Thursday, November 25, 2021

Egypt revives the ancient Avenue of Sphinxes in Luxor tonight

In case you do not know, Egypt is on a date on another glitzy ancient Egyptian inspired parade in a few hours.

The avenue of the Sphinxes on 24 November's night "Ahmed Gomaa"

The 1.7-mile-long and about 250-feet-wide-Sphinxes Avenue connect the Luxor temple complex and the Karnak temple complex. According to historical accounts, the current surviving sphinxes avenue was built by King Nectanebo I, the founder of Egypt’s last native ruling dynasty aka the 30th dynasty in the late period.

Egypt's Luxor Temples Complex
The Avenue of Sphinxes in 2012

According to archaeologists, most of the sphinxes or rams statues in the avenues have been restored. They are over 1,000 statues. We got four of them in Tahrir square despite the objections of the archaeologists. I wonder why we do not put them back where they belong.

It is said that the face of the sphinxes depicted Nectanebo I in accordance with the famous ancient Egyptian tradition that started in the old kingdom.

The trip to revive the avenue was long starting from year 1984 to 2000 thanks to Egyptian archaeologists then the plan to restore it kicked off in the year 2009 then was stopped for a while in 2011 then it was resumed later till we see right now.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Alexandria : The first drowning in the rainfall season

Since Saturday or late Friday, Egypt was hit by a wave of unstable weather conditions, especially on the Northern coast.

It was not a surprise, it was expected that the wave would start on Saturday and conclude by Tuesday according to the Egyptian Meteorological Authority “EMA” since last week. Not to mention this is the time of what is commonly known in Alexandria as “Nawat El-Muknesa” or “The Broom storm”.

Alexandria has those “Nawaat” or storms known by date whether according to the Egyptian Coptic calendar or the Gregorian calendar.

Despite the warnings, we found photos like this showing the streets flooded with water after rainfall.

The famous black and yellow Alexandria Taxi drowned in rainwater after
the storm "Mostafa Hassan Via Documentaries 2020"

We have also those crazy videos too

This Nawat El-Muknesa or the Broom storm is actually the first storm in the storms season and not the strongest among them in the first place.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Egyptian X-Files : The curious case of Princess Fawzia’s diamond Parure

This post should have been posted last week but between work and what is happening at Cairo’s historical cemeteries overshadowed the plans I had.

This post is about another piece or rather missing pieces of the famous Princess Fawzia’s Jewelry collection. Last week, we saw the former Queen of Iran’s jewelry collection at Alexandria’s Royal Jewelry Museum as well as some famous jewelry pieces she wore whether in Iran or Egypt.

Nevertheless, we did not speak about her most famous jewelry pieces ever but now the time has come to speak about the famous legendary diamond parure of Princess Fawzia or the Holy Grail of the Egyptian Royal Jewelry.

Empress Fawzia by Cecil Beaton
The famous photoshoot of Queen Fawzia in Tehran
in 1942 by Cecil Beaton

Just like the striking beauty of the Egyptian Princess, that diamond parure was also immortalized when famous British photographer Cecil Beaton took those famous and official photos of Fawzia Fouad in Tehran in 1942.

Empress Fawzia
Fawzia wearing the full diamond parure
in Tehran "Cecil Beaton"

But its story went back before 1942

In the year 1938, the Egyptian Royal Family commissioned French Jewelry House Van Cleef & Arpels to design a special diamonds parure for the new bride Princess Fawzia as her engagement to the Crown Prince of Iran was announced.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Egypt’s Queen Farida at 100: Please Save her tomb, Safeguard Historic Cairo Cemeteries "Updated"

This month does not mark only the centenary of Princess Fawzia Fouad, it is also the centenary of Egypt’s Queen Farida.

Queen Farida is by far the most popular Queen/First lady in Egypt in modern times. We are speaking about an amazing model of an Egyptian woman who did not bend due to hard circumstances whether political or economic situations.

From Egypt’s privileged upper class to the Royal throne to become a young popular Queen then to get a divorce then to face political and economic upheavals then to become a prominent artist in exile before returning to Egypt, Queen Farida was a unique example of Egyptian strong independent woman when you think about it.

I want to write something about her jewelry collection at the Egyptian Royal Jewelry Museum but due to time limits, I could not because it is bigger than Fawzia’s collection.

Instead, I am writing this sad post

The Egyptian government decides to remove the cemetery of Queen Farida giving her family’s descendants very short notice to transfer the remains of their ancestors among other families to very small cemeteries at the 15th May city’s outskirts because of new highways and bridges plan in Cairo.

Queen Farida's tomb at her family cemetery in Cairo 
"Seif Allah Zulficar

So instead of a special exhibit featuring Queen Farida, her jewelry and her art in any of the so many museums we have in Egypt, this is how the Egyptian government celebrates her centenary.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Kodak Agfa Presents : Some of Princess Fawzia’s Jewelry at Alexandria’s Royal Jewelry Museum in photos

On 5 November From 100 years ago, a baby girl was born in Alexandria, Egypt.

She was born as a true real living princess, her father was a king of one of the greatest and oldest kingdoms in the East. Like in a fairy tale, She was a stunning beauty.

After her father’s death, her eldest brother became the king.

Soon she also married a crown prince of another great Eastern kingdom. In a couple of years, that crown prince became his country’s King or rather Shah and she became the queen.

You would think that she would live happily ever after just like in Disney’s films for princesses yet the reality is different from fiction and late Princess Fawzia Fouad of Egypt knew that first hand.

Princess Fawzia's Diamond hairpin at Royal Jewelry Museum
A hairpin made of diamonds with the name of Princess Fawzia in Arabic 

Now on this occasion, I would like to share this collection of jewelry that was owned by the former Queen of Iran at Alexandria’s Royal Jewelry Museum.

Late Princess Fawzia in late 1940s
Late Princess Fawzia in the late 1940s 

Yup, there is a jewelry collection of Egypt’s legendary sad beauty Princess Fawzia Fouad at this often forgotten less-known yet wealthy museum.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Coronavirus on the Nile: 21 months of Covid-19 in Egypt in graph

It is the time for those monthly Covid-19 posts in Egyptian Chronicles and I hope that I will not have to do this inshallah soon as the pandemic ends worldwide.

This time it is a quick look into official Covid-19 numbers in Egypt after 21st months since its arrival to the country in February 2020.

The usual disclaimer: According to Minister of Health Hala Zayed in early January, the official numbers of cases represent between 10%-15% of the real number of cases worldwide Egypt included

Children in KG wearing face shields on 9 October in Sharkia governorate
Children in KG wearing face shields on 9 October in Sharkia governorate
Shorouk Ghonim

Those official numbers represent the patients who enter the ICUs in designated coronavirus isolation public hospitals in the country in critical condition according to official statements, not the mild cases of coronavirus or those who receive treatment at home.

Here is the graph, it is interactive so you can click on it and click on the tabs to compare between 2020 and 2021.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Kodak Agfa presents : King Tutankhamun at 99

Today marks the national day of Luxor governorate in Egypt. It also marks the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in the valley of the Kings.

King Tutankhamen's mask at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo
The famous King Tutankamun's mask 

Today marks the discovery of the famous KV62 that turned Egyptology upside down.

Today marks how a simple Egyptian boy stumbled on the tomb of another Egyptian boy who ruled this land from thousands of years ago that some old generals and priests thought that they could rid of him and his dynasty or rather his father’s dynasty forever. Call it fate or destiny or poetic justice but Tut’s story reminds me that history can’t be fooled forever.

King Tut's Golden sarcophagus at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo
King Tut's golden sarcophagus at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo  

Time passed and that young boy became Egypt’s most famous ruler and its symbol worldwide while those who plotted against him, simply forgotten.

Yeah, I am repeating what I have said before.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Coronavirus on the Nile: Egypt’s Covid-19 October 2021 numbers in Graph “More daily cases, More fatalities”

This is the time of our monthly post about the coronavirus pandemic and its official numbers in graphs in Egypt.

This is the second September to pass in Egypt during the Covid-19 pandemic, unfortunately.

Officially, Egypt was at the peak of the fourth wave of Coronavirus in October thus the numbers of the daily cases but there is good news as more and more people are vaccinated.

Egyptian students on the first day of school in October in a Sharkia school  by Shorouq Ghonim
Egyptian students on the first day of school in October in a Sharkia school 
by Shorouq Ghonim

Disclaimer: According to Minister of Health Hala Zayed in early January, the official numbers of cases represent between 10%-15% of the real number of cases worldwide Egypt included.

First, the official daily cases of coronavirus in Egypt

Monday, November 1, 2021

#Coronavirus on the Nile : Sweet November Covid-19 coverage in Egypt and Arab world “Live”

It is another new month in the time of the coronavirus pandemic in Egypt and the World.

It is Sweet November, the second November in the time of coronavirus.

The man with the mask, the camel and the pyramid in Giza in 2020
The man with the mask, the camel and the pyramid in Giza in 2020

October witnessed an escalation in the coronavirus cases as the country began its peak moment in the coronavirus’ fourth wave.

It is expected to see a decline in the cases in November, at least in its second half.

In Mid November, on 15 November exactly the Egyptian government will make vaccination mandatory on public servants nationwide. Either to be vaccinated or to present a negative PCR every two weeks.

More vaccines are set to arrive in the upcoming weeks

The government set a goal to vaccinate 40 million Egyptians by the end of 2021.

Anyhow Please stay safe, keep your social distance and get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Here is our monthly live coverage of everything coronavirus below.