Egypt Today (Farida Helmy)
While the layman in Fayoum would probably welcome the idea of a project bringing in income and job opportunity to the quiet governorate, experts are far less eager.
Fayoum is Egypt’s oldest city and is located 130 kilometers southwest of Cairo. It is also home to the 1385-square-kilometer Lake Qarun. The North of the Lake Qarun area has been a protected area since the 1980s, and its boundaries have expanded gradually to include Gebel Qattrani.
Still an unspoiled wilderness, the north shore of Lake Qarun is a haven for bird migration; it is classified under BirdLife as an Important Bird Area (IBA), or an area that holds priority in conservation. It also contains one of the world’s most complete fossil records, according to UNESCO, which includes one of the world’s best preserved fossilized whales and Neolithic sites that reveal the evolution of the use of the stone tool artifacts.