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Living in Luxor - News in and around Luxor in July 2011


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Beginning of Ramadan in Egypt

Tomorrow, Ramadan (‏رمضان ‎ramadān), the holy month of fasting, the ninth month of the islamic moon calendar, will begin. It starts (every year about 11 days earlier) as soon as the new crescent moon can be sighted with the naked eye and lasts for 29 or 30 days until the sighting of the next crescent moon. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the 5 pillars of Islam and obligatory for every healthy adult moslem. Fasting means, every day from dawn to sunset, to be abstinent from food, drinks, smoking, and sexual activity, and to put more effort into spiritual reflection and worship. At sunset, the families gather the fast-breaking meal known as Iftar. The meal starts with the eating of three dates or drinking water and an invocation prayer. Afterwards follows the evening prayer. Not before all that, everybody enjoys the main meal, preferably with family and friends. At the end of the dinner one third of one's stomache should be filled with food, one third with liquid, and one third should be left in blank.
If you travel to Egypt this August, nobody will exspect from you to fast also, but show your respect by going without food, drinks, and cigarettes outside of restaurants and hotels, and by taking heed of your clothing.
By the way, Egypt is famous for its Ramadan lanterns (fanous). Homes and streets are beautifully decorated with them.
We wish all those who fast "Ramadan Kareem"!

Ramadan lanternsRamadan in CairoRamadan Kareem

Karnak originally not located on the Nile, Luxor East Bank

Until recently, most researchers assumed that Karnak Temple was directly built on the eastern bank of the Nile. Now, archaeologists drilled 25 metres deep holes in the soil at the 1st Pylon and took samples. The researchers compared them with samples of a recently uncovered anchorage on the Nile. Result: The Temple of Karnak was located neither right next to the bank of the Nile nor on a Nile island but on a sandbank 500 metres away. Just 400 years later the Nile shifted its course and reached the temple. (Published in: Journal of Archaeological Science, doi:10.1016/j. jas.2011.06. 007)

Karnak Temple, 1st Pylon, Luxor East BankKarnak Temple, Statue of Ramses II, Luxor East Bank

Egypt's Revolution Produces New Books and Readers

While throughout Europe and America bookshops close their doors and printed newspapers stop to be published Egypt is experiencing a contrary trend: New bookshops, publishers and newspapers pop up. Chain bookstores open new branches. Independent bookshops with arabic literature, English books, children's books and comics start, book fairs invite potential customers. The revolution has created not only many internet users but also new readers and writers. Egypt, a country with 50% illiteracy rate up to now, will reach 90 percent literacy within a generation, analysts predict - a huge market.
Currently, the bookstore openings are localised in Cairo and Alexandria. But chain bookstores are to open in other governates soon. We will be happy about it in Luxor! By then: The two following books you will find also in our online bookstore:

Tahrir Square: The Heart of the Egyptian Revolution Bookstore in LuxorThe Road to Tahrir: Front Line Images by Six Young Egyptian Photographers

New Discovieries at Karnak Temple, Luxor East Bank

Last week archaeologists unearthed two major monuments at Karnak Temple. The first was the wall that once enclosed the small Temple of Ptah located at the northern border of the large precinct of Amun-Re at Karnak (as seen from entrance: on the left exterior in line with the 4th pylon). They also found a number of engraved blocks from the Ptah Temple dating back to the reign of Pharaoh Thutmose III (18th dynasty, 1458 – 1426 BC). The restorers are now carrying out comprehensive work to reconstruct the temple and open it to the public next year.
The second was a gate dated to the reign of Nubian Pharaoh Shabaka (25th dynasty, 716 - 707 BC). He restored the 4th pylon at the Karnak Temple and decorated the Ptah Temple. The gate that once closed up the Pharaoh's treasury hall is very well preserved.

Temple of Ptah at Karnak Temple precinct - ©CNRS/CSEETK

Temple of Ptah at Karnak Temple precinct, Treasury Hall of Pharaoh ShabakaTemple of Ptah at Karnak Temple precinct - Detail of the new found gate of Pharaoh Shabaka

Living in Luxor Website - News Search

Update: For data protection reasons deleted
Ever wonder: "I have read here something about this subject recently, but when?" Indeed, we cross-reference current news to back news but not vice versa. In order to offer you more service we have integrated a customised google search engine now whereby you can search all Living in Luxor - News Pages for keywords. Sorry to say that we have to accept therefor sponsored ads but we think the service it's worth it. Or what do you say? Try it. On every page of our website (by now we have 65) you find the item "News" on the right menu. First click on it and then on the last subitem "News Search".

"We catch the news for you"Living in Luxor - News Search


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