Egypt reopens ancient avenue of sphinxes in with Luxor parade

CAIRO — While Americans Celebrate eyes on An full-blown Thanksgiving Day Parade after a two-year Covid absence, nearly 6000 miles away Egypt is set to revive a very different cultural tradition in to blow die hasn’t been seen yet for several thousands of years.

The country is set every 3,000-year-Old Avenue of Sphinxes to the public Thursday in an elaborate ceremony in the southern city of Luxor that follows decades of excavation attempts.

The ancient walkway, nearly two miles long and about 250 feet wide, was once called “The Path” of God.” It connects the temple of Luxor with the temple of karnak, just up the river Nile to the north.

The Sphinxes at Luxor Temple in Egypt. Mosa’ab Elshamy / AP file

A spectacular parade expected begin after at 12:30 PM ET will continue over the length of the lane, die is bordered on of side by means of over 600 statues met ram heads and traditional sphinxes, statues with a lion body and die of a human head.

The extravagant march is expected to include: participants in pharaonic dress, a symphony orchestra, light effects, professional dancers, boats on the Nile, horse drawn carriages and more.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is expected to city-wide spectacle.

The road was buried under the sand for centuries until the Egyptian archaeologist Zakaria Ghineim de . discovered first eight sphinx statues in front of the Luxor Temple in 1949.

The effort to excavate and restore the site persisted over the next seven decades and was interrupted countless times times due to political unrest, like the The Arab Spring Rebellion in 2011 die overthrew the country old autocratic ruler Hosni Mubarak and led to several years of social unrest.

“Tonight I Will Testify” one of the best events that ever happened in my life,” Ahmed Hammam, a Luxor tour guide, told NBC News.

Hammam, 47, said to witness the restoration of the lane of Sphinxes after years of effort was”like An dream.”

“Today will be a day where we make it over will have” for another hundred years,” said Hammam. “I hope everyone will enjoy the. Not just here in my residence city, but in the whole of Egypt, and the whole of the world also.”

The road is believed to have been built to celebrate the annual Opet Festival in the ancient city of Thebes, now known as Luxor. Promoted the festival fertility and included a procession die wore a statue of ceremonial deities from Karnak Temple to Luxor Temple.

Ali Abu Dashish standing with ram-headed sphinxes in Luxor. Thanks to Ali Abu Dashish

“The Opet festival will be held as it was in the past at the time of the pharaohs,” said Ali Abu Dashish, an Egyptian archaeologist and member of the Archaeological Union, go ahead of Thursday event.

Dashish said the event should send a message from Egypt to the world that, “we preserve and recover antiquities.” He added: “I expect it to be a dazzling party on An global level.”

Thursday’s festivities are part of an ongoing push to promote archaeological discoveries as Egypt tries to revive its faltering tourism industry in to blow.

Part of die effort included staging spectacular public events like the one set to take place Thursday.

In April Cairo held an elaborate procession, also called the Golden Parade, to move 22 ancient Egyptian royal mummies through the capital to a new museum.

Zahi Hawass, an Egyptian archaeologist, called the Luxor site “the largest open” [air] museum, the largest archaeological site in the worldthat tells the history of Egypt from the 2000 BC era – known as the Dynasty XI – to the Roman period.

Hawass worked on the restoration of the lane of Sphinxes from 2005-2011, then work was stopped by the uprising. He said Thursday’s festival sent an important message to the… world that “Egypt is safe and we invite everyone to come” back to Egypt.”

El Sissi, 63, led the military overthrow of Egypt’s first democratic elected president in 2013 and was re-elected to a second, four-year term in 2018.

He has tried to ensure the stability of the key American ally and worked hard bring tourist dollars back to the country of which economy has gone further hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Critics say he muzzled opponents, activists and independent media in doing this.

Charlene Gubash reported from Cairo and Petra Cahill reported from London.

Read More: World News

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