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Mediterranean opens its arms widely to embrace its eternal bride
(Alexandria) as she moves gracefully, while its waves splash on her
All the world was a witness to this historical marriage contract about 2330 years ago. It was an illustrious wedding scented by history and concluded proudly under the auspices of Alexander the Great.
The beginning of the idea was on the road to the Mediterranean coast when an isthmus dividing the Mediterranean from Lake Mariot attracted Alexander. Alexander pondered deeply about this site with its strange advantages that were suitable for the foundation of a great modern city in compliance with its period.
Alexander's city was divided into five districts named after the first five letters of the Greek alphabet. From these districts, the Royal District occupied nearly one third of the whole area of the city and overlooked the Eastern Harbor. The Egyptians lived in the national district (Rhakotis) and the Jews lived in the 4th district known as the Delta, considered to have been the most important district in the ancient city. As for the main avenue - parallel to our present Nabi Daniel street - it was boarded from the north by the gate of the moon and from the south by the gate of the sun.
"The Pearl of the Mediterranean"
largest city in Egypt, Alexandria has an atmosphere that is more Mediterranean
than Middle Eastern; its ambiance and cultural heritage distance it from the
rest of the country although it is only 225 km. from Cairo.
Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 B.C., Alexandria became the capital of Greco-Roman Egypt; its status as a beacon of culture is symbolized by Pharos, the legendry lighthouse that was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The setting for the stormy relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony, Alexandria was also the center of learning in the ancient world. But ancient Alexandria declined, and when Napoleon landed he found a sparsely populated fishing village.
Since the 19th century Alexandria has played a new role, as a focus for Egypt's commercial and maritime expansion. This Alexandria has been immortalized by writers such as E.M. Forster and Cavafy. Generations of immigrants from Greece, Italy and the Levant settled here and made the city synonymous with commerce, cosmopolitanism and bohemian culture; Lawrence Durrell described it as " the capital city of Asiatic Europe, if such a thing could exist."
About the Area
"The Northern Coast" is the Egyptian North Western gate stretching 525 Km on the Mediterranean east to Sallum on the Libyan boarder.
This was a rain-dependent agricultural land in the Roman era. Having good faith in the prosperous future of this region, the government spares no effort to develop it. Many comprehensive planning studies have been conducted. Many luxurious tourist spots have been built. In 1978, the process was unleashed.
In spite of miles of white sand beaches and azure sea, Egypt's Med is still undeveloped and relatively unpopulated. There are fine beaches all along the coast from Alexandria to Mersa Matrouh, including the resort of Sidi Abdel Rahman, a secluded bay with clear waters and a selection of villas and hotels. At Mersa Matrouh itself, the natural bay and long white beach make for good sunbathing and swimming in calm transparent waters. Hired bicycles, carettas or open- sided tuf-tuf buses will take you to other good bathing spots nearby including the outstar beach at Al-Abyad and Ageebah cove, surrounded by beautiful scenery. As well as beaches there are other attractions in the Mersa Matrouh area: Cleopatra's Bath, a rock-hewn whirlpool bath off- shore which was supposedly used by Antony and Cleopatra, a ruined temple fort built by Ramses II, an early Coptic chapel and "Rommel's Hideout", a cave where the general planned his military campaigns and which has now been tumed into a military museum.
At Abu Qir, a small fishing town, you can sunbath, fish, swim and eat fresh seafood. To the west of the city try the resorts of Agami or Hannoville.
Attractive integrated tourist villages are there, including beaches, houses, public service units. Moreover, 121 private locations are under study, besides the three models executed by the Ministry of construction, i.e. "Marakia", "Marabella" and "Marina" resorts.
Due to its marble-like nature, "Marakia" was originally known as "Marmarina" in the old times. The name is extracted from the Arabic word "marmar" which means marble. Clear sea and pure sand are its two main characteristics. It is 240 feddans & consists of three main parts; namely, beach, housing units and public service units. The beach is 1500 meters long; its downstream surface is 100 meters.
A pedestrain road separates it from the housing units. This stretches 400 meters, and consists of five-region on -shore 1945 units; 1267 cabins, 72 villas and 31 houses. The public service units are in both the middle of the village and at its main entrance, including administrative, emergency, communication, commercial, and entertainment services. Restaurants, cinema and an open theater. At the village entrance, a 800-person capacity mosque has been built. Large surfaces were devoted for sportive courtyards and public gardens. That is not all, there are further expansions.
One may imagine "Marina" by the meaning of its name: the beautiful sea. It is 15 Km from "Marakia", 750 meters long on the beach and its downstream surface is 800 meters. Its total surface is about 143 feddans. Many service units are constructed on the beach. The housing unit consists of 34 villas, 264 flats and 672 cabins. A center for administrative, commercial, medical, religious and entertainment services is found in the middle of the village.
Nearby, "Marina- Alameen" lies on the beach, about 100 Km from Alexandria. Its
surface is nearly 5000 feddans. Apart from the beach, it consists of housing and public service
units. Golf, horseriding and other sport facilities and courtyards are also there. In fact, "Marina-Alameen" is exceptional in both natural and historical respects. It is endowed
with natural deep lakes, as well as large forests. Moreover, it is rich in both Greek and
Roman monuments. Being the World War II stage, an allied soldiers cemetery is found
there. On the other hand, sea-linked lakes are designed for water renewal, shipping and
And then there is Alexandria (Alex) itself. Pick any given holiday and try to find someone you need to see in Cairo. They will be in Alex, which is not only a playground for people around the world, but of the Egyptians themselves.
The Revival of the Ancient Library of Alexandria
that charming city, presents to every visitor the fragrance of the p ast rich in
history, civilization and culture. It is the city that has attracted the
greatest men of letters in the world. The revival of the Alexandria Library is a
huge international project which costs millions of dollars. The library shall
contain more than 8 million books and a reading area with two thousand seats.
This library when it is inaugurated will possess about 400000 volumes in hard and electronic copies. It is designed to hold 4 million volumes. In the future its capacity will reach 8 million using the compressed storage system.
A museum will be attached to the library to house the antiquities discovered at the site in 1993-1994 during the excavation work done under the supervision of the of the Egyptian Antiquities Department. The antiquities discovered belong to Pharaonic, Greek and Roman periods. Two statues will be positioned in the museum; one of them will be of the goddess Isis currently at the Marine Museum, and the second one is the statue of King Ptolemy 2 both are made of granite.
Within the framework of the cooperation and support of UNESCO and Italy, the Alexandria Library has just received the most modern Photocopy Lab, and will later be provided with a microfilm lab.
The Egyptian government together with the UNESCO showed lots of enthusiasm toward the project of reviving the Alexandrine Library, which once played a great role in the development of knowledge, science and culture not only in Egypt but in all the Mediterranean cost too.
the Alexandrine Library to create a public library helping scientific
2- The library should supply both Egyptian and Foreign students with precious references concerning the civilizations of Alexandria, Egypt, Middle Ages and every modern domain. The Library will contain rare scientific and technological works in order to help developing socio-economical and cultural studies.
3- The Library should also supply essential services to contemporary history and cultural inheritance studies.
THE GENERAL ORGANISATION OF ALEXANDRIAN LIBRARY (GOAL)
The ministerial decree no. 253 ordered the foundation of The General Organization of Alexandrine Library, which assumes the responsibility of executing the project. The Library enjoys independent legal status, having the Minister of Education as its general manager.
The new Alexandrine Library is situated in front of the compound of social and human science faculties in Shatby. A major part of its fascade overlooks the sea. The sight has been chosen in Silsila as it was-most probably -the same sight for the Ancient Museum and Library of Alexandria. These were located in the Royal Quarter (Bruchium), as some vestiges of the Greaco-Roman civilization, discovered there recently, show. Those vestiges will be exposed in the museum of the new library. Looking towards the horizon, we can find the glorious Qait Bay fort built up in 1480 at the place of the famous Pharos.
THE NEW LIBRARY PLAN:
The library plan consists of an inclining cylinder with its edge sloping towards the Mediterranean. Ancient Egyptians used to consider this shape as a symbol of the sun, which illuminates the human civilization of the whole world.
The sloping roof permits direct sunlight and a clear view of the sea. There is also an arched bridge, which will tie the University of Alexandria to the coastway. The outturn walls of the library will be covered with granite engraved with inscriptions showing different world civilizations. This library plan represents the system with which it functions. This system symbolizes the relation between the cultural inheritance of the area and the new intellectual trends spread by the library to the whole world.
The emblem is composed of three elements: the incomplete solar disk, the sea and the phare. The sun represents the continuity of life by the everyday sunrise offering life and spreading the light of culture not only to Egypt but to the whole world. The sea symbolizes the location of Alexandria, the pearl of the Mediterranean and the native place of the old library. And finally, the phare, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, represents the Greaco-Roman aspect of the city.
Cost of the Project:
Estimated cost of that great international project adds up to 172 million US$. The Egyptian government will contribute with 182 million US$ which is the cost of the Organization budget as well as the land including the conference center. The estimated cost of the constructions adds up to 121 million US$, while book collections cost, according to expectation, reaches 31 million US$. Equipment will cost about 20 million US$.
FACTS & NUMBERS:
1 - Total
sight surface: 45.000 m²
2 - Total library floors surface: 69.000 m²
3 - No. of floors : 13
4 - No. of seats: 3500
5 - Volumes: 4-8 million volumes
6 - Cards: 50.000
7 - Handscriptions: 100.000
8 - Electronic applications: 130 giving bases
9 - Rare books: 10.000
10-Electronic material: 1000 headings registered on computer diskette
11-Musical instruments: 200.000 audio tapes
12-Audio-Visual instruments: 50.000 video tapes
13-Staff: 578 persons
The complex will contain also, the conference center (3200 seats), the museum of science, inscriptions institution and a museum.
Egypt first knew higher education in the 19th century after the shock it received following the French Military Campaign. It happened to pass that Mohammed Ali -who was the Ottoman ruler of Egypt at that time - was so impressed by the Western Civilization and the French trials at reformation, so he decided to copy from the west to raise Egypt above the stillness and retardation of the east to the vitality and progress of the west.
Time of the British Colonization (1882-1922), higher education was restricted to
the rich.However, the national movement opposing the colonization found its
chance to stop that cultural trend and asked for education in Arabic and
foundation of an Egyptian university. In 1908, the lectures actually began in
the Egyptian university in four branches only: the history of Ancient Eastern
Civilization, the history of Islamic Civilization, the history of French Literature and the history of English Literature. It was first located in “Nestor Palace” in Gianaclis then, in 1915; it was translocated to the palace of Mohammed Sedki Pasha in Falaki Street. It was transformed into a governmental university in 1925.
Due to these changes, the Ministry of Education decided to establish a university, which includes high schools. A decree-law, which went into effect in the eleventh of March 1925, ordered the foundation of the Egyptian University. It was named “The University of Fouad the First” and consisted of the faculties of Arts, Science, Medicine and Law. While the number of students was increasing in the lecture halls in Cairo University, the students of Alexandria were asking for their share in higher education without having to travel.
decree- given by the council of the University of Fouad the First- ordered the
establishment of two branches of the faculties of Arts and Law in Alexandria. In
1942, a Royal decree was given ordering the establishment of “The University of
Farouk the First” in Alexandria. It was decided to use the Abbasseya secondary
school in Moharem bey as a seat for the faculties of Arts, Law,Commerce and
Science, while the faculty of Engineering remained in Mohammed Ali industrial
school in Shatby, the faculty of Medicine in the Amiri Hospital in Ramleh
Station and the faculty of
Agriculture in Damanhour outside Alexandria. This university carried the name of “The University of Farouk the First” until 1952 when it was named “The University of Alexandria”.
Now, the university includes the following faculties: Arts, Law, Science, Engineering, Agriculture,Commerce, Pharmacy, Education, High Institution of Public Health, Dentistry, Institution of Medical Research, Institution of Higher Studies and Research, Veterinary Medicine, Hotel and Tourism,Agriculture (in Saba Pasha), Physical Education for boys, Physical Education for girls, Fine Arts
The Alexandria Cultural Center, in AlSilselah, over an area of 42,000 sq. meters, comprises a conference center, the Alexandria Library, an open courtyard and a garage.
The conference center, on an area of 5000 sq. meters, has an overall seating capacity of 2672. There is a large cafeteria to serve the main auditorium overlooking the sea. A smaller cafeteria caters to the other smaller halls.
The Conference center comprises:
1.The main Auditorium, 1700 seats, is a larger hall without any pillars to obstruct the view. It is a multipurpose facility with a fully equipped stage that allows for holding international and national scientific conferences, and for staging plays, concerts, ballets, and operas. There are six separate booths equipped for simultaneous interpretation in six languages.
2.Three smaller halls: the first 400 seats, and the second and third 286 each. Five separate booths for simultaneous interpretation are attached to each hall.
halls are equipped with audio-visual aids, closed circuit TV, air-conditioning,
and direct-dial telephone services.
Other facilities concern information, security and parking areas.
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