Newsletter of Egypt Tourism September 2012

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Famous Monasteries of Egypt

Famous Monasteries of Egypt

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  • 1. Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority EGYPT THIS MONTH September 2012 www.egypt.travel Issue 39The Monastery of Saint Anthony Famous Monasteries of Egypt Live Colors Egypt September . 2012 1
  • 2. Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority News letter Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority News letter Saint Anthony Church of St. Anthony Saint Macarius Monastery The Monastery of Saint Anthony is a perfect example of a Coptic monastery, and is considered to be the earliest and most dynamic of the monasteries in the world. From the grounds of this holy place monasticism emerged, and made its way to all of Europe. The monastery was founded in 356 AD after the Saint’s death. It is an independent community with its own gardens, a mill, a bakery and churches, the best of which is Saint Anthony’s Church. The Monastery encompasses a library with a remaining collection of handwritten Coptic manuscripts, which were originally part of a larger library at one day. It also has a defensive fortress that dates back to the reign of the Roman Emperor Justinian, around the 4th century. A well providing over 100 cubic meters of water and a water wheel are other elements within the precincts. The cave where Saint Anthony lived in solitude as a hermit is a 2 km hike from the monastery, and is around 680 meters above the Red Sea level, offering a dazzling view of the mountains and the sea. Annually it attracts approximately one million Egyptian and foreign visitors. Saint Anthony is the father of monks, founder of monasticism and the first Christian to live in solitude as a hermit in the desert. He was born in 251 AD to a rich family in Coma (Kemn-el-Arouse) in Egypt. “If you would be perfect, go sell all you have, give to the poor and come follow me.” (Matthew 19:21). After hearing the Lord’s words one day in church, Saint Anthony sold his land, donated his money to the poor, while keeping some for his sister, whom he The Monastery of St. Catherine Luxor Film Festival to feature placed in a community for virgins. Then he devoted himself to asceticism and moved out to the desert, accompanied St. Catherine is the name of both the monastery and city Egyptian and European films by many who wished to follow his same spiritual path. located at an elevation of 158m, and it is 120 km away from the closest city, Dahab. He died in 356 AD at the age of one hundred and five, and was buried in the monastery, but his burial ground was St. Catherine’s has a long history, though not in its current never identified. form. The area was under the rule of the pharaohs, and was a center for the mining of turquoise, gold, and copper, Rejuvenation Project with old mines and temples having been found not far from the site of the monastery itself. An extensive rejuvenation project was inaugurated in 2010, which included the restoration of the church, the During Roman times, a monastery was built at the foot unique collection of wall paintings, the oldest of which of Mount Sinai, the place where it is believed that Moses Under the auspice of the Egyptian Tourist Authority dates to the seventh and eighth centuries, the dining hall received the 10 Commandments from God. It encloses the and starting on 17 September and until 22 September, with its limestone dining table, and the area for religious chapel of the Burning Bush, which was ordered to be built the first Luxor Egyptian and European Film Festival will Live Colors EgyptLive Colors Egypt rituals and recitals. Moreover, the restoration scheme by Helena, Constantine the Great’s mother, to mark the site screen 10 films throughout five days. underneath the church’s floor revealed the oldest 4th where Moses was supposed to have seen the burning bush. Heading the jury of the festival is Egyptian filmmaker century Coptic cell and another church dating back to It is said that the bush that is located there is the original Samir Seif, which also includes members from France, the 6th century. A Plexiglas floor was placed over this cell, bush from the story. Germany, Portugal and Croatia. Egyptian writer Bahaa enabling visitors to view it. Taher will be an honorary president of the festival. Though more commonly known as St. Catherine’s Organized by the Noon Foundation for Culture and Saint Anthony Monastery is located at about 250 km Monastery, its real name is The Sacred and Imperial Arts (NOONCA) and the Ministry of Culture, the festival east of Cairo, at the foot of Al-Qalzam Mountain near Monastery of the God Trodden Mount of Sinai. is headed by film critic and historian Magda Wasef. El Zaafarana. Heading from Cairo, take the Hurghada The British film “Salmon Fishing in The Yemen” by Lasse highway for approximately three hours, then the The monastery is associated with St. Catherine of Hallström, starring the Egyptian actor, Amr Waked, will Zaafarana/Koraymat road for around 34 km southwest of Alexandria, who was a Christian martyr. Originally open the five-day festival and will be honoring British Zaafarana; then turn left for another 16 km, until you reach sentenced to die on the wheel, she didn’t die and was cinema. the monastery. beheaded instead. According to legend, her body was Gates to the Monastery 2 September . 2012 September . 2012 3
  • 3. Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority News letter Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority News letter The Monastery of St. Paul The Monastery of St. Catherine ancient library burnt. Less than one hundred years later, carried to the site of the monastery by angels. It’s said that its 1,400 years of existence, thus protecting a rich store of it was rebuilt, but again viciously attacked several times, monks found her remains in 800 AD. Her relics are stored in art. Today, while it is one of the oldest monasteries in the and the monks fled. Sadly, they would not return and the a marble reliquary in the Basilica. world, its original, preserved state is unmatched. monastery would experience a one hundred and twenty year abandonment before Pope John XVI of Alexandria There are many works of art, including Islamic mosaic, The Monastery of St. Paul dedicated the funds and resources to its complete Russian icons, oil paintings and relics donated by Tsar reconstruction in the early 1700s. Alexander II of Russia and Catherine the Great of Russia. This is an incredibly important historic site and it’s the There is even one of the largest and most important second ancient Coptic Christian monastery, tucked away In 2006, the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt collections of illuminated manuscripts in the world (the in the Eastern Desert of Egypt. completed their own lengthy renovations of the monastery Vatican has the largest). The collection consists of some and re-opened it for public visitation. Travelers should tour 4,500 volumes in Greek, Coptic, Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, St. Paul the Anchorite lived to be one hundred and all three churches, that of Saint Paul the Anchorite, which Slavic, Syriac, Georgian, and other languages. thirteen years old and had actually inspired Saint Anthony was dug underground into the cave where Saint Paul lived to seek his monastic and solitary lifestyle. In fact, the story his hermetic life, the churches of Saint Mercurius and of the Just east of the monastery lies Wadi El Sybaiya, the oldest of Saint Paul’s death describes Saint Anthony’s presence Archangel Michael. settlement in the area. This area used to be where Roman at the scene and how he was assisted in the burial by two Live Colors EgyptLive Colors Egypt soldiers stayed, and now the Jebeliya tribe is descended lions. Visitors may also view some of the manuscripts in the the Egyptian, who was the spiritual father to more than four from them. In the 1980s, the tarmac road was completed, possession of the monastery, which includes a Coptic thousand monks of different nationalities among which are allowing for easier access to tourists, thus making the city Little has changed at the Monastery of Saint Paul over language version of the “Divine Liturgy”. A tour of the site Egyptians, Greeks, Ethiopians, Armenians, Nubians, Asians, grow. the course of many centuries, and today it still contains may include a trip up the tower, and a glimpse at the “Pool Palestinians, Italians, Gauls and Spaniards. three churches and is a good example of the fortress-like of Mary” where Mary, the sister of Moses, washed her feet St. Catherine’s has a rich history indeed. So rich that it is structures that were required of the Christian monasteries of during the Exodus. From the fourth century up to the present day the a sparkling example of an undiscovered jewel of travel. It Egypt. Continually being raided and plundered by groups monastery is continuously inhabited by monks. has been called the oldest working Christian monastery of Bedouins and Berbers, many of the monks constructed The Monastery of St. Macarius the Great and the smallest diocese in the world. Prior to probably the walls and towers as defensive measures, and Saint Paul’s (Wadi El Natrun) In 1969, the monastery entered an era of restoration, twentieth century, the only entrance to St. Catherine’s was Monastery was not spared that need. both spiritually and architecturally, with the arrival of twelve a small door 30 feet high, where provisions and people were The Monastery of St. Macarius lies in Wadi Natrun, 92 monks with their spiritual director, Fr. Matta El Meskeen. These lifted with a system of pulleys, and where food was often In fact, the Monastery suffered its most catastrophic kilometers from Cairo on the western side of the desert road monks had spent the previous ten years living together lowered to nomads. It has withstood numerous attacks over attack in 1484, when the monks were murdered and the to Alexandria. It was founded in 360 A.D. by St. Macarius entirely isolated from the world, in caves in the desert area 4 September . 2012 September . 2012 5
  • 4. Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority News letter Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority News letter CalendAr known as Wadi El Rayyan, about 50 kilo-metres south of retreats and other guests. Buildings to house various utilities Fayoum. It was the late Patriarch Cyril who, in 1969 ordered have also been constructed, including a kitchen, bakery, this group of monks to leave Wadi El Rayyan and go to barns, garages and a repair-shop. The new buildings the Monastery of St. Macarius to restore it. The patriarch occupy an area of ten acres. In addition, the historic received them, blessed them, assured them of his prayers buildings in the monastery have been carefully restored. September 2012 and asked God to grant their spiritual father grace that the desert might bloom again and become the home of The discovery of the relics of St. John the Baptist and thousands of hermits. At that time only six aged monks were Elisha the Prophet during the restoration of the big Church living in the monastery and its historic buildings were on the of St. Macarius, the crypt of St. John the Baptist and Elisha Art stickers, graffiti, posters, and other point of collapse. The new monks were warmly received the Prophet were discovered below the northern wall of 23rd actions across Cairo’s public spaces.” by the abbot, Bishop Michael, Metropolitan of Assiut, who the church, in accordance with the site mentioned in 1st - 16th “A Book and a Painting” His art is characterized by the use of bold through his wisdom and humility was able to create an manuscripts from the 11th & 16th centuries found in the “The Collective Exhibition 2012” Presentation of the project that aims to lines and uniquely created images and atmosphere favorable to the renewal they hoped for. library of the monastery. The relics were then gathered in Sixty artists exhibiting their most recent introduce visual art to children of primary creatures of his own delivering a strong a special reliquary and placed before the sanctuary of St. paintings using different media, styles and schools through the history of Egyptian message to the world. At the present time, the monastic community numbers John the Baptist in the church of St. Macarius. techniques. Guest of honor is late artist artists such as Adly Rizkallah, George Safarkhan Gallery is a solid art institution about one hundred monks. Most of them are university Nerman Sadek, who is famous for her Bahgory, Helmi El Touni, Tahia Halim and that is continually discovering/ promot- graduates in such diverse fields as agriculture, medicine, The monks have been reclaiming and cultivating the beautiful flowers and landscapes. others. ing young talents, preserving the history veterinary medicine, education, pharmacology and desert land around the monastery since 1975. First they In the exhibition the original drawings will modern art in Egypt and creating a forum engineering, and have had job experience before entering planted fig and olive trees, varieties of fodder crops and Duroub Art Gallery, 4 Latin America Street, Garden be shown specially conceived by Sahar where art, artists and the public can come the monastery. other crops, especially watermelons. Large farm buildings City. Abdallah for her book “Fenoun Stories” . together. have been constructed to house cows, buffaloes, sheep Book launch and opening of the exhibi- As such the pairing of Safarkhan and The reconstruction of the monastery and poultry. The Egyptian government has recognized the All September tion on the same day. Ganzeer is bound to bring you a fresh look importance of the work of the monks in these areas, for the “Summer Exhibition 2012” onto this wonderful world of art and its The new monastery buildings include more than 150 monastery is thus participating in solving the country’s food Works by: Hisham El Zeiny, Dina Fadel, Mashrabia Gallery of Contemporary Art strong connection and interpretation to cells, a large refectory, a new library with space for several supply problems. Reem Hassan, Hany Rashed, Amr Fekry, 8, Champollion St. - Downtown – Cairo Egypt the events shaping our future. thousand volumes, and a spacious guest house comprising Amr Khedr. Tel: (02) 25780494 several reception rooms and a number of single rooms for The works will be on display on two floors Safarkhan Gallery, 6 Brazil St., Zamalek. and can be seen by appointment. 29th Tel: (02) 2735 3314 Aquarelle by Artist Mohamed El The Monastery of St. Paul 4 D, El Gezira Street, 11211 Zamalek, Cairo Nasser Special Exhibitions Tel.: +202 273 99 503/ 0122 6539 396 Cordoba Art Gallery - 11 Hassan Sabry Street - 5th - 19th Zamalek 1st - 10th Tel: (02) 27362693 Ramses Wissa Wassef Exhibition “Generations “ Time: Exhibition runs until October 25th A special exhibition of architectural A bouquet selection of pioneer artists and drawings by Ramses Wissa Wassef titled group of young artists 1st October - 1st November “Ramses Wissa Wassef: The Architect and Picasso Art Gallery, 30 Hassan Assem St. The Virus is Spreading - Graffiti the Artist.” off Brazil St. Artist Ganzeer The exhibition will showcase his archi- Outside of the typical art sphere, tectural drawings collection, which Tel: (02) 27367544 Ganzeer is best known for his “artivism” documents his career between 1935 and Time: the exhibition will run until September 19th, throughout 2011 via the use of murals, 1972. Wassef was one of Egypt’s most 2012. Opening at 7pm prominent 20th-century architects. 20th AUC Library, New Cairo Campus Bedrooms Time: The exhibition is open to the public from 10 A photography exhibition by Anne-Marie am to 3 pm on Sundays and Tuesdays only. Live Colors Egypt Filaire. After exploring for more than ten Visitors should contact the AUC Library in advanceLive Colors Egypt years the landscape and borders in the via-email or at: +202 2615.2923 Middle East, photographer Anne-Marie presents her work on Arab teenagers 1st -13th with pictures of students bedrooms in Yarns and Scripts: Masterpieces Alexandria and Cairo in 2012, follow- of the Azerbaijani Carpets ing her works in Iraq and Morocco. Her The Exhibition displays a wide selection of pictures invite us to discover those young Azerbaijani Carpets rich with scripts and girls intimacy, in a changing society colored decorations, as well as crafts such as jewelry, engraved metals, wood and stone. French Institute in Egypt, Alexandria 30, El Nabi Danial St., Mahatet Misr - Alexandria Bibliotheca Alexandrina, El Shatby Street, Tel: (03) 3913435 Alexandria. Time: 7 pm Ramses Wissa Wassef Exhibition Tel: (03) 483 9999 6 September . 2012 September . 2012 7
  • 5. Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority News letter Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority News letter Film Festival 2nd Open Air Theater – Cairo Opera Grounds two decades, whether as a solo artist or Los Compadres Eftekasat Band Tel: (02) 27390132 front man with various musicians and 17th - 22nd Sufi Jazz concert by Eftekasat band Time: 8 pm bands. With a repertoire that encom- Luxor and European Film Festival passes the entire span of jazz history, The first film festival will screen 10 films Cairo jazz Club Singer Jannat you’re guaranteed to hear all your jazz throughout five days. 197, 26th July Street – Sphinx Sq. Jannat Mahid, is a Moroccan singer born favorites. Heading the jury is Egyptian filmmaker Samir Tel: (02) 3345 9939 in Mohammedia. She won a musical Seif, and members from France, Germany, Time: 9 pm competition (Noujoum Al Ghad, 2M TV) at Cairo Jazz Club Portugal and Croatia. Egyptian writer Bahaa age eight before winning several others 197, 26th July Street – Sphinx Sq. Taher will be an honorary president and Sehr El Shark Band competitions in Morocco, Egypt, and Tel: (02) 3345 9939 the festival will be headed by film critic and El-Sheikh’s band Sehr al-Sharq (Magic of the Dubai. Time: 9 pm historian Magda Wasef. Orient) conducted by Belal El Sheikh who gradu- The British film Salmon Fishing in The Yemen ated from the Musical Education College in 2008 El-Mahka 2 Theatre Saladin Citadel 15th Tel: (02) 27368881 30th by Lasse Hallström, starring the Egyptian and is a keen follower of Sayyed Darwish. Time: 10 pm Senet - Ashara Gharby Ashraf Habashi & The Jazz actor, Amr Waked, will open the five-day A contemporary band known for fusing 22nd Caterers festival and will be honoring British cinema. Open Air – Cairo Opera House 5th oriental sounds with blues and Afro Soot Fel Zahma Band Genre: World Jazz The French Institute in Egypt is partner of this Tel: (02) 27390132 Nogoum El Tarab band beats. Add to that their social commen- Mariam Salem The Jazz Caterers serve up a hearty tribute first edition. Time: 8 pm Mostafa Ahmed tary lyrics The musical crowd with the typical rhythm to the legendary voices of jazz rearranged of the daily life’s vortex have created a in a funky upbeat style. Congress Palace - Luxor House of Cultures - Luxor 3rd Open Air Theater – Cairo Opera Grounds Cairo Jazz Club demand of having a new sound to attract Temple Esplanade Egyptian songs and music Tel: (02) 27390132 197, 26th July Street – Sphinx Sq. people away from the commercial music Cairo jazz Club 197, 26th July Street – Sphinx Sq Contemporary Egyptian musician Time: 8 pm Tel: (02) 3345 9939 that they listen to nowadays. This music Tel: (02) 3345 9939 Music Ma’moun El Meligy is a fresh talent in his Time: 9 pm must be unique, powerful ,effective, and Time: 9 pm forties. He started singing regularly after Arabic Jazz Band recognized and actually this is the respon- 1st a long stint as an architect. The style and Ahmed Rabie 16th sibility which the members have taken Basheer Band content of his songs has been compared Los Compadres over when they decided to go with ‘Soot THEATER New genre of Upper Egyptian folkloric to the likes of Marcel Khalifé and El Sheikh El-Mahka 1 Theatre Saladin Citadel Genre: Cuban Jazz Fel Za‫ح‬ma’ as a name of the band 26th music. Imam. Time: 8 pm The duet was founded in 1942 and is Traversées Nomade one of the most representative groups in Cairo Jazz Club From one bank to the other - intimate Cairo Jazz Club Open Air Theater– Cairo Opera Grounds Artist Ali El Haggar Cuban music Genre 197, 26th July Street – Sphinx Sq. writings 197, 26th July Street – Sphinx Sq. Tel: (02) 27390132 Ali El Haggar is an Egyptian artist with an Tel: (02) 3345 9939 2nd Step : Whispers Tel: (02) 3345 9939 Time: 8 pm extraordinary talent and an exceptional Cairo Jazz Club Time: 9 pm A play set between Marseille and Time: 10 pm voice. His birth within a family of artists 197, 26th July Street – Sphinx Sq. Alexandria. A world composed of 4th is one of the most important factors that Tel: (02) 3345 9939 23rd women writings and letters exchanged Cairo Celebration Orchestra An evening with Qanun explain his devotion to music. Time: 9 pm Michelle Rounds between the two cities. This second part Conductor: Tarek Mahran Saber Abdel Sattar is the winner of the Genre: Funk Jazz of a three year project will be presented international Qanun prize that was set by El-Mahka 2 Theatre Saladin Citadel 20th Singer and Songwriter Michelle first in French, Arabic and English by Fatma Open Air Theater – Cairo Opera House the league of Arab states in cooperation Time: 10 pm Châabi Music performed live in Sydney in 1989. She Mosleh and Maud Buinou. Tel: (02) 27390132 with the Egyptian academy in Algeria in A special night to discover Châabi electro is described as the jazz diva from the Time: 8 pm 2001 8th music with the screening of a documen- far-flung exotic Pacific Islands. She French Institute in Egypt, Alexandria Dina El Wadidi tary movie followed by a live concert by performs jazz, originals & more. A beauti- 30, El Nabi Danial St., Mahatet Misr - Alexandria Singer and Arghoul Player Ha’Ha band French Institute. ful voice that’s not to be missed. Tel: (03) 3913435 Dina’s band is a contemporary Egyptian Time: 7 pm music group seeking an active role in French Institute, Cairo Jazz Club the Egyptian cultural scene and abroad. Madrasset El Huqquq El Ferenseya St., Mounira 197, 26th July Street – Sphinx Sq. The group of young musicians is looking Tel: (02) 27915800 Tel: (02) 3345 9939 Special Event 17th Live Colors Egypt for a new musical identity, utilizing their Time: 7 pm Time: 9 pmLive Colors Egypt experience and mixed cultural upbring- Introductory Session on ing, following a globalized context that 21st 29th Japanese Tea Ceremony is open to different cultures and musical Punk music by US“ Black lips” Transistor – Salalem For the first time in Egypt and the whole backgrounds. and Lebanon “Lazzy Lung” Genre: Contemporary Egyptian music. Middle East – an introductory session about With two Egyptian bands ( Faking it and Salalem’s whole idea started when the the Japanese tea ceremony, in order to Cairo Jazz Club 050 band ). The Middle East tour will be band members decided to express their introduce the basic information about the 197, 26th July Street – Sphinx Sq. documented and parts of the tour video music in the streets. Together they spread ceremony in Japan, and how it originated. Tel: (02) 3345 9939 will be aired through Vice TV and Noisey a new Musical Culture. TV, which are two of the top web TV The Japan Foundation Cairo Office 5F Cairo Center 9th channels with 4 million viewers and 1.4 Cairo Jazz Club Bldg., 106 Kasr al-Aini St., Garden City Modern, fusion, jazz million respectively. 197, 26th July Street – Sphinx Sq. Free admission – prior registration is needed Singer, composer and songwriter, Adam Tel: (02) 3345 9939 Tel: (02) 279 49 431 Eftekasat Band Miller has entertained audiences for over El Sawy Culture Wheel - 26th of July St. Zamalek Time: 9 pm Time: 4 pm till 6 pm 8 September . 2012 September . 2012 9