The Red Sea Newsletter Issue 50
5th January 2004

Packed full of information, articles, advertisements,
jobs and hints & tips for easy living in The Red Sea!

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Our sympathy goes out to all the family and friends of the
passengers and crew of Flash Airlines Flight 604

Earth and moon turning round a huge flowering shrub sprouting from the earth
10x4m drawing in the desert by Bedouins

Features & Articles

The Islamic Calendar
Taken from Calendars Through the Ages

The Islamic calendar (or Hijri calendar) is a purely lunar calendar. It contains 12 months that are based on the motion of the moon.

The names of the 12 months that comprise the Islamic year are:

1. Muharram 7. Rajab
2. Safar 8. Sha'ban
3. Rabi' al-awwal (Rabi' I) 9. Ramadan
4. Rabi' al-thani (Rabi' II) 10. Shawwal
5. Jumada al-awwal (Jumada I) 11. Dhu al-Qi'dah
6. Jumada al-thani (Jumada II) 12. Dhu al-Hijjah

(Due to different transliterations of the Arabic alphabet, other spellings of the months are possible.)

Each month starts when the lunar crescent is first seen (by a human observer's eye) after a new moon. Although new moons may be calculated quite precisely, the actual visibility of the crescent is much more difficult to predict. It depends on factors such as weather, the optical properties of the atmosphere, and the location of the observer. It is therefore very difficult to give accurate information in advance about when a new month will start. Furthermore, some Muslims depend on a local sighting of the moon, whereas others depend on a sighting by authorities somewhere in the Muslim world. Both are valid Islamic practices, but they may lead to different starting days for the months.

Years are counted since the Hijra, that is, Mohammed's emigration to Medina in AD 622. On 16 July (Julian calendar) of that year, AH 1 started (AH = Anno Hegirae = year of the Hijra). In the year AD 2003 we have witnessed the start of Islamic year AH 1424. Although only 1382 years have passed in the Christian calendar, 1424 years have passed in the Islamic calendar, because its year is consistently shorter (by about 11 days) than the tropical year used by the Christian calendar.


26th Paris-Dakar Rally 2004 - World's Toughest off-Road Race
1st January - 18th January

  • 17 stages ; 7 countries
  • Entrants: 148 cars; 200 motobikes; 64 trucks
  • Total distance over 11,052 km
  • 3 stages in Europe
  • 4 stages in Morocco
  • 6 stages in Mauritania
  • 2 stages in Mali
  • 1 stage in Burkina Faso
  • 1 stage in Senegal

The facts:

  • First race 1979
  • Paris to Dakar, across the Sahara desert; actual route sometimes varies due to political situation in Africa
  • A bout 7,000 miles / over 10,000 km across Europe and Africa
  • S tarting order each day: motorcycles first; cars second; trucks last
  • E ach day consists of a special stage averaging 300 miles / 480 km including sand dune stages
  • Besides factory sponsored cars, motorcycles and trucks, many competitors are amateur racers
  • Mitsubishi has won a total of 8 Paris-Dakar including the last 3 years
  • The reigning dual Paris-Dakar champion Hiroshi Matsuoka will once again head the Mitsubishi factory team of 4 Pajeros

The Results

Day 4 - 4th January, 2004

CARS Overall Peterhansel, Mitsubishi Biasion, Mitsubushi De Mevius; BMW
MOTO Overall David Fretigne, Yamaha Despres, KTM Sala, KTM
TRUCK Overall Gerardus De Rooy, DAF Johannes De Rooy, DAF Tchaguine, Kamaz

2003 Results

CAR Winner Masuoka, Mitsubishi Pajero
MOTO Winner Sainct, KTM 850
TRUCK Winner Tchaguine, Kamaz

What's On ... in Cairo

Cairo Rugby
Special Charity Fund-Raising, Black-Tie, Dinner-Dance
at the Cairo Sheraton

Thursday 22nd January

with guest speaker Gareth Chilcott

Gareth 'Cooch' Chilcott's hilarious rugby anecdotes have been enjoyed at dinners all around the world. A natural entertainer (he even does pantomines!), the former Bath, England and British Lions player has always been recognised as one of rugby’s true characters, both on and off the pitch.

Tickets [300LE each] are limited to only 300, so book early to avoid disappointment! Booking forms for tables of 10 (or part tables) are available on the website, but the tickets can only be purchased at the Clubhouse (see map at

Win a trip for two to the Calcutta Cup, Scotland v England, February 20-22!!!

For more information telephone the Club Captain on 010 638 3080 or email [email protected] or [email protected]

Cairo Rugby is the city's top sporting social venue, with big screen tv, beer and food, and great people. Lots goes on, with events every weekend, and non-members are always welcome ... especially those from outside Cairo who are visiting for a while.

Parents & Kids Guide

The Coptic Christmas
Taken from

The Coptic Christmas follows the old calendar, and takes place on the 7th January. The Coptic Church is Catholic. It was founded by St Mark who spent much time in Egypt, and it is said that he wrote his Gospel here.

According to the recent researches, it is proved that the word "Christmas" is of an ancient Egyptian origin, where this word is consisting of two parts: Christ & mas; Christ is the Lord, and Mas is an ancient Egyptian word meaning "to be born" or "Birth". The word is drawn in the Hieroglyphic language - the ancient Egyptian language - as follows:


Find out more at :
For Sale/Rent
Hurghada Dive Centre for Rent. The centre includes:

18 metre boat with Caterpillar engine - 250 horse power
Compressor - Power K14
50 Aluminium Bottles
Complete Diving Equipment
Boat Permission for 25 tourists
Tourist Permission for Dive Centre Operation for 12 Months
Accommodation - 2 Studio Apartments
Total Centre Size - 350 square metres - including newly built equipment room
& classroom

PRICE PER MONTH: 3800 EUROS. For further details, please email: [email protected]

For Sale, Dry Suit, size XL, Trilaminat with Thinsulate underwear. Please contact: 010 687 9961. Hurghada.
Car for Sale - Dawoo Lanos 2, white, 5.000 Km, 6 months old, Red Sea plates, for sale immediately. Please contact: 010 687 9961. Hurghada.
Apartment for sale in Moubarak 2 area, Hurghada. Fully furnished, 1st floor flat with 3 bedrooms. A/C, satellite TV, telephone and automatic washing machine. Please contact : 012 747 2899
Car for Sale - BMW 530i, 1988 (new model "1990"), full option, tax free car, technical and optical in a very good condition, 4500 Euro. Please contact : Chris 012 380 1551 [email protected]

Villa for rent. Located in Old Vic, Hurghada. Next to Marriott Hotel with private beach. Three bedroom, three bathroom, kitchen, balcony overlooking the sea, living room and sattelite television. Fully furnished with A/C. Beach 20m away from terrace. Long and short term rental. Please contact: Tamim M. Kaddah 010 140 2878, e-mail: [email protected].

Apartment for rent - two bedrooms, two bathrooms, American-style kitchen , livingroom, private roof terrace, air-conditioning and a lot more. Location - EL GOUNA, Abu Tig New Marina Town. For long-term rent. Please contact: Gamal Nassif [email protected]
Second hand Jeep Wrangler wanted as soon as possible. Please contact Andy. 010 356 4925. Hurghada. Responsible person required to look after 7 year old girl. Please contact: Ahmed, Andreas Hotel, Hurghada. Tel: 010 538 2869
English lady required to work as Nursery Assistant, to work with children aged 3-4 years. Nursery experience preferred, but not essential as full training will be given. Salary dependent on experience. Please contact: Marika 012 393 4407
German Managerial Secretary/Project Assistant, German & English speaking,
with experience as Guest Relation in El Gouna, is currently looking for a new
position, e.g. Secretary, Management Assistant or Guest Relation.
[email protected].
Looking for a FOOTBALL-TRAINER !!! We are 10 international boys between 6 and 10 years of age who play football once a week. Is there anybody in Hurghada who loves to play football and would like to coach us, show us some tricks, tell us the rules and have fun with us on the football court? We all speak English and Arabic and we are very enthusiastic about learning great football. Please call 444925 or 012 224 4041
Looking for a Music teacher. Samir (7 years) and Junis (almost 5 years) are looking for someone nice who loves music and kids. We would love to learn drums and/or guitar once a week. Just call our mum Kiki: 444925 or 012 224 4041 
Features & Articles
What's On

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