Former French president D’Estaing spends 93rd birthday in Luxor

03-02-2019 10:47 PM

Amany Khairy Muhammad al-Aswani

Former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing has celebrated his 93rd birthday together with his wife in Luxor which holds for him memories of another visit 44 years ago when he was president. Back in 1975, Mr d’Estaing had visited Luxor and joined the Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat in opening Luxor Museum. The marble plaque at the museum door commemorating the opening bears his name together with that of Sadat.

Mr D’Estaing and his wife arrived at Luxor airport on 29 January, where they were received by Luxor Governor Mustafa Alham and French Honorary Vice-Consul in Luxor Marie-Christine Gerber.

The former president and his wife visited Karnak and Luxor temples, also Luxor Museum where he took a photo in front of the plaque holding his name. The following day they crossed the Nile to Luxor’s West Bank where they saw the village of al-Qurna which was built by the world-famous architect Hassan Fathy, and visited the Valleys of the Kings and Queens. Among the tombs they toured was those of Tutankhamen, and Ramses V and VI.

As they basked in the warm sun and listened to a detailed explanation of the ancient Egyptian history and sites from tourist guide Samah Raouf Hafez, the couple were recognised by a number of French tourists who excitedly greeted them and welcomed them warmly.

Following three days in Luxor, Mr d’Estaing and his wife boarded a Nile cruise to Aswan. The stopped at Edfu where the visited Edfu temple, one of the most complete Egyptian temples left. The next stop was at Kom-Ombo for a tour of Kom-Ombo temple and the Crocodile Museum.

The boat sailed to Aswan where there will be more sightseeing, including Philae temple, the unfinished obelisk, the High Dam, and the Nubian Museum.

Valéry Marie René Georges Giscard d’Estaing born 2 February 1926. He was a French statesman who served as President of France from 1974 to 1981.

Watani International

3 February 2019

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