Within the framework of its project on the “Memory of Modern Egypt” digital archive, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) is documenting the history of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry since its establishment. The Memory of Modern Egypt provides a comprehensive look at culture, politics, and social life in Egypt, from the era of Mohamed Ali in 1805 to the end of Anwar al-Sadat’s presidency in 1981. The repository features first-hand collections from the families of significant figures in Egypt’s modern history, including Mohamed Mahmoud Pasha who was prime minister in the 1940s and members of the politically active Boutros-Ghali family, as well as collections from the National Archives of Egypt (Dar al-Mahfouzat), and significant publishing houses.
The discovery of a new oil well in the Western Desert near the Libyan border, described as a “gusher”, was recently announced. At the capacity of producing 5,000 barrels of high grade crude and 4.3 million cubic feet of gas daily, the discovery took place in an area where a US oil company had been drilling for oil and gas since 2005.
A recent study by the International Trade Point Sector on Egyptian exports of fertilisers, salt, sulphur, sands, rocks, plaster, cement, carpets, and textile materials to the Mercosur Bloc from January to April 2008 showed an increase of some 27 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year, reaching $446.7 million. Another study showed that Egyptian exports to
Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Mahmoud Abu-Zeid said preparations are underway for a project to supply water and develop the irrigation of 90,000 feddans west of the Delta. This is the first stage of the project which will cover 255,000 feddans and which will involve transferring an estimated 12 million cubic metres of water a day from the Rosetta Branch of the Nile Delta to the new lands. The initial cost of the project was put at some $213 million. The World Bank, French Development Agency and the Dutch government are financing the project.
On the other hand, the second stage of the irrigation management project managed jointly by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources, according to an agreement signed by the two sides last March, began last month.
Old Egyptian Malaria
Two Egyptian mummies of people who died more than 3,500 years ago have provided clear evidence for the earliest known cases of malaria, according to a study presented last week in Naples at an international conference on ancient DNA. Pathologist Andreas Nerlich and colleagues at the Academic Teaching Hospital München-Bogenhausen in Munich, Germany, studied 91 bone tissue samples from ancient Egyptian mummies and skeletons dating from 3500 to 500 BC. The researchers identified ancient DNA for the malaria parasite in tissues from two mummies. “We now know for sure that malaria was endemic in ancient Egypt. This was only speculated on the basis reports by the 5th century B.C. Greek historian Herodotus and some very faint evidence from ancient Egyptian papyri,” Nerlich said.