Thursday, June 21, 2012

Protected islands in Aswan threatened by encroachment

Egypt Independent (James Purtill)

Not archaeology, but relevant to the general heritage management situation in Egypt at the moment.

The two granite islands abound with 125 species of birds, 120 species of flora, and the combined area has been named an Important Bird Area of Egypt and a tentative UNESCO world heritage site. Its six species of acacia are remnants of the gallery forest that is said to have covered the Nile Valley before the introduction of farming thousands of years ago.

After the initial confrontation with the EEAA back in early 2011, the trespassers stayed. For more than 12 months, the molokhia put down roots. It was a delicate situation. The EEAA feared that if one family was successful in defying state power, others would follow with their own claims. 

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