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Aswan gears up for Abu Simbel temple solar alignment celebrations
Upper Egypt’s governorate of Aswan is gearing up to host a ceremony to mark the biannual phenomenon of solar alignment over the Abu Simbel temple, Youm7 reported Sunday.
The celebrations will include folkloric music festivals along Aswan’s Corniche Street and in Feluccas (traditional sailboats,) the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority announced in a statement Saturday.
16 local and international folkloric bands are scheduled to take part in the festival in the presence of the governor of Aswan and Egyptian celebrities.
For most of the year, the inner sanctuary of Pharaoh Ramses II’s (1279B.C.–1213 B.C.) main temple at Abu Simbel is shrouded in darkness. However, the temple was built so that a shaft of sunlight pierces the gloom and illuminates statues of God Amun Re and the Pharaoh in the temple’s inner shrine twice a year; Oct. 22, which marks the birthday of Ramses II, and Feb. 22, which marks his coronation day.
Thousands of tourists flock to the temple in the early morning of the said two days to observe the phenomenon every year. The Abu Simbel temples are among seven archaeological sites in Egypt on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Abu Simbel is the seat of two rock-cut temples that were built by Ramses II; the great temple which was basically dedicated to God Amun Ra and the temple of Queen Nefertari, the pharaoh’s wife, archaeologist Sherif el-Sabban previously told The Cairo Post.
“In the 1960s and during the construction of the High Dam in Aswan, UNESCO launched a universal campaign to rescue the twin temples along with other Nubian monuments to avoid their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, a massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the dam,” said Sabban.
7 Egyptians back home after 6-month detention by Libyan authorities: MP
Parliament member Samir Abu Taleb announced the return of seven Egyptian nationals, who were detained by Libyan authorities for the past six months, Youm7 reported.
They were released after authorities at Libya’s town of Misrata ascertained they were clear of any charges, Abu Taleb said, adding that they were arrested en route to Egypt 6 months ago. They all come from the same village in Samalout, Minya.
The Egyptian foreign ministry was closely following the situation to bring the seven Egyptians back home, he added. However, the reason behind the detention remains disclosed.
Last June, the relatives of the detainees staged a protest in front of the ministry to demand that officials intervene to secure their release.
Several Coptic Christian Egyptians have been killed in Libya in recent years. In February, the bodies of seven Egyptian Christians who had been shot were found near Benghazi.
PM, supply minister discuss measure to tackle growing sugar shortage
Prime Minister Sherif Ismail met with Supply Minister Mohamed Ali al Sheikh on Saturday to discuss measures taken to provide enough amounts of sugar at market prices in a bid to tackle a shortage and price hike of the basic commodity in local markets, Youm7 reported.
The measures include contracting to buy 420,000 tons of Sugar from local providers during the coming period in addition to 200,000 tons of imported sugar to be allocated for the local market.
Ismail also announced the allocation of other 500,000 tons of sugar for local food industries.
The measures come after a price hike and shortage in sugar have been reported in several governorates including Cairo sparking anger amongst shoppers.
Egypt contracted to buy 400,000 tons of raw Sugar in a bid to tackle a shortage and price hike of the basic commodity in local markets, Ahmed Kamal, assistant supply minister was quoted by state news agency MENA on Friday.
The ministry will pump “large amounts” of sugar at the market and its outlets on Saturday and will continue crackdown on hoarders and black market traders so that sugar prices are “back to normal,” Kamal said.