The Red Sea Newsletter Issue 51
12th January 2004

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

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Features & Articles

What's In A Name?

Colour Confusion : It is a bit of a mystery as to how the Red Sea got its name. There are several theories. Some say it is due to the light of the setting sun reflecting off the red mountains along its shores and onto the surface of the water. Others say it should have been called the "Reed Sea" because of the abundant reed beds near Suez before they built the canal. Some claim the name refers to the "red tide" of a plankton bloom (trichodesmium erythraeum) that turns the water brownish red when it dies. The Ancient Egyptians knew the Red Sea as the Wadge Wir (the Great Green) - not very red at all!

The Red Sea (MISR Image)

Salt of The Earth: The Red Sea has salinity of more than 4%. Apart from the Dead Sea, which is really a lake, it is the saltiest of all seas. Divers find they are more buoyant here than usual and as a result need to use more weight.

Local News

The Wadi Al-Zalaga Camel Race
15th January, 2004

Camel Race

At a meeting, held once a year in mid-January, the Bedouin tribes of South Sinai challenge each other to a camel race of nearly 30kms.

This annual race (this year between the Tarabeen & the Muzeina Bedouin tribes) was established 12 years ago and takes place in Wadi Zalaga.

Young Bedouin men start training their camels for this event about 3 months prior to the race. The training period involves long distance walking and running, during which the camel is fed on barley and corn.

Such races are an old tradition among the tribes, but in this area race meetings had been dropped and were in danger of disappearing altogether. The revival is thanks to the efforts of the Bedouins themselves who do not want to see their culture vanishing. The race gives them the chance to socialise, meet old friends and relatives, and show off their camels of which they are inordinately proud. It also helps them financially in the form of contributions to sponsorship and donations towards the winning prize. Tourists also flock to watch this authentic camel race.

The race starts early in the morning and lasts for about an hour and a half. The night before the race, camels and cars begin appearing in all parts of the wadi (dry water course). This is an evening of partying for the Bedouins. Tea is served and the famous lebba bread is cooked on the camp fires.

As the sun rises, all the cars and camels meet at the entrance of the wadi. Once all the camels are assembled, which takes some time, the race begins. It is always a chaotic start. No one really knows when exactly the start sign is given: usually the organisers attempt to line up the camels, but there are always one or two camels that do not follow the rules. Their instinct is to run. Once this happens, the rest of the camels take off, followed by hundreds of cars. The scene looks like a war zone. Car drivers race to keep up with the camels, creating a huge cloud of dust and breaking the desert calm with the roaring of engines.

As the spectacle approaches the end of the wadi, tension is high in the air. Shouting, screaming cars blast their horns, more cars arrive in a cloud of dust and dash to find a parking spot with a good view. Finally, in the midst of the pandemonium, two camels appear in the distance. The first and second prize winners are about to cross the finishing line. As they do, the cheering gets louder and the pandemonium increases with people running, more camels arriving and a continuous flow of cars followed by clouds of dust.

As people gather round the winner, the exhausted camels are lead away to rest. They will not be allowed to eat or drink until they have cooled down. The winner is announced after long consultations and discussions among the judges, and the celebrations begin. People sit around in circles, drink tea and chat.

Last year's winner was Ahmed, a 16-year-old Bedouin boy from the Muzeina tribe. The first prize is a sum of money collected by the tribes, plus donations collected from the audience and split between the winner and the runner-up.

What's On ... in Cairo

Where Genies Live
A Photo Exhibition by Claudia Wiens

23rd - 31st January
Alsalamlek Art Gallery on the corner of Road 206 and Road 216, Degla Maadi.

A photo exhibition of Egyptian houseboats in Cairo, the temples in Bagan/Burma and the people who inhabit them.

What do houseboats in Cairo and temples in Bagan have in common? They are magical places that have a longstanding history, fantastic stories have grown up around them and wonderful and sometimes horrible rumours developed around them. The exhibition shows approximately 40 coloured and black & white images.

Kitchen Korner
Asian Chicken Salad

A perfect salad for leftover BBQ, boiled, broiled or baked chicken. A very crunchy salad with a tasty sweet Asian-style dressing. The kids love it too!

2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 (8 ounce) package dried rice noodles
1 head iceburg lettuce- rinsed, dried and chopped
4 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and shredded
3 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

1. Prepare the dressing 30 minutes ahead of time by combining the brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, salad oil, and rice vinegar in a salad dressing carafe.
2. To prepare the Chinese rice noodles, heat a skillet with a few tablespoons of oil and break off a little bit of the noodles and add them to the skillet and fry them. They will puff up in the skillet, so only add a few at a time. As they begin to puff up, remove and drain them on paper towels. Be sure to cook long enough as the under cooked
noodles will be like eating needles. Once cooked, add them to the salad mixture.
3. In a large bowl combine the iceberg lettuce, cooked and shredded chicken, green onions and toasted sesame seeds. Let chill about 10 minutes, and just before serving add the cooked rice noodles. Serve in salad bowls and offer the dressing in a pourable container so you can add as much dressing as you want. You can also pour the dressing over the top of the salad, toss, and serve immediately.

Prep Time: approx. 15 Minutes.
Cook Time: approx. 20 Minutes.
Ready in: approx. 35 Minutes.
Makes 6 servings.


Find out more at :
For Sale/Rent

Car for sale. Dodge Crysler, 1982 model with A/C, power steering, central locking, electric windows. Excellent condition, contact 012 747 2899 (Hurghada)

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 outboard motorboat with the following specifications :
Power : 80 to 115 HP
Size : 17 to 22 feet
Polyester or semi-rigid.
Please contact : Hervé Siegrist in El Gouna - [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 
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