people usually live in houses.

2. So, who's the pharaoh right now?

I feel bad for people sometimes because they try to sound intelligent and like they really want to know about current affairs and politics. I remember in English 1001 on the first day of class we did an exercise in which we had to list three things about ourselves, and two of them had to be true, and one had to be false. So my list consisted of:
A. I'm an 18-year-old freshman.
B. I was born and raised here in Baton Rouge
C. My uncle is the pharaoh of Egypt.
Now at this point in time, I'm thinking "OK, this is obvious. I made it really easy for them because I just want to get it over with." My list was then read out loud, and the students were told to guess which one was false. To my disbelief the MAJORITY of the class thought that me being born and raised in Baton Rouge had to be false, and my uncle being the pharaoh of Egypt was true. And ever since then when people ask me if I know the pharaoh, I tell them he's my uncle.

Real Answer: Egypt now has presidents, and the current president's name is Hosni Mubarak. Pharaohs are kind of outdated.

3. Do you guys get mummified when you die?

That's just nasty. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone in Egypt getting mummified nowadays. The fact that they used to take out all a person's organs and wrap them up to preserve them kind of makes me cringe. It's just not natural.

4. Do you ride a camel to school?

This was my favorite question.

You have to understand when I got this question before I even answered I sat there trying to analyze if this was indeed a real question or not. And when I saw the person was genuinely sincere, I couldn't help myself. I made up a story about my camel saying that it was parked out back with the bikes. And that his name is Jamal the Camel, but people call him Abu.

People have to also understand that people drive cars in Egypt. And as a word of advice for those who wish to go overseas, the cars have the right of way. If you get hit in the street, it's your fault.

5. Is it all sand and desert?

I think this was addressed in some of the other questions. But yes, although Egypt is in a desert climate, the majority of the people there live in cities. Also, there are areas in Egypt that are very tropical. They have some of the nicest beaches in the world.

Honestly I love telling people I'm Egyptian. Not that I'm nationalistic or anything but because of the responses and questions I get sometimes. It makes great conversation. I have to admit I feel a little bad after I have fun with people and play along with some of the questions. But in the end I tell them the truth so that at least they will be more culturally aware. Egypt is very rich in its history. And it is understandable considering that the questions are formed from what they see on the Discovery Channel.

But c'mon! Do I ride a camel to school? That was just dumb.

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History of Egypt...

Tut Ankk AmunAbout 5,000 years ago, a remarkable way of life, or civilization, grew up along the banks of the Nile River in Egypt. It flourished for over 3,000 years, longer than most other civilizations in the world's history. Egypt is among the most influential of Arab states. It lies between Africa and the Middle East. This ancient country holds a history of over 6,000 years and has many exciting attractions for travelers. The Pyramids, the Sphinx, the tomb of young King Tut are just a few attractions that interest and excite people of all ages.


Egyptian history begins around 3300 BC. This was when the Egyptians finally had enough symbols in their writing to record history. From 3100 BC inscriptions created a way for later Egyptians. It was also the time when the pharaoh, King Menes, created Egypt by uniting the two parts of Egypt, also known as Upper and Lower Egypt, into a single kingdom. He started Memphis in the north and Abydos in the south as his capital cities. A series of strong and able rulers established a well organized government. The calendar was introduced during this time and the sun-god Re was the most loved god-figure. Over time, authority began to disappear and Egypt was controlled by foreign princes. These rulers introduced the horses and chariots to Egypt.


After many failed dynasties and deaths of great rulers, a time span of more than 400 years, power moved into the hands of priests and the empire declined. The dynasties became so weak, that Alexander the Great had no problem taking over Egypt. Although he did not spend much time in Egypt, his capital city of Alexandria, where he is believed to be buried, is to this day very successful. His empire was divided among his generals and this Greek dynasty ended with the reign of Cleopatra VII. She ruled jointly over Egypt with her son from their city of Alexandria in Lower Egypt, which became a world center of Greek culture. For over 300 years Greek-speaking pharaohs ruled Egypt, then Egypt became a province of Rome. A division of power resulted in the abandonment of Egypt. Many foreign countries came in and took over Egypt for short times. After many years of hard work and wars, Egypt finally became its own independent country with a President.


No other civilization in the time of the pharaohs could compete with Egypt's magnificent buildings, its wealth, or its long centuries of peace. To a large extent, this is because other civilizations did not have Egypt's main advantage -- its great river. For tens of thousands of years the focal point of Egyptian life has been the River Nile. Egypt is correctly said to be the gift of the Nile and Egypt's two most important areas are the Delta and the Nile Valley. The Nile Delta is the heartland of Egypt. The ancient Egyptians believed that the waters of the Nile came from a "mysterious heaven of plenty". All of Egypt depended on the Nile for water, food, and transportation. The need to maintain irrigation channels as well as the convenient transportation that the river provided were some of the reasons Egypt was the first country in the world to have a national government. The availability of this unlimited supply of water allowed the creation of a society which produced the wonders of ancient Egypt.


Pharaoh simply means "the one who lives in the palace". Egyptians addressed their pharaoh as though he were a god with several forms. They thought he was more than human and addressed him with the names of several gods. The pharaoh's most godlike names were "son of Re" and "giver of life like Re". The Egyptians believed that no single name could express the greatness of their ruler. They also believed by serving the gods, the king helped the sun to rise every morning and helped the Nile to flood at the end of each summer. They believed that in return for the offerings of food and water that only the pharaoh could make, the gods would feed the souls of the Egyptians after death. The pharaoh's power was almighty and unquestioned. As a matter of fact, just touching the pharaoh's crown or scepter, even accidentally, carried the death penalty. The pharaoh's chief duty was to build and maintain temples to the gods.


The buildings of Egypt that will impress you the most are probably the pyramids. All of them were built to contain the tombs of pharaohs. So far, 46 pyramids have been found. Others may still be discovered, lying in the ruins, under the desert sands. In the 27th century BC, the first pyramid was built and pyramids became the most popular way to bury royalty. It is the pyramids themselves that make Egyptian archeology so exciting. One reason why the pyramids were so fascinating was that they were the earliest buildings ever to be made by precisely cutting and putting together great blocks of stone. In stonework, Egypt led the world for more than 2,000 years. The Egyptians believed that a dead person's soul still needed the dead body and special objects buried with it in order to survive after death. They knew that the dry desert preserves things well, and they chose burial places there that are often well preserved today. Important Egyptians were wealthy enough to build magnificent tombs and furnish them richly with treasures, inscriptions, paintings, and statues. One of the most famous pyramids is the Great Pyramid of Khufu. It has 2,300,000 blocks and each block in the pyramid weighs 2.5 tons.


Egyptians did not paint images to show what people were really like, instead, a picture was a kind of diagram. These diagrams were thought to have magical powers. To preserve the magical power of their art, the Egyptians believed they must copy exactly the style handed down through the ages. This meant that most artists painted in the same way, and the people they painted all looked the same. Tomb pictures were closely connected with Egypt's famous picture writing, or hieroglyphs, invented about 5,000 years ago. The Egyptians believed hieroglyphs were magical too, and they used them mostly in temples and tombs. All hieroglyphic symbols began as pictures standing for whole words. To write all the words they wanted to, however, the Egyptians needed to put some word pictures to work as signs for sounds.






www.elgouna.com El Gouna, The Red Sea's Premier Leisure Destination

What's On...


Beauty - Fitness & SPA - Cosmetics - Body care - Watches - Accessories & jewelry - Perfumes - Makeup artist & Salons - Direct practical practicing during the hours of the exhibition - Holding seminars and lectures related to exhibition's activities

Exhibition Name : Beauty & Fitness
Place : Cairo International Convention and Exhibition Center
Address : El-nasr Road. Nasr City - Cairo - A.R.E
Date : 21-23 November 2006
Opening : From 10:00 am To 10:00 pm

(For more information contact...)







Ask Harry: Useful tips for Residents


Harry Krueger - The new SpotRedSea columnist

Harry Krueger, German resident in Hurghada for more than 2 years already, and owner of Cafe del Mar, will give tips and tricks around the residential life in Egypt and especially Hurghada from now on in our SpotRedSea Newsletter.

If you have any questions concerning life in Egypt - ask Harry! (Send to: news@spotlocal.net)

This time Harry will introduce you into the fascinating world of Airports. Hurghada which has been a Military Airbase, but since 15 years it is getting more and more a Civil Facility. Our interview today is with Mr. Etienne Jambeau, Airport Director of EACo..

Harry: Why is an Egyptian Airport managed by French Company?

Mr. Etienne: It was an Egyptian Government decision, Ministry of Civil Aviation, to develop the project and for that it needed a huge amount of money. So they took out a loan from the World bank. One of the conditions was to have foreign companies in charge for operational management and for logistical management, by the way done from German Company Fraport.

So EAC (Egyptian Airport Company) cares since four years for the operational side, which means maintenance, developing the terminals in terms of security, service and Quality Standards. We work on raising the standards to international level by training the local staff, transfer Know-how, developing traffic, make airport economically proper and at least looking for the revenues in these fields.

We are in charge for 5 Egyptian Airports which are Hurghada, Sharm, Luxor, Aswan and Abou Simbel, excluded Alexandria and Cairo which has around 11 Million Arrivals and Departures. For example Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada together have nearly equal numbers of passengers: 4.6 Million each: 90% international flights and 10% domestic.

Harry: Will the numbers of passengers increase this year?

2005 we had three damages influencing the tourism. The incidents happened in May in Cairo, July in Sharm, and October in Taba.

Compared to this numbers we can talk about stable business in 2006.  It went off smoothly but not increased. But this year is not finished yet …. Even we can say the western Europeans travel less and not only not to Egypt. The living costs in these countries rose up, so it is spent less money for holidays in general.

After all we made special promotions for the landing fees for Airlines.
Visitor numbers are balanced by East Europeans, Russian, Czech and Polish.

Harry:  Do you have exact numbers?

The monthly average of Germans arriving in Hurghada is around 55.000, Russians depending on the season 30.000 in summertime and 50.000 in winter, Czechs around 10.000, British 9.000 and Italians 6.000.

Guest from other Arabian countries usually enter Egypt at Cairo Airport. They are attracted more by big City Life than beaches. Upper Egyptians returning from work in the Gulf countries enter at Luxor Airport or come by boat from Aquaba, Jordan.

Harry: The Forecasts talks about an estimated 6 till 8 Million arrivals and departures in the next years. How can you manage this?

We will! It’s definite  that we will spent another 180 Million Dollar for a second runway, south from the existing one, get a new nice designed terminal on three levels with ten bridges, new parking stands, ….

Harry: Aha, and what about some reasonable priced schedule flights for the foreign residents?

Well more good news! In the moment we have got 95% package travelers, but the government also supports individual traffic. It will play a bigger role and needs more attention in the future. Just think about the guests who stay here in El Gouna or in the new project Sal Hashish. An expanding market …

Harry: Before I say thank you in the name of our readers as always some practical advices?

Please remind that residents can take also charter flights out of Hurghada, when their stay is not longer than 90 days. Otherwise you take the increasing numbers of scheduled flights, which go regularly. Ask you agency.

The Entrance and car parking fee is 3,5 LE, a passenger trolley is 2 LE (don't pay more!) and from the next month on free. Don’t give money to the men who offer you to carry your suitcases. They usually work as a member of the cleaning staff.  The salary for them was just tripled, so toilet is free and the visa stamp is 15 US and 25 US with the service of the Tour operators.

Especially at Saturdays and Thursdays arrive not later than 2.5 hours before departure time. There are no special custom rules. With the exception of ancient take all kinds of Souvenirs, but please leave the Red Sea in your memory as it is. Protect the environment, thank you.

Etienne Jambeau, 40, married to an Cambodian woman, developed Angkor Wat Airport and is in Charge for Hurghada Airport as a Director from EACo., since February 2005.






Natural Movement of Life

For women from 18 to 98 years
Whatever your physic, weight or language


Easy and simple movements
to expressive and various music

Rediscover your energy and joy
Get better health, forget stress
Reinforce your self-confidence
Find the harmony in you
Meet new friends

Come and join us every Friday at 7 pm in a gym only for women close to Hotel La Perla Price 20 LE

For more information: Juliette Bemant 010 6859771
www.biodanza-egypt.com ::: info@biodanza-egypt.com



Parents & Kids...

Natural Sand Art

An easy technique and inexpensive supplies give great results with this summer camp favorite.

This project is rated VERY EASY to do.

What You Need

  • Construction paper
  • Glue
  • Sand

How To Make It

    • Give each child a piece of construction paper, and allow them to draw a picture or write words with the glue. Make sure that they do not put globs of glue in any one spot.
    • Before the glue dries take the picture over to dry sand and with your hand pour sand onto the glue.
    • Let it sit for a few minutes and then shake off the excess sand.
    • Let it dry flat for about a half an hour depending on how much glue was used.

      This can also be done with colored sand, but, for those on a budget, regular sand works just as well.









Spaghetti Pie

Preparation Time: 30 minutes or less
Cooking Time: 30 minutes - 1 hour
Serves: 4


  • Pie Dish
  • 6 ounces of uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 can of frenches fried onions
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce (I'm not a big sauce person so i only use 1/2 a jar )
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese and a bunch of pepperonis


  1. combine cooked spaghetti, Parmesan cheese and egg.
  2. Press over the bottom and up sides of pan to form a "crust."
  3. Fry ground beef... add onions when browning begins.
  4. and then the sauce...stir.
  5. add meat/sauce mix, cheese, and toppings of choice.
  6. Bake till cheese is golden brown.
  7. Slice it up. and eat!







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

*new distribution areas coming soon.


Bike for sale - Honda VF750C special edition 2 Coltri Compressors MCH32
Kitchen stuff Leather Suite Wanted
Jeep Wrangler Cage / Transport Box for pets

Real Estate Rentals
Real Estate Sales
Hurghada - 3 bedroom villa Apartment
Nice apartment Flat for sale
Hurghada - 1 bedroom pool flat 14 -Flats Apartment -Whole Building

Job Field
Tour Guide
Travel / Tour Guide / Travel Representative
Assistant Administrative / Secretarial / Clerical Hurghada
Kitchen and Stewart Staff Cooking / Chef / Kitchen Assistant Marsa Alam
Executive Secretary / Room Division Manager Administrative / Secretarial / Clerical Marsa Alam

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