6 - 12 January 2000
Issue No. 463
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875|
Egypt Region International Economy Opinion Culture Heritage Millennium Features Profile Living Travel Sports People Time Out Chronicles Cartoons Letters
Sir- Congratulations on your 30 December - 5 January special issue with its accompanying Millennium Party 2000 magazine. It is a great read, worthy of the occasion. I personally attended this great event, the Millennium Party -- what magnificence!
Bravo to Farouk Hosni for the idea, to Jean-Michel Jarre, Christian Bouret and Bill Bhoquet, to every engineer, technician, builder and worker who helped make this event possible.
Special thanks and deep gratitude go to the police force, the thousands of policemen and officers of all ranks, whether traffic police or special forces, who carried such heavy responsibility and stood hours on end in the cold desert -- let us not forget that most of them had been fasting all day -- so that we, the people, Egyptians and foreigners alike, could enjoy a magnificent evening while feeling secure.
Space does not allow me to say all I feel, but it was obvious that the organisers had thought of everything, from the field hospital with its attending staff, to huge parking lots with their perfect signposting, then applied it to perfection.
Though the thickening fog became a real hindrance to this great show, it did not stop an enthusiastic audience of thousands to spend an unforgettable occasion at such a unique site. Well done.
Just a thought: maybe in the future, for events of such magnitude, a detailed programme could be issued with the tickets?
Join the party
Sir- First of all, I'd like to wish all your readers a very happy new year. I'd also like to congratulate all Egyptians on the success of our millennium celebration, which definitely proved to the whole world, but more importantly to ourselves, that we are capable of being organised when we wish to be so.
Despite the huge turnout, there was a great willingness on the part of the guests to abide by all the security rules, to wait patiently in the long queues and generally be cooperative. The choice of the Pyramids Plateau as a venue for the celebration was a wonderful idea: as the last remaining wonder of the world, the Pyramids continue to fascinate and intrigue people all round the world.
The combination of these ancient monuments with modern technology resulted in a show that was unique and unmatched elsewhere in the world. True, the fog covered two of the Pyramids, which led to the cancellation of a good part of the laser show; however, the part of the programme that was carried out was impressive (which is not surprising as Jean-Michel Jarre has not earned his wide renown for nothing). His attempts to add an Egyptian flavour to the performance did not go unnoticed and are widely appreciated although many Egyptians did voice reservations that a "Westerner" be asked to take charge of our celebration. Don't we have our own qualified musicians and directors who could have done just as good a job? That was a question repeated countless times this past week in many different circles.
Having said that, I would like to point out a few reservations of my own regarding the concert. Firstly, the millennium celebrations are for everyone, not just the privileged members of society. The LE50 tickets (the minimum fee for the concert) were still way out of reach for the average Egyptian who deserved a chance to join the celebration. All round the world we watched revellers rejoice en masse on the streets and in the main squares of different cities without having to pay a price for the fanfare, so why couldn't Egyptians do the same?
Secondly, and most importantly, was it really worth it to spend $9.5 million dollars on such a celebration?