The Red Sea Newsletter Issue 21
16th June 2003

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Features & Articles

The Monastery of St. Paul
by Kareena Spratt

The Monastery of St. Paul dates to the fifth century and was founded in memory of one of Egypt's greatest saints and anchorites. St. Paul was born to rich parents in Alexandria in 228, however, by the age of sixteen, he

had lost his parents. After the death of his parents, Paul renounced his inheritance and consecrated his life to God, eventually seeking refuge in the wilderness of Egypt's Eastern Desert, where he is said to have lived until the age of one hundred and thirteen. Living in his cave and clothed in a tunic made of plaited palm leaves, tradition holds that a raven brought a half of a loaf of bread each day for him to eat.

Our trip to St. Paul’s started by packing a picnic lunch, then hopping in the car for the 2 and half hour drive to the monastery. When we arrived we were warmly welcomed and invited into the reception area where we were served tea while we awaited the arrival of the monk who would show us around the grounds. Our monk was dressed in black from head to toe with the exception of his bright blue flip-flops. He had been with the monastery for 18 years and spoke Arabic, Coptic, and English. He was very serene and soft spoken as he guided us past the ancient hoist used to haul food, goods and even visitors up the wall and into the monastery. The rope hoist was no longer in use and we walked through an opening in the ancient walls. We were then guided up an arched passageway to the refectory where we saw all sorts of old pottery, utensils and a coffee grinder.
Next, we had to duck our heads under an ancient doorway to enter the two rooms that were once used as mills. Within each room were big millstones which were operated by huge wooden gears turned by animals. These too are no longer in use and the flour is now bought from the local village. We stepped back into the sun and walked past a garden full of olive trees to the ancient spring named for St. Paul which resides in the north wing of the complex. The spring continues to supply water at the rate of four cubic meters per day. The water comes from a mountain crevice and flows into a cemented reservoir tank and is used for drinking and cooking. A small drain allows the surplus water to drain into a second reservoir, which is used by the monks for washing, and a final drain carries off the remaining water into a large basin where it is distributed for irrigation. Our tour ended back in the reception area where we were again shown the hospitality the monks of St. Paul’s are famous for - ice cold 7-Ups!

Local News

'The Matrix Reloaded' Is Banned in Egypt

Officials in Egypt have banned the box office hit "The Matrix Reloaded." The ban is done on religious grounds because the film is too violent. The head of the Egyptian censorship body says the country's highest committee decided not to let the movie be shown. An official with the censorship body says there is no one scene the panel had problems with; it was the movie as a whole. But in a statement the committee said it did like the high-tech effects, which they describe as "fabulous." The "Matrix" sequel, starring Keanu Reeves, is still among the top five movies in the United States and has taken in more than $200 million in four weeks.

Egypt Dismisses Briton's Nefertiti Mummy Claim

Further to last week's issue, it has been reported that Egypt's antiquities chief has dismissed a British Egyptologist's claim she may have found the mummy of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, the stepmother of legendary boy King Tutankhamen. Nefertiti, the wife and co-ruler with pharaoh Akhenaten, has long been considered one of the most powerful women of ancient Egypt. Her husband ruled from 1379 to 1362 BC.

Joanne Fletcher, a mummification specialist from England's University of York, announced Monday she thought one of three mummies found in a tomb in Luxor's Valley of the Kings may have been that of Nefertiti. Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt's Supreme Council for Antiquities, dismissed the idea. "This mistake and these statements are not based on sure facts or evidence".

Fletcher based her theory partly on the similarity between the swan-like neck of one of the mummies and that of Nefertiti, whose likeness was sculpted in a limestone bust now in the Egyptian Museum in Berlin. Hawass said the theory could not be based on a resemblance between the mummy and artistic representations of the Amarna period in which Nefertiti lived. "Art in the Amarna era was based on beautifying the King or Queen and not on reality or actual features," he said.

Fletcher found other physical links, including the impression of a tight-fitting browband Nefertiti once wore, a double-pierced ear lobe and shaved head. Nefertiti was one of only two of Egypt's royal women believed to have worn two earrings in each ear.

The tomb of Tutankhamen, a boy king who ruled Egypt in the 14th century BC, was discovered in 1922 in one of Egyptology's most famous finds. It was packed with artifacts that took almost 10 years to remove from the site.

Useful Web Site of the Week

Provides online dictionaries in 150 different languages, grammar for 70 languages, and pages of linguistic fun.

What's On

Wednesday 18th June - 7pm

The Musical

performed by El Gouna International School
Project Officers
Chris Theodore Stayte
Ghada Essam Nagib

free of charge

Bordiehn´s Restaurant / Villa Kunterbunt
The Restaurant with Egyptian Background and German Management
Hurghada Red-Sea Egypt
012 31 52599 or 010 545 9991

Find out more at :

Job Title: Personnel Assistant
Languages: German & English
Location: Hurghada
>>Apply for this Job online<<

Job Title: Secretary
Location: El Gouna
Starting from: 24 March 2003
>>Apply for this Job online<<

Job Title: Sales Person
Qualities: Real Estate Sales -
experience and languages
Location: El Gouna
>>Apply for this Job online<<

Job Title: Factory Machinist
Location: Hurghada

Egyptian, Male/Female
Contact: Remo 012 326 0893
>>Apply for this Job online<<

Job Title: Administration Assistant
Location: Hurghada
Languages: English. German and/or Dutch
Skills: Good computer skills
Contact: Essam 012 316 3245
>>Apply for this Job online<<

Job Title: Secretary
Languages: Good English essential

Contact: Ahmed Kamel 010 120 0342
>>Apply for this Job online<<

Looking for a good company to manage and operate windsurfing school in Lotus Bay, Safaga. Please contact: Mahmoud 012 224 2527 or email [email protected]
Job as Personal Assistant/Secretary/Office Manager, etc. wanted - in Hurghada - to start immediately. Speak Norwegian & English fluently, and Spanish & German. Computer literate. Please contact: Camilla 012 426 4014 or email [email protected]
Job as Guest Relation/Reception/Office/Secretary in Sharm el Sheikh from September 2003. 25 years old, Swiss nationality and speak German, English, French, Italian and Arabic. Please contact : Susanne Geissler [email protected]

Seeking Summer Job!!! I am a 24 year old female seeking a job in Sinai, preferably Sharm el Sheikh, but open to any other place, for the month of August only. I speak both English and Arabic, am a Rescue Diver, have worked for two years with children in British International schools in Cairo, and love to sing! I am willing to try anything new! Contact me on 012 2149983 or [email protected]

New or second hand (good condition) children's toys suitable for children aged 18 months plus. Please call 012 718 6276. Hurghada. Wanted - English reading books, anything considered, will pay and Learn German books in English. Call Lisa or Paul on 012 718 1297. Hurghada.
For Sale
Aladin Pro Nitrox Computer with instruction book (English) and face guard, good condition - 1100 LE o.n.o. Oceanic Versa Pro Nitrox Computer with instruction book, only made 10 dive, unwanted present - 1800 LE o.n.o. (was 2600 LE new). Brand new Oceanic Console with hp hose, depth gauge, air gauge and compass - 700 LE o.n.o. Tiguullio mask with side windows, brand new - 180 LE o.n.o. Sherwood split fins as new, size medium/small - 400 LE o.n.o. Call Lisa or Paul on 012 718 1297. Hurghada.
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