UPDATE: Egypt’s local news digest Oct. 21: Aswan gears up for Abu Simbel temple solar alignment celebrations
Thousands gathered on Feb.22, 2016 to observe the biannual phenomenon of solar alignment over Abu Simbel temple near Aswan. Photo by Abdullah Salah


CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top local news stories on Oct. 21 here:

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, expected to take place Saturday, Youm7 reported Sunday.

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.

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.

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.


8 people killed, 7 injured in road accident in Cairo

At least eight people were killed and seven others injured after two passenger vehicles collided in Cairo’s district of Madinet Nasr on Friday, official source at the Egyptian health ministry told Youm7.

Nine ambulances were dispatched to the scene of the accident to escort the wounded to the nearest hospital, said the source, adding that the death toll may increase because two persons were seriously injured.

Thousands of Egyptians die on the road every year due to traffic accidents. Egypt recorded 14,548 traffic accidents in 2015, a one percent increase compared to 2014, according to a statement by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS.)

The country is among the 10 states enrolled in a UN program that aims to half the rate of road deaths by 2020. Since 2014, Egypt launched a number of projects and campaigns to monitor road safety; including building new roads, maintaining dilapidated bridges and carrying out random drug tests on drivers.


Grand Egyptian Museum receives 532 artifacts including two coffins of King Tut

A set of 532 artifacts from the collection of the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities were transported to the under-construction Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in preparation for restoration and future display, Tarik Tawfik, GEM General Supervisor said Friday.

Dating back to several eras of the ancient Egyptian history, the artifacts include two symbolic coffins from the collection of Pharaoh Tutankhamen in addition to alabaster jars bearing the names of Pharaoh Ramses IX, said the museum’s Director of Restoration Department Issa Zeidan.

“A specialized committee has been formed to examine and pack the objects as well as preparing a comprehensive report about the current status of each object,” he added.

During the past few years, the GEM received thousands of artifacts from several museums and archaeological sites ahead of its inauguration scheduled for 2018.

Built over 120 acres of land, GEM is located 2 km southwest of the Giza Pyramids and was scheduled to be inaugurated in August 2015, but due to funding issues it has been delayed until August 2018.

The construction of the three-phase project, which includes the construction of the museum’s main building and implementation of the master plan, landscape parks and surrounding site infrastructure, began in March 2012. Two phases have currently been completed.


Cairo sees moderate weather Friday

Forecasters expected a moderate weather to prevail in Cairo Friday, with the temperature reaching highs of 27 and lows of 19.


2 businessmen pay off debts of jailed women in N. Sinai 

Two businessmen donated to pay off debts of two jailed women in Arish city, North Sinai, Youm7 reported.

The two women were released soon after 11,000 EGP were paid by the volunteers.

Dozens of debtors have been released from prison on national holidays.

Only when debtors pay, or have their debts paid for them, or the person they owe pardons them, are they released from prison. Debtors may face up to a three years in prison, according to Article 376 in the Penal Code.


Large tourist ship to dock at Port Said port Friday

Port Said tourist port is set to receive one of the largest tourist ships with 2,000 crew members on Friday, Youm7 reported.

The “Venting Dream” Ship is expected to dock at gate 3, where it will stay for 10 hours.

Port Said Governor Adel el-Ghadban and a number of security leaders will welcome the ship with folklore songs and flowers.


Gov’t launches program to empower 40K youth for local council elections

Ministry of Solidarity announced that a total of 27,500 youth have enrolled in an initiative to empower them for local councils elections.

The ministry’s program targets to train 40,000 youth by the end of October.

A total of 1,094 workshops and campaigns were held in eight governorates.

The training courses address topics like: local governing, constitution, some basic skills in developing personal characteristics and managing election campaigns.

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