Thursday, July 26, 2007

Travel: Egypt relived

The Economic Times / India Times

We took a step back in time — about 3,000 years, just like every one else who has the luck to visit Egypt! — to get an idea of its timeless craft and culture. Just a few km from the centre of Cairo, a time machine took us on a fantastic journey to the days of the Pharaohs in a jiffy, by depositing us at the Pharaonic Village, on Jacob Island on the Nile.

The village is surrounded by trees which hide the bustle of the crowded city on the banks and provides the background for a typical ancient Egyptian village. It is a time
brought to life by an incredible group of artistes, sincere reproductions of buildings, clothing and lifestyles and of course the most precise living recreation of the golden days of Pharaonic Egypt.

The village is the brain child of the late Dr Hassan Ragab and his son Dr Abdel Salam Ragab, who have worked for almost 30 years to recreate ancient Egyptian life and history. The village began as a papyrus plantation centre and was later transformed into a living museum. We waited at the reception for our English speaking guide who
would take us on the tour. Boarding a motorised boat we sailed down a network of canals to view the incredibly accurate tableaux of the recreation of ancient Egyptian life with a commentary in English describing everything we went past. Artistes performed all the daily activities and arts of the ancient Egyptians, in the same manner how it was done, ages ago, by everyone that would have existed in an ancient Egyptian city, from pharaohs to fishermen and from potters to priests. Scenes that we saw included that of Moses as a baby, agricultural life, mummification, pottery, making of alabaster statues, perfume making, manufacturing paper from papyrus and the making of wine.

See the above page for the full story.

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