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Wednesday, 26 September 2018

New archaeological discovery tops coverage of Egypt in int’l headlines

Discovery of “massive” ancient building tops headlines on Egypt: Leading coverage of Egypt in the foreign press this morning is an AP report about the discovery of a “massive” ancient building just 20 km outside of Cairo in what was once Ancient Memphis. Supreme Antiquities Council boss Mostafa Waziri said that “the building likely a part of the residential block in the area.” ABC News, the New York Times and Washington Post all picked up the wire report. The Independent also covered the story.

This comes as we hear that the Aswan Dam is apparently behind rising groundwater levels that are threatening to erode the temple of Kom Ombo in Upper Egypt and other sites along the banks of the Nile, Declan Walsh writes for the New York Times. The construction of the High Dam in 1971 allowed Egyptians to expand their cultivable land out to the desert landscape where many ancient temples had been built and preserved over the years. “Today the temples are hemmed in by lush fields, farmhouses and a country of nearly 100 mn people.” Climate change and untreated sewage from informal housing have also exacerbated the problem. “Water has penetrated the sandstone foundations, combining with salt and heat to scrub some hieroglyphs from the temple walls.”

Other headlines worth noting in brief:

  • Egypt’s exports of Arabian horses are starting to recover after a slump caused by a series of bans over disease-related concerns, Al Monitor says.
  • Security forces raided Al-Mesryoon newspaper’s headquarters yesterday, arresting staff members and confiscating office files and equipment, RT Arabic reported. Press freedom advocacy group Reporters Without Borders called the incident the “latest government step to eliminate all criticism in the media.”
  • Egypt banned Salafist sheikh Mohamed Raslan from giving sermons after remarks that went off the reservation at Friday prayers, reports Middle East Eye.

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