A meeting was recently held between the Coptic Orthodox bishop Anba Danial, abbot of the Monastery of Anba Pola (St Paul the Hermit) in the Eastern Desert mountain near the Red Sea, and Serag Eddin Saad, head of the Tourist Development Authority. The meeting was to discuss the situation at the 4th-century cave monastery of Yuhanna al-Daragy (St John Climacus) which is now in ruins but which is under the custodianship of Anba Pola’s. The site is known as Abul-Darag.
Anba Danial explained that the cave monastery and the land surrounding it, some 276 feddans (1 feddan = 4200 sq.m) of mountainous terrain on Gabal al-Galala, are under severe threat since a huge portion has been sold to developers; out of the original 276 feddans, only three feddans remain unsold. This despite the fact that the land was listed in 2005 as an archaeological site of antiquity.
Anba Danial handed Mr Saad the full documents which prove that the Abul-Darag is a listed heritage site, and Mr Saad promised the problem will be investigate and a fair decision taken.
18 August 2017