Thursday, 31 October 2013

Chicago House letters and publications

Courtesy of EEF.

The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago announces the online publication and distribution of its Archeological Newsletters: From the 1950s to early 1973 (Oct 15, 1950-Mar 11, 1973) the Oriental Institute issued these archaeological newsletters to members and friends. The newsletters were written mostly by Oriental Institute faculty and researchers about their travels and work at more than thirty sites in the Middle East (Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Egypt, India, and more). The newsletters were infrequently, then in 1973 Director John A. Brinkman initiated an expanded newsletter, News & Notes, that continued the field reports and included other news from the Institute.

The upload and distribution of these newsletters, more than 220 in number and more than 650 pages, completes the distribution of the older titles published by the Oriental Institute, At present every title since the Institute inception -- more than 450 -- is available for complimentary download.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

More on insurance - a cheaper alternative.if you are coming to Luxor

When I met the tourists at AWOL yesterday they gave me a good update on the insurance situation. Apparently the companies I had suggested before do offer cover but it is very expensive. These companies also cover people going to war zones so that makes sense.

However one of the people I spoke to said:

With regards to my insurance I have an annual policy with my bank First Direct but its arranged through Aviva and I have checked with Aviva on several occasions and I am definitely covered on the current FCO advice as long as I also follow the said advice.
He told me that he had got written confirmation that his holiday in Egypt was covered. If you have annual insurance it might be worth checking your company.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

A visit to AWOL - the WEST bank animal charity

Angela Robinson the trustee of AWOL invited me to visit the centre today. I have a big soft spot for west bank charities as I live on the west bank and they do not get the publicity and funding that the east bank ones do so I was delighted to accept.
 First of all location, actually having a clinic is a new thing for AWOL as most of their work is out in the villages. The clinic is located on the main/only road from the Luxor bridge to the west bank. You cross the bridge and carry on until you get to a T junction. Just before this you see the clinic. The website is

Here is a before and after picture, this donkey was given a new harness. You can see the old harness is very thin and as a consequence cuts into the legs of the donkey. By giving the owner a new harness, custom made to fit the donkey it is less likely to be cut by the thin harness.
This dog was being injected for ticks, mites and fleas. It was also given a proper collar.

The room where the harnesses are made and another room where medicines are stored.
Some tourists brought gifts from businesses in the UK. The Saddlery Shop Bomerangs and Collarways How nice of them to make these donations.

The team Dr Mohammed the vet, Ahmed, Angela, Nassar the centre manager and Mocklaf who made the harnesses.
Cindy one of the local ex-pats who volunteers at the centre, Dr Mohammed, myself, Angela and two of the visiting tourists who brought goodies to the centre.
Angela with one of the youngest animals at AWOL, this lucky puppy was adopted just after I left and will have a new home at Karnak. The family he is going to has 2 little girls who wanted a dog and Angela is going to make sure they are educated in the correct treatment of animals.

Please remember that all Luxor charities are really suffering at the moment because the tourists that would visit and donate are not here. You can donate to this very worthwhile organisation via their website

13 countries now eased travel bans to Egypt: minister | Egypt Independent

13 countries now eased travel bans to Egypt: minister | Egypt Independent

US investigates National Geographic over ‘corrupt payments’ to Egypt's keeper of antiquities - Americas - World - The Independent

US investigates National Geographic over ‘corrupt payments’ to Egypt's keeper of antiquities - Americas - World - The Independent

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Egypt's military contributes to high-speed rail funding: Minister - Economy - Business - Ahram Online

What fantastic news 
Egypt's military contributes to high-speed rail funding: Minister - Economy - Business - Ahram Online

Luxor Committee | Helping Luxor and the people that live there

The Luxor Governor General Tarek Saadeldin recently held a meeting asking for foreigners to help him. He wanted to :-
  1. to promote tourism in Egypt and Luxor and improve the image in the outside world
  2. to make the life of foreign Luxor residents and visitors more comfortable, especially those that,
    1. invest here
    2. work here
    3. visit here
  3. to encourage charity works
    1. give them support
    2.  publishing their activities

I am helping out with IT and Social Media, for some reason they thought I was rather good at that :) Now thanks to Mohammed Fathy El Kady, the wonderful team at TeData and Luxor Digital Bridges and volunteers on the committee the draft website is now online. This is very much at beta level, lots more to come but it is a great start. Committee members are now working on translating pages into French, German etc

Luxor Committee | Helping Luxor and the people that live there

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Digital Bridges in Luxor

I got taken round the facility of the NGO Digital Bridges in Luxor yesterday. Mr Mahmoud Fathy el Kady the the Chairman of the Board of Trustees took me round.You can find their website at and I used Google to translate the website which made for pretty impressive reading. There are two Facebook pages  but this is the main one

This is quote from a sister organisation


Empower Milledgeville/Baldwin County to utilize technology as a means of developing innovative leadership models and a sound local economy for the 21st


Digital Bridges seeks to empower Milledgeville/Baldwin County citizens by providing resources necessary to increase digital literacy and promote innovative uses of technology to solve problems in the information age. We provide trainings, seminars and one-on-one consultations in an effort to address the “Digital Divide” in Milledgeville/Baldwin County. The level of technology integration needed to remain competitive in tomorrow’s market is increasing exponentially, and Digital Bridges strives to provide the resources and knowledge base necessary for businesses and individuals alike to keep themselves abreast of the latest innovations and best practices in a technology driven economy.

So replace Milledgeville/Baldwin County with Luxor and that is what they are doing. They are also working with The British Council whose remit is "to build mutually beneficial cultural and educational relationships between the United Kingdom and other countries, and increase appreciation of the United Kingdom’s creative ideas and achievements."

When I went round there were well equipped computer labs, a lecture hall, meeting rooms and lots and lots of young professional people, both male and female, working there. In fact I met Salah Elmasekh, who readers of this blog will know well. He is the archaeologist responsible for the excavations in front of Karnak temple and took me round the Roman baths. It was so encouraging to see this facility in Luxor and to see it being so well used.

Monday, 21 October 2013

First women’s cooperatives changing lives and lands in Upper Egypt | UN Women - Headquarters

First women’s cooperatives changing lives and lands in Upper Egypt | UN Women - Headquarters: First women’s cooperatives changing lives and lands in Upper Egypt

A cattle-raising cooperative in Luxor has secured decent jobs and working conditions where 26 women earn an income and are the primary decision-makers on land and the division of labour.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Update from the Luxor Committee

Great meeting tonight, loads of agenda items, hope to shortly publish the minutes, once written, through the new website (if everything comes together, fingers crossed.)

News from Mansour Boraik

I got a phone call from Mansour with his news 1) passing on details of his new appointment, he is in charge the area from Giza to Sohag including the Western Desert and 2) he presented a paper in the Archaeological Research in the Valley of Kings and Ancient Thebes from Arizona Uni. It was great to get an update from my favourite Egyptian Egyptologist and I wish the best in his new post. The paper is very interesting, about his excavatons at Karnak. Here is a taster

Friday, 18 October 2013

My daughter Amira in Damascus

I have been told off for not sharing the startling news of my daughter's marriage and move to Damascus, Syria. Early readers of this blog will remember we both used to write a blog, mine was Luxor News and hers was about life in Egypt for her. She lived in Egypt aged 11-16 and then back in the UK 16-22 and now she has moved to Syria and got married to her cousin. Isn't she beautiful.
My daughter Amira in Damascus | Jane Akshar

Monday, 14 October 2013

Luxor Sports Event

The sports event was held in partnership with the German University of Cairo and there was a football match between the team from the university and the Luxor Football team.
There were also displays from young members of the Luxor Karate Club, the boys' football team, who gave a display of their training and gymnastic techniques and the girls' football team who performed dance and gymnastic training exercises. During the half-time period of the football match we were entertained by the Luxor Stick Dancing Troupe and some young Dervish Dancers. 

There are a lot of photos on Facebook but I like this one best!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

UPDATE: Egypt military plane crashes near Luxor killing one - Egypt - Ahram Online

UPDATE: Egypt military plane crashes near Luxor killing one - Egypt - Ahram Online: One dead, 3 injured including pilot, as jet fighter came down in Madamoud village near Luxor in southern Egypt; Army spokesperson says accident due to 'sudden malfunction'

Luxor Committee

The Governor has decided to set up a new initiative in Luxor harnessing the skills and experience of local Egyptians and ex-pats. There was a big meeting at the Sofitel last week and last night the committee had their first meeting.
The members were chosen by Mr Ahmed Nouby
The purpose is 1) promoting tourism 2) helping ex-pats and all residents of Luxor 3) supporting charities.

Ex-pat members are representatives between the community and the governor plus two extras who have special skills.
First email from the committee
Good morning !
On the behalf of the LUXOR COMMITTEE, I am informing you about the meeting 12.10 2013.
Official name is now Luxor Committee, and we are getting a web page for it as soon as possible. There are lots of other things coming so please be patient with us.
Official email for the committee is , please contact to that one in the future.
In the committee for the next year are
Mr Ahmed Nouby
General Hazef
Mrs Nagwa
Linda De Wolf                         Belgium
Sara Villermet                         France
Katrin Aleff /Volkher Kirchhoff    Germany (they will share the job)
Theresa Clarke                                  UK
Kirsi Voutilainen                               Finland
Amira Gilani                                      Legal will be working with General Hafaz
Jane Akshar                                        IT & Social Media will be working with Mr Ahmed
More details will be in the coming web site.

The committee is very happy from all the emails and answers you have sent. There will be in the near future many other possibilities to attend different meetings and give you help for the Luxor. All your help is more than welcome, and we will inform you about these possibilities as soon as possible.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Learn Arabic in Luxor

Do you want to learn Arabic in Luxor. Just had a guest who did some Arabic classes during her stay and reports VERY highly of this school and her teacher Affaf.


AHLAN-EGYPT is a non-profit association operating in the developing countries. It is creating innovative types of courses which help to understand other customs and cultures through a new concept of tourism. The concept is that of visiting a country with one's eyes wide open, of learning the reality through seminars and of being close to the real life of the country. The students won't find everything spic and span, the ways of the country and the idea of time are different and must be respected.

All services and accommodation chosen are pure Egyptian and this injects real money into Egypt (when you travel with the big tour operators often the money goes back to the rich countries as the accommodation is within the structures whose capital is European)

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Is Nefertiti KV35 YL

Osirisnet reports on  Marc Gabolde, « L’ADN de la famille royale amarnienne et les sources √©gyptiennes », ENiM 6, 2013, p. 177-203. which postulates some identifications from the DNA studies. Were Tiye and Amenhotep III cousins  and Mutemwiya is no other than the mummy KV21A. With a new family tree, full report in English and French

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Tutankhamun's replica tomb to be re-erected in Luxor - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online

Tutankhamun's replica tomb to be re-erected in Luxor - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online

A committee administering Egypt's antiquities decided Tuesday to re-erect a dismantled replica tomb of King Tutankhamun, placing it beside the former residence of discoverer Howard Carter on Luxor's west bank.............