Al-Ahram Weekly Online   12 - 18 July 2012
Issue No. 1106
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Travel news

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Clockwise from top: the stunning oasis; Abdeen Palace; Karnak Temple

Sufi music festival ê" Samaa

SUFI musicians from all around the world will converge on Cairo in the wholly month of Ramadan starting the 20th of July. The Fifth International Sufi Music Festival, Samaa, organised this year by the Ministry of Culture and the Culture Development Fund, will be held in Saryat al-Gabal Theatre in the Citadel and the Qubbat al-Ghuri Centre in Al-Hussein from 10 to 20 Ramadan (3-13 August).

Samaa, which was staged in Berlin in March 2012 to critical acclaim, is going to bring together musical performers from Spain, France, Germany, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, India, and Turkey.

Magdi Selim, Head of the Internal Tourism Sector, says that this year's event will include memorial tributes for two religious figures, Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Chruch, and Sheikh Taha al-Fashni, a pioneer of religious singing in Egypt.

Amr El-Ezabi, Head of Egypt's Tourism Authority (ETA), says that Samaa, an event that features virtuoso performers from around the world, is going to give a much-needed boost to tourism.

Summer opera season

EGYPT'S Tourism sector will host dancers and singers from all around the world in summer performances held in theatres run by the Opera House.

Singers from Egypt and other parts of the Arab world are going to perform in the Citadel, as part of the 22d Citadel Music Festival, to be launched in the wholly month of Ramadan that starts on the 20th of July.

Amr El-Ezabi, Head of the Egyptian Tourism Authority (ETA), says that the Opera Music Festival for Dancing and Singing, which will be held in July and August, will involve performances by major Spanish flamenco dancers and American singers.

The performances will be held in the national opera theatres in Cairo, Alexandria, and Damanhour.

The Cairo-Luxor bike rally

TWENTY foreign and ten local bikers will take part in a weeklong adventure, spanning 2,300-km in 12-19 October this year.

This is the second iteration of the "Cross Egypt Challenge", a motorbike rally held for the first time last year. In last year's event, the trip lasted 1,700 km, spanning the distance between Alexandria and Abu Simbel.

This year's rally is going to pass through Alexandria, Marsa Matrouh, Siwa, Farafra, Dakhla, and Kharga Oases, with the finishing line set in front of Al-Karnak Temple in Luxor.

According to Magdi Salim, Head of the Internal Tourism Office, the rally will be launched from the square facing Abdin Palace in Cairo. The Ministry of Tourism is sponsoring the event, and the Ministry of Health is going to offer its services to the bikers throughout the adventure.

On his part, Head of Egypt's Tourism Authority (ETA), Amr El-Ezabi, says that the aim of the rally is to show the world that Egypt is a safe place and that the recent political changes in the country has not changed its friendly attitude to tourists.

Training camps for tourism officials

WORKERS in the Egyptian Tourism Authority (ETA) are going to visit tourist sites in Marsa Matrouh, Alamein, Sidi Abdel Rahman, and other attractions in the North Coast. The tours are part of the government's efforts to update the expertise of its officials and engage them in dialogue with the public and the entrepreneurs.

According to Magdi Salim, Head of the Internal Tourism Sector, journalists and tourism officials need to stay up-to-date with the business and cultural aspects of the industry, as their main task is to boost the quality of service offered for local and foreign tourists.

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