Thebes in Egypt

12 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  9 minutes

Ramesseum, the memorial temple of Pharaoh Ramesses II © Wouter Hagens/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ramesseum, the memorial temple of Pharaoh Ramesses II © Wouter Hagens/cc-by-sa-3.0

Thebes, known to the ancient Egyptians as Waset, was an ancient Egyptian city located along the Nile about 800 kilometers (500 mi) south of the Mediterranean. Its ruins lie within the modern Egyptian city of Luxor. Thebes was the main city of the fourth Upper Egyptian nome (Sceptre nome) and was the capital of Egypt for long periods during the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom eras. It was close to Nubia and the Eastern Desert, with its valuable mineral resources and trade routes. It was a cult center and the most venerated city during many periods of ancient Egyptian history. The site of Thebes includes areas on both the eastern bank of the Nile, where the temples of Karnak and Luxor stand and where the city was situated; and the western bank, where a necropolis of large private and royal cemeteries and funerary complexes can be found. In 1979, the ruins of ancient Thebes were classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.   read more…

Nile Delta on the Mediterranean Sea

27 July 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  11 minutes

Nile River and Nile Delta. Pretty obvious why both are that important to Egypt © ISS Expedition 25 - NASA Earth Observatory

Nile River and Nile Delta. Pretty obvious why both are that important to Egypt
© ISS Expedition 25 – NASA Earth Observatory

The Nile Delta is the delta formed in Lower Egypt where the Nile River spreads out and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the world’s largest river deltas—from Alexandria in the west to Port Said in the east, it covers 240 km (150 mi) of Mediterranean coastline and is a rich agricultural region. From north to south the delta is approximately 160 km (99 mi) in length. The Delta begins slightly down-river from Cairo.   read more…

El Gouna in Egypt

18 June 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  7 minutes

© superdragon67/cc-by-sa-3.0

© superdragon67/cc-by-sa-3.0

El Gouna is an Egyptian tourist resort, owned by Samih Sawiris and developed by Orascom Hotels and Development, dating from 1989. It is located on the Red Sea in the Red Sea Governorate of Egypt, 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Hurghada. It is part of the Red Sea Riviera, and a host city of the El Gouna Film Festival. El Gouna has 10 kilometers of coastline and consists of 20 islands surrounded by lagoons. The town is 25 kilometers away from the Hurghada International Airport, but the city also has its own private airport. El Gouna is also known for being Egypt’s greenest city, being the most environmentally-friendly town in all of Egypt.   read more…

Routes of El legado andalusi/Al-Andalus

4 October 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Architecture, European Union, Living, Working, Building, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  10 minutes

© Morningstar1814/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Morningstar1814/cc-by-sa-3.0

In the 8th century, the Iberian Peninsula saw the arrival of Arabs and Berbers who mixed with the Roman-Visigoth inhabitants, engendering what was known as Al-Andalus. This successful medieval Muslim civilisation extended, at its peak, to most of what is today Spain and Portugal, until its downfall in the late 15th century (Reconquista). Today, the importance of Al-Andalus to Western Europe is all too often underestimated, or attempts are made to downplay the effect of this medieval “multicultural” approach on the development of Europe. It was the numerous innovations that the Muslims brought with them (enriched with knowledge from ancient Egypt and ancient China) that gave Europe an unexpected boost in development, both in the sciences and of course in the culinary field. Try depriving Europeans of their morning coffee and you’ll find yourself dealing with an ill-tempered continent. While science and the fine arts were already being established in Al-Andalus, we northern Europeans were still on the move as “uneducated and inhospitable woodworms”. This slowly changed with the spread of knowledge from Al-Andalus to the north. At the same time, one cannot understand today’s Andalusia and its appeal without knowing the impact of Al-Andalus.   read more…

Union for the Mediterranean: Bon voyage!

12 January 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Editorial, European Union, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  138 minutes

Union for the Mediterranean © AndrewRT/cc-by-sa-3.0

Union for the Mediterranean © AndrewRT/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is an intergovernmental organization of 43 countries from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin: the 28 member states of the European Union and 15 Mediterranean partner countries from North Africa, the Middle East (the western and middle part of the Middle East & North Africa region (MENA)) and Southeast Europe. It was created in July 2008 at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean, with a view to reinforcing the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed) that was set up in 1995 and known as the Barcelona Process. The Union has the aim of promoting stability and prosperity throughout the Mediterranean region. It is a forum for discussing regional strategic issues, based on the principles of shared ownership, shared decision-making and shared responsibility between the two shores of the Mediterranean. Its main goal is to increase both North-South and South-South integration in the Mediterranean region, in order to support the countries’ socioeconomic development and ensure stability in the region. The actions of the organization fall under three, interrelated priorities—regional human development, regional integration and regional stability. To this end, it identifies and supports regional projects and initiatives of different sizes, to which it gives its label, following a consensual decision among the forty-three countries. The region has 756 million inhabitants and is scenic, architecturally and culturally very diverse. Cities, lakes, mountains, beaches and national parks offer everything that promises fun, recreation and perfect vacations. The cultural offers are numerous. In addition to many UNESCO World Heritage sites, there are numerous galleries, museums, theaters and opera houses. Of course, there are plenty of shopping and entertainment possibilities. However, holiday pleasure is not untroubled in all countries. At present, Syria and Libya in general, Mauritania (Sahara and Sahel) and Lebanon (North Lebanon and the border regions to Syria and Israel), Palestine (Gaza Strip) should be partly avoided. In all other countries of the Levant and North Africa, increased caution, vigilance and prudence are recommended. At the end of each country portrait is a link to the U.S. Department of State, in order to be able to find out about the current security situation on the ground.   read more…

The Saint Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai

1 March 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  9 minutes

Saint Catherine's Monastery in front of Mount Sinai © flickr.com - Joonas Plaan/cc-by-2.0

Saint Catherine’s Monastery in front of Mount Sinai © flickr.com – Joonas Plaan/cc-by-2.0

Saint Catherine’s Monastery, officially “Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount Sinai”, lies on the Sinai Peninsula, at the mouth of a gorge at the foot of Mount Sinai, in the city of Saint Catherine, Egypt in the South Sinai Governorate. The monastery is controlled by the autonomous Church of Sinai, part of the wider Eastern Orthodox Church, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built between 548 and 565, the monastery is one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world. The site contains the world’s oldest continually operating library, possessing many unique books including the Syriac Sinaiticus and, until 1859, the Codex Sinaiticus. A small town with hotels and swimming pools, called Saint Katherine City, has grown around the monastery.   read more…

Arab–Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflict

6 January 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Editorial, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  1987 minutes

© Oncenawhile

© Oncenawhile

(Latest update: 23 August 2022) The Arab–Israeli conflict is the political tension, military conflicts and disputes between a number of Arab countries and Israel. The roots (European colonial period, Ottoman Empire, widespread Antisemitism in Europe, Jews in the Russian Empire, Baron Edmond James de Rothschild (Jewish land purchase in Palestine), Theodor Herzl, Jewish National Fund (Israel Bonds), timeline of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, World War I, Sykes–Picot Agreement (San Remo conference, Mandate for Palestine, UN Charter, Chapter XII – International Trusteeship System, Article 80 (commonly known as the “Palestine Article” used by both conflict parties, Israel and Palestine, to create the wildest interpretations, speculations and conspiracy theories to assert the respective alleged right to the total land area), McMahon–Hussein Correspondence), Balfour Declaration, World War II, The Holocaust (International Holocaust Remembrance Day), Évian Conference, Mandatory Palestine, Forced displacement, and United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine) of the modern Arab–Israeli conflict (or the history of collective failure) are bound in the rise of Zionism and Arab nationalism towards the end of the 19th century. Territory regarded by the Jewish people as their historical homeland is also regarded by the Pan-Arab movement as historically and currently belonging to the Palestinians, and in the Pan-Islamic context, as Muslim lands. The sectarian conflict between Palestinian Jews and Arabs emerged in the early 20th century, peaking into a full-scale civil war in 1947 and transforming into the First Arab–Israeli War in May 1948 following the Israeli Declaration of Independence (Nakba and the assassination of UN mediator Folke Bernadotte by the terror organization Lehi/Stern gang. Among them, the later Israeli PM Yitzhak Shamir). Large-scale hostilities mostly ended with the cease-fire agreements after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War, or October War. Peace agreements were signed between Israel and Egypt in 1979, resulting in Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula and abolishment of the military governance system in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in favor of Israeli Civil Administration and consequent unilateral, internationally not recognized, annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. Even when the text is about 556 pages long, it is just a summary. The multitude of links point out that there is a lot more to learn in detail. At first, it is a timeline of the major developments in the region and it leads to today’s challenges. The starting point is the view of the international community, especially the European Union and North America, on the conflict, enriched with excursions into the ideas, convictions, believes, and thoughts of the direct and indirect involved parties to the conflict.   read more…

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Union for the Mediterranean: Bon appétit!

7 November 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Editorial, European Union, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  184 minutes

Union for the Mediterranean © AndrewRT/cc-by-sa-3.0

Union for the Mediterranean © AndrewRT/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is an intergovernmental organization of 43 countries from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin: the 28 member states of the European Union and 15 Mediterranean partner countries from North Africa, the Middle East (the western and middle part of the Middle East & North Africa region (MENA)) and Southeast Europe. It was created in July 2008 at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean, with a view to reinforcing the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed) that was set up in 1995 and known as the Barcelona Process. The Union has the aim of promoting stability and prosperity throughout the Mediterranean region. It is a forum for discussing regional strategic issues, based on the principles of shared ownership, shared decision-making and shared responsibility between the two shores of the Mediterranean. Its main goal is to increase both North-South and South-South integration in the Mediterranean region, in order to support the countries’ socioeconomic development and ensure stability in the region. The actions of the organization fall under three, interrelated priorities—regional human development, regional integration and regional stability. To this end, it identifies and supports regional projects and initiatives of different sizes, to which it gives its label, following a consensual decision among the forty-three countries. The region has 756 million inhabitants and is culinary very diverse (European cuisine, Mediterranean cuisine, Maghreb cuisine, Levantine cuisine, Middle-Eastern cuisine and Arab cuisine).   read more…

Theme Week Egypt – Giza

27 May 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  7 minutes

Giza on the Nile © Faris knight/cc-by-sa-4.0

Giza on the Nile © Faris knight/cc-by-sa-4.0

Giza is the third-largest city in Egypt. It is located on the west bank of the Nile, 5 km (3 mi) southwest of central Cairo. Along with Cairo Governorate, Shubra El-Kheima, Helwan, 6th October City and Obour, the five form Greater Cairo metropolis. Giza is most famous as the location of the Giza Plateau: the site of some of the most impressive ancient monuments in the world, including a complex of ancient Egyptian royal mortuary and sacred structures, including the Great Sphinx, the Great Pyramid of Giza, and a number of other large pyramids and temples. Giza has always been a focal point in Egypt’s history due to its location close to Memphis, the ancient capital. The Great Pyramid of Giza at one time was advocated (1884) as the location for the Prime Meridian, a reference point used for determining a base longitude.   read more…

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