Sinai

Sinai Peninsular, Egypt, December 2005: A short video documenting an excursion from Dahab on the Gulf of Aquaba- to Mount Sinai in the southern interior part of the peninsular. My travel companion and I were determined to do this independently using local transport, whether it be on the back of a 4WD or on the back of a […]

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Anba Hatre

Aswan, Egypt, Dec 2005: Anba Hatre is an earlier name of the 7th century Coptic Christian monastery of St Simeon- featured here in my previous post. During the exploration I shot some video on a very basic mini-DV camcorder, and due to this being my last tape I edited it all in camera to make the tape last longer. This is the result, with only a basic “damaged” effect and a soundtrack by the instrumental band Grails, appropriately titled “Erosion Blues”.

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The Monastery

Aswan, Egypt, Dec 2005: After exploring some ancient tombs on the westbank of the Nile (featured here)- we decided to walk across the open desert to the ruined 7th century monastery of St. Simeon. It didn’t look far, but in the heat and harsh enviroment of the desert, it proved to be a bit more challenging.

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The Monastery of St Simeon dates back to the 7th century, it survived as a Christian stronghold of southern Egypt up until being sacked by Saladin in 1173 and abandoned. An alternative theory suggests a water shortage was the reason for the exodus. While still in use the monastery could house up to 300 monks, and additionally receive up to 100 pilgrims at a time.

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The Monastery was given the name St. Simeon later on by archaeologists and travelers- but earlier Arabic and Coptic sources called it Anba Hatre (Hadra, Hidra, or Hadri), after an anchorite who was consecrated a bishop of Syene (Aswan) by Patriarch Theophilus (385-412 AD). SS5

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Anba Hatre married at the age of eighteen, and legend has it that just after the wedding he encountered a funeral procession which inspired him to preserved his chastity and later become a disciple of Saint Baiman.

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Little actual archaeological attention has really ever been paid to this ancient site. It was examined and published by Grossmann in 1985, and in 1998 the inspectors of the antiquities removed some debris from the church, but apparently little else was accomplished.

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Sinai

Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, Nov 2005:  The usual way to ascend Mount Sinai is via a group bus trip from Dahab in the late evening- then do the guided tour from about midnight to the summit. The reason being you will be at the top when the sun rises in the east… It’s a cool idea […]

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Luxsign

Luxor, Egypt, 2005: The old and the new… A traffic sign with the ancient city of Thebes in the background. Egypt is a country full of contrasts and contradictions -not to mention history; and hopefully with the recent unprecedented revolution- a country full of promise…. Canon EOS 55/Canon 28-135is

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Pyramid

Giza, Cairo, Egypt, 2005: We were adamant about making our own way out to Giza, rather than taking the easy tourist shuttle. It was a mission… Took the metro out to Giza station and promptly got lost… Wandered around aimlessly for a while before coming across a taxi. The driver was a bit of an […]

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Ferry over the Nile

Luxor, Egypt, Nov 2005: Bar the typical Egyptian haggling, obligatory “baksheesh” and bus loads of western tourists, Luxor was a surprisingly pleasant place. A ferry takes you over the Nile to The Valley of the Kings and the desert beyond. Luxor is the site of the ancient city of Thebes and is often described as […]

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