Egypt Independent: News-Main news en Papyrus paper: A craft on the verge of collapse <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div><span style="font-size: 14px;">Mohamed Saeed, a 23-year old man, complained to <em>Al-Masry Al-Youm</em> about the decline of the papyrus craft in Qaramous village, Sharqiya, which has left him unemployed among millions of other youth in Egypt.&nbsp;</span></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Saeed, a resident of Qaramous, told <em>Al-Masry Al-Youm</em> that he used to earn LE2,000 per month when he was under 10 years old from making papyrus paper.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Despite being a small village, Qaramous was one of the centers of papyrus production that formed a link between a great civilization dating back thousands of years ago and a present that derives its life and future from heritage.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/276627_0.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 402px;" /></div><div style="margin-left: 120px;">Two children play near the papyrus plants.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Saeed graduated from the Faculty of Mass Communication, Al-Azhar University, but has not worked in the field of media because he loved and excelled at papyrus making since he was a child.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;How can I leave a craft I lived on and mastered over 11 years ago to work in media which I studied only for four years?&quot; Saeed said.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;After the 25 January revolution, the conditions of the country deteriorated and tourism collapsed, causing the our demand to shrink and filling Qaramous with thousands of unemployed people,&quot; said Saeed.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/276630_0.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 402px;" /></div><div style="margin-left: 80px;">Two women peel and prepare the papyrus plants for pressing.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;I and other young people have been waiting for conditions to improve. When I and dozens of young people lost hope, we decided to work in a factory at the 10th of Ramadan City,&quot; said Saeed.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Saeed left his job at the factory after six months because the effort he exerted was not worth his monthly salary of LE1,000.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;I preferred to be unemployed until the situation improves and we get back to the cultivation and manufacture of papyrus again,&quot; he said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In 2010, Egypt received more than 14.7 million tourists, but then the number dropped to 9.8 million tourists after the 25 January revolution. The situation relatively improved in 2012 as the country received 11.5 million tourists, before it declined in 2013 to 9.5 million tourists, according to official data.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/276633_0.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 402px;" /></div><div style="margin-left: 120px;">A worker soaks the papyrus plants in water.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div><div>Saeed explained the crisis experienced by the residents of the village, as papyrus manufacturing is a tourist commodity affected by tourism rates.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The skyrocketing of the prices of materials and chemicals used in the industry also caused the recession, he added.</div></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;After being the first village to crash into unemployment in Egypt, we now have no source of income,&quot; said Saeed. &quot;Only 15 acres out of 500 acres used in the cultivation of papyrus are left.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/276634_0.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 402px;" /></div><div style="margin-left: 80px;">Women arrange papyrus strips before pressing and drying.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;The papyrus paper craft had a spiritual father who is Dr. Anas Mostafa. He was one of the villagers who brought papyrus during a trip to Aswan in 1976 to the village. He then decided to cultivate papyrus on a small piece of land at his home, before the plant spread throughout the village,&quot; according to Saeed.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Men were responsible for the whole process at the beginning before women became involved as well, Saeed pointed out. &quot;We used to employ people from other villages due to demand on the papyrus paper,&quot; he said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The situation in the village has completely changed, as tourism revenues have now fallen by 24.7 percent in the first half of 2014, according to the Tourism Ministry. &quot;In the 1980s, each gallery earned up to LE100,000,&quot; said Saeed.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/276635_0.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 402px;" /></div><div style="margin-left: 120px;">A worker presses the papyrus strips.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Saeed suggested that the Ministry of Tourism, in coordination with relevant ministries, should allow tourist groups to visit the village and witness the manufacture of papyrus paper as means of promoting tourism.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Mohamed, a 40-year-old resident, called on the government to establish international tourist exhibitions for the papyrus under the supervision of the TMinistry of Tourism.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Mohamed also called for providing the chemicals and other equipment needed for papyrus cultivation as he says the government is currently neglecting the craft and does not list the papyrus among other strategic crops.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 15:00:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2440353 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/11/23/484151/276629_0.jpg Enrico Macias to hold live concert in Cairo to promote tourism <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>French singer Enrico Macias plans to hold a live concert in Cairo on 26 November to promote tourism in Egypt, coinciding with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi&#39;s visit to Paris next week.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Macias was invited to hold his concert in Egypt by a number of NGOs.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou, who met with Macias in France recently during a visit to promote tourism, will attend the concert. Macias had called on Zaazou to be Egypt&#39;s tourism ambassador to the world and the minister welcomed his offer.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Around 2,000 people will attend the concert including former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghaly, deputy head of Alexandria Library Ali Maher and the French ambassador to Egypt.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Macias will sing a piece he wrote and composed for late President Anwar al-Sadat dubbed &quot;Un berger vient de tomber sous les armes&quot; (A shepherd who has just fallen under arms). He also plans to sing for Farid al-Atrash, sources told <em>Al-Masry Al-Youm</em>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The concert aims to stimulate tourism in Egypt, and strengthen Egyptian-French relations especially that the event coincides with Sisi&#39;s visit to France.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Journalist Ahmed Youssef, who is based in France, denied what has been circulated about Macias&#39;s support to Israel.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Macias&#39;s Jewish religion does not deny his love for Egypt and Egyptians, Youssef said.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Macias called on the Egyptian minister of tourism, during his visit to Paris, to be a tourism ambassador to Egypt, he added.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 14:02:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2440351 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/11/23/16030/2012-enrico_macias_637x0_1_186035214.jpg Doctor: Two Hep C virus patients recover after taking Sovaldi <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Magdy Gabr, head of the liver viruses unit at Mansoura Public Hospital, has revealed recovery of two patients after undergoing a four-month treatment of Sovaldi and Ribavirin, which cures the hepatitis C virus.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The tests results for the two patients came back negative after taking one capsule of Sovaldi and six capsules of Ribavirin daily for four weeks, he said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Gabr added that one of the patients, Ali Fawzy Abdel Ghaffar, 45, registered himself on the website of the Egyptian National Committee on Viral Hepatitis. He started the medicine on 16 October. Hepatic function and his general condition were improved. His PCR test came negative.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Abdel Ghaffar said he will undergo another test after 12 weeks, another after 36 weeks and third one after 72 weeks. If all results were negative, he will be declared recovered.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;I lost hope to recover after getting infected. I became desperate. I was not able to work enough to afford by house and treatment. After the new treatment was announced, I was skeptic about seriousness of Health Ministry if it will provide the patients with it. However, I registered myself on the website. I was selected for treatment. I had hope that I could become a normal person. The doctors encouraged me and said if I was regular on the treatment, there would be big chance that I recover,&rdquo; he said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Abdel Ghaffar expressed hope that government will provide all the hep C virus patients with that cure.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The committee started in October distributing the US-produced medicine Sovaldi among patients, after selecting those of the worst conditions who suffer liver fibrosis.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Egypt received 50,000 out of a total of 225,000 doses, expected to be delivered by end of the year.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 12:29:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2440337 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/09/24/481046/sofosbuvir_bottle_with_pill_on_gray-1940x1566.jpg 10 extremists killed, other 18 arrested in North Sinai <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>The Egyptian Armed Forces killed 10 alleged extremists and arrested 18 others were arrested&nbsp;in raids conducted in the cities of Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid, North Sinai.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Official sources also report the army destroyed 11 motorbikes and 15 shelters being used to harbor extremists, and seized three vehicles and several army uniforms.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The military also discovered seven bombs and a field hospital allegedly used to treat injured militants, which were destroyed.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The troops did not suffer loses in the raids and are expected to resume until the whole area is combed.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Medical sources disclosed on Saturday injury of a four-year old child in al-Moqataa village, south of Sheikh Zuwaid, after being shot in the foot. Direction of the bullet was not identified. The child was transferred to Arish hospital for treatment.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Police arrested four Muslim Brotherhood elements over allegedly inciting marches and violence against police and armed forces establishments.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 10:38:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2440334 at sites/default/files/photo/2013/05/23/115366/_trk0132.jpg