Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Election Day 28th Nov Luxor Egypt

It started with service cars with loudspeakers going along the road reminding people of the candidates. Long queues built up at the polling stations of people eager to vote in their first free election. The atmosphere was almost festive, certainly peaceful, quiet and safe.

My roving reporter says
Unfortunately, I don't think that these ones have sound. I thought that my camera had audio but apparently not. One of the videos is of a group of men outside one of the polling stations near the Tutotel Hotel and the one man told us that "Today is a great day for Egypt and we are all together, Muslims and Christians", he was a Christian man. Everyone was so excited and happy that today was a brand new start towards democracy, insha'Allah.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Luxor on the eve of the election

Four more videos, one on the East Bank and three in the Valley of Kings. it really depressed me to see the car park with only 6 coaches in it. I am not sure how people will survive if we have another bad winter.

A tourist speaks

A tour guide

Some taxi drivers

And on the East bank the same story

Friday, 25 November 2011

BBC iPlayer - World Have Your Say: WHYS60: Egyptians discuss the future

BBC World talking about Egyptians attitude to #Tahrir Sq. I am on several times at 5:40, 28:49- 34:31 several times and lastly 51-53. I wanted to get over that the people of #Luxor want stability, elections and to move forward. BBC iPlayer - World Have Your Say: WHYS60: Egyptians discuss the future: - Sent using Google Toolbar

Is Luxor safe, check out these videos taken today.

The lovely Mustafa who reassures tourists how safe Luxor is.

All these videos were taken today (sorry about the quality) and show how peaceful and quiet Luxor is.

Luxor is safe

I just sent out my roving reporter to comb the streets of Luxor looking for trouble, together with other friends on Facebook we have complied a list of what is going on
1) Big fire on the west bank....they are burning off the sugar cane
2) Member of my household has returned wounded and dirty after big fight....my cat
3) Locals assembled in Abu Haggag Square ...having a picnic
4) Rival gangs in face off .... two boys football teams
5) Huge war at the Rammasseum reported...Ramses II’s battle of Kadesh
6) Crowds, cars tooting, gunfire, motorbikes, shouting .... a wedding party
Luxor is 400 miles from the troubles in Cairo and a completely different attitude and mentality. Here most people I speak too don’t understand the demonstrators at Tahrir as they feel concessions have been made, the election process is going ahead and they want the economy to return to normal. Another winter tourist season without visitors would decimate Upper Egypt, tourism is all we have.

On a more formal note the British travel advice says
The overall level of this advice has not changed; there are no travel restrictions in place in this travel advice for Egypt.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

A Divided Egypt: Outside Cairo Concerns Mount Over Tahrir Protests | mideastposts.com

A Divided Egypt: Outside Cairo Concerns Mount Over Tahrir Protests | mideastposts.com:

"Why are they protesting now?” pondered one police officer, who said that he was glad to have recently been reassigned from Cairo to Minya. “Why can’t they wait until after the election and then make noise if they don’t like the outcome?”

The frustration is even more pronounced in Upper Egypt, in particular in the tourist centers of Aswan and Luxor. In the past several months, the attack on the Israeli embassy, the riots in Imbaaba and Maspero, and the sporadic clashes between protesters and the military in Cairo have devastated the tourism industry upon which most of their citizens depend. It is difficult for them to get excited about the new Egypt when the so-called revolution is threatening their livelihoods.

- Sent using Google Toolbar

4 more videos showing Luxor

Here is a peaceful and quiet Luxor, these videos taken this afternoon. No demos, no violence and no tourists. This means no money for the poor people of Luxor. Hear them talk

News from Luxor Videos taken 22/11/11

People from all over Egypt are watching events in Tahrir Square. It seems a bit remote in Luxor where the locals are more concerned by daily living. Their existence is hand to mouth and dependent on tourists. Here are some comments made down by the Nile this afternoon by local men who drive taxis, sell scarves and captain boats who are staring at an empty embankment that should be bustling with tourists in this, the high season for the holiday industry.

I think it is vital to reassure our tourists that Luxor is over 400 miles from events in Cairo and perfectly safe to visit. These videos were taken in the center of Luxor, you can see Luxor temple in the background

If anyone else wants to tell their stories contact me, have video camera will travel

Luxor, Egypt news and events Nov 2011

News from Tahrir Square might make you worried about a forthcoming holiday to Luxor, you needn't worry. During the last 12 months I have seen a a normal Xmas and New Year followed by the revolution. Luxor continued to be the safe, quiet place it has always been. I have driven through demos that smiled and let my taxi through. Luxor is so not Cairo.

Tonight I had 2 sets of guests arrive one in the afternoon and one late at night. Both pickups were totally as normal. We took them to the East Bank supermarket and and the centre of Luxor.

My drivers and staff are frankly frustrated by events at Tahrir, they want peace and stability and are looking forward to voting. So please when the media reports Tahrir remember that is a few thousand people, there are another 80 odd million Egyptians who are looking forward to welcome you to Egypt

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Friday, 11 November 2011

The slow death of the Amenhotep son of Huy project - La lenta agonía del proyecto amen-hotep huy en luxor

Edited to add the response


November 08th, 2011

I refer to the column of opinion ‘La Linterna de Diógenes’ that, under the firm of Luis del Palacio has collected on Monday November 7th, 2011 an article that, with the title ‘La lenta agonía del proyecto amen-hotep huy en luxor’ states a series of affirmations of great seriousness in connection with the work that the team of the institution that I manage is developing in the necropolis of Luxor (Arab Republic of Egypt). In relation with the above mentioned matter I want to qualify, in my condition of person in charge of the Visir Amen-Hotep, Huy Project (TA n º-28-), for its publication, which I am confident you will consider it opportune, the following points: 1º That the information that Mr. Luis del Palacio has obtained on the Project to which he refers to in his article, is privileged and is subject to clause of confidentiality that was accepted and signed by himself when he was admitted to be part of the team that I manage, during the campaign of archaeological excavations of this year. 2º That the content of the data contributed by Mr. del Palacio as base and foundation of his article lacks the most minimum solvent technical support, and his own professional qualification does not authorize him, obviously, to venture an opinion with regard to structures and resistances in archaeological monuments. 3º That the last motivation of Mr. del Palacio to publish an article that simply tries to discredit the work that a group of Spaniards are developing in Egypt for already nine years, with an excellent result, by the way, is due undoubtedly to a series of unmentionable personal reasons that have led him to tarnish the noble exercise of the informative profession of which he arms himself with high-handedness, taking advantage of his condition and being untruthful in a serious way. 4º That one of the reasons, not the most conclusive one, due to which Mr. del Palacio was invited to abandon the team that I manage was, precisely, the formulation of threats to prejudice the viability of the project and to make an attempt on the professional and personal reputation of their Directors, myself and Mrs. Bedman González, threat that is being fulfilled in view of the article published in the digital newspaper “Siglo XXI”. 5º That the origin of all this deplorable situation has been produced in a context in which, in front of witnesses, and in evident and apparent situation of drunkenness or intoxication by consumption, Mr. del Palacio made in an extemporaneous, violent and threatening way, a series of demands related to his personal status inside the team, that could not be accepted by the direction of the project for unfeasible, being this, according to all the evidences, what has motivated the tone of his column, that tries to create an unwarranted alarm regarding the works that are being carry out since three years ago, in the same tomb, without having happened any incident as the ones that Mr. del Palacio so dramatically 'prophesies'. 6º That it should be known that the monument in which we are working is a tomb that has more than three thousand years of antiquity, that up to now remains standing, deeming that it would be a huge coincidence that it collapsed exactly now on our heads, even if this happened to give satisfaction to Mr. del Palacio in his puerile idea of using a solvent and reputable media as it is the “Diario SIGLO XXI” to give way out to his 'tantrum' because his unacceptable pretensions, bordering on the coercion to obtain personal benefits that I cannot detail in writing, have not been materialized. 7º That it should be known that technicians of ample reliability, who guarantee the security in the development of the works inside of the tomb, are integrated in our team, and that all what it has to be done is planned as a result of the detailed studies carried out, which have been opportunely submitted to the Egyptian authorities in order to obtain the corresponding and mandatory work permits in said monument.

Yours faithfully,

Francisco J. Martín Valentín
DirectorVisir Amen-Hotep Huy Project (TA nº -28-)

Original article

La lenta agonía del proyecto amen-hotep huy en luxor
Two months ago I advised the Spanish Archaeological Mission "Amen Hotep Huy Vizier Project", which I was a member until last November 4, on the advisability of not undertaking the campaign this year. The main reason is the lack of budget, given that the ministry has directed with deep Angeles Gonzalez Sinde blunder, not considered appropriate to support work with public money that would put Spanish Egyptology between the dropouts of the world. The project did not because, this year with some government assistance and has barely started, in fits and starts, by well-meaning insistence obfuscation (obfuscation, but in the end) of its directors, Francisco Martin Valentin and Teresa Bedman.
In a rarefied socio-political climate so improperly called the "February Revolution", the excavation team joined their duties, hampered by administrative in mid-October. I had the opportunity to observe in situ the early development of this campaign, which will run until December 20, if there are no circumstances that interrupt, and I publicly confess my deep concern, especially now that I can as a former member freely give my opinion as they are not bound by any confidentiality.
I must say first that this lack of budget applies to the whole project, both labor itself (had to bounce a dozen of workers last week with a lot protests) and the security of the excavation: the tomb-temple, a hypostyle hall of almost 400 m 2, is in a state so precarious that the roof threatening to collapse, at least partially, throwing pieces that could easily injure or even crush those who are at that time indoors. The team, both technically and formed by local workers, spends many hours a day with the sword of Damocles over their heads, and rarely the metaphor is so well adjusted to reality. The directors, who, in my opinion, are so irresponsible as heroic have decided to go ahead against all odds, no helmets give or reinforced boots lead to digging into the grave or make efforts to consolidate hypogeum the flimsy structures. The reason is simply lack of funds, though no less reportable fact, given that what is being put at risk are lives, not ancient mummies. To address any possible accident, only has a kit with bandages, hydrogen peroxide and paracetamol. On the other hand, the chances of quickly evacuate an injured are minimal.
Both the Egyptian authorities and the Spanish (the latter at the consular or embassy level) are not sufficiently informed of these circumstances which pose a high risk. If something happens, God forbid, not only could be casualties, which would be more painful, but other archaeological concessions that Spain has in Egyptian soil would endanger its permanence, especially at a time when the Supreme Council of Antiquities Egypt has tightened the requirements for archaeological missions, especially following the dismissal of Hazi Hawass.
During the visit a Luxor few days ago Miguel Angel Oliver, director of Cuatro TV news, to make a report and interview many, including the head of the archaeological heritage, Mustafa Amin, and the director of the Temple of Luxor and Karnak, Ibrahim Soliman, there was no opportunity to explain the precarious state of the tomb, whose roof could collapse partially, to tell of how, at any time. A Oliver, stayed for three days in the Sycamore House itself, the seat of the Spanish mission, he hid this fact because we are specifically requested that we did not mention this. I now, as a former member of the Institute for the Study of Ancient Egypt and Amen-Hotep Project Huy, I release the "vow of silence" imposed by Professors Martin and Bedmar and expose human lives are endangered and the prestige and the credibility of our country in the world of Egyptian archeology. As a matter of personal ego, should never be assumed those risks and agencies should intervene speedily.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Flats in Luxor official home of the Theban Mapping Project under Kent Weeks

Flats in Luxor is delighted to announce that they are now the official Luxor home of the Theban Mapping Project, under director Kent Weeks. The new facility will comprise accommodation for the offices of TMP as well as a public reading library A long-held dream of Kent's has been to provide guides, tourists, students, foreigners and local Egyptians with a library where they can learn more about Egypt and Egyptology, Egypt's natural history and its modern people, read English and Arabic novels, and generally enjoy books. No such facility has existed in Luxor--until now. Flats in Luxor had the ideal flat that could be converted to perform this function, in the heart of the west bank.

Kent Weeks said ‘I often get Egyptians on my team who are keen to learn more and want books. This library will be my gift to them, opening the world of literature and knowledge.”

Jane Akshar said “We are privileged to be able to provide a home for this wonderful educational facility and to Theban Mapping Project. We look forward to a long and happy association.

Theban Mapping Project http://www.thebanmappingproject.com
Since its inception in 1978, the Theban Mapping Project (TMP, now based at the American University in Cairo) has been working to prepare a comprehensive archaeological database of Thebes. With its thousands of tombs and temples, Thebes is one of the world's most important archaeological zones. Sadly, however, it has not fared well over the years. Treasure-hunters and curio-seekers plundered it in the past; pollution, rising ground water, and mass-tourism threaten it in the present. Even early archaeologists destroyed valuable information in their search for museum-quality pieces.

Today, however, we realize that the monuments of Thebes are a finite resource. If we fail to protect and monitor them, they will vanish, and we and our descendants will all be the poorer. The TMP believes that the first and most essential step in preserving this heritage is a detailed map and database of every archaeological, geological, and ethnographic feature in Thebes. Only when these are available can sensible plans be made for tourism, conservation, and further study.

During the last decade, the TMP has concentrated on the Valley of the Kings. Modern surveying techniques were used to measure its tombs. From the data collected, the TMP has prepared 3-D computer models of the tombs. And of course, the TMP is continuing its excavation of KV 5. For the TMP staff, sharing their work with the interested public is just as important as what they do in the field. This has been done through a series of publications and this growing and award winning website.

Flats in Luxor http://www.flatsinluxor.co.uk
Established in 2003 by Jane Akshar and Mahmoud Jahlan, providing quality accommodation to independent travellers and long stay visitors to Luxor. Now with 2 swimming pools, a restaurant, 27 apartments and 5 villas, it has featured in Sunday Times, Boston Globe, Lonely Planet and A Place in the Sun.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Dig houses in Egypt: Stoppelaere House on Luxor's West bank

More updates on dig houses in Luxor, this is the one that is often mistaken for the Carter House as it is on the top of the hill and the Carter House in a grove at the bottom. Dig houses in Egypt: Stoppelaere House on Luxor's West bank: - Sent using Google Toolbar