From the land of pyramids, pharaohs, and papyrus, we bring you a look at Egyptian culture past and present. Grab a cup of mint tea, fire up the hookah, crack open a novel by Naguib Mahfouz, play some songs by Abdel Halim Hafez, or put on a movie starring Omar Sharif and join us while we share recipes, music, jokes, videos, and current events from Egypt.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thursday Thirteen


See what others are writing about this Thursday or play along.




Today's Scribe:



13 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Egypt, Then and Now

1.  Egypt’s most successful Olympic Games was in London in 1948. They won 2 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 1 bronze medal.  (Source:  Olympic Records)


2.  Sadly, Egypt's pyramids are the only remaining Ancient Wonders of the World.  They have been given an honorary place on the list of new Wonders of the World.

3.  In Egypt, Sunday is the first day of the week with Friday and Saturday being the weekend.

4.  Ancient Egyptians considered cats to be sacred animals, and that included pet cats.  When a pet cat died, the entire family shaved their eyebrows as a sign of mourning.

5. The first international peace treaty was both made and recorded by the Egyptians.  Ramses II of Egypt and Hattusii III of the Hittite Empire were the signatories to the treaty.  Amazingly, both copies of the treaty -- the one written in Egyptian as well as the one written in Akkadian (the language of the Hittites) -- still exist!


6.  Tea is the beverage of choice in Egypt, and Egyptians drink hot tea from glasses, not cups!

7.  Although she was the last in a long line of pharaohs, Cleopatra wasn't even Egyptian!  She was a Macedonian Greek descended from Ptolemy I, Alexander the Great's general who became the king of Egypt after Alexander died.

8.  Cairo is home to the oldest university in the world.  Not only is Al Azhar the oldest university, it is the oldest university that is still operational.

9.  Contrary to popular belief, excavated skeletons show that the pyramid builders were actually Egyptians who were most likely in the permanent employ of the pharaoh. Graffiti indicates that at least some of these workers took pride in their work, calling their teams “Friends of Khufu,” “Drunkards of Menkaure,” and so on—names indicating allegiances to pharaohs.

10.  Egypt's cell phone market increases by an average of one million (1,000,000) users per month!

11.  We can thank the ancient Egyptians for a calender made up of 12 months and 365 days, as well as a day made of 24 hours.

12.  Education from kindergarten through university is free in Egypt.

13.  Central Park is home to a Cleopatra's Needle, one of three ancient obelisks stolen from Egypt in the late 19th century and deposited in London, Paris, and New York City.  Of the three stolen monuments, the one in Paris is in the best condition while the one in NYC is in the worst.

4 comments:

  1. I love Egypt and I'm glad to learn more about this magical country.

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  2. I loved my visit to Egypt a few years ago. I knew about the tea since I drank many glasses while visiting.

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  3. A friend and I have agreed to travel to Egypt in our old age to see the pyramids. We made that arrangement almost 30 years ago. Alas, as we approach old age I think it will elude us due to health reasons, but it remains the place I most want to see.

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