• Mina Roufael

Grand opening of Luxor Avenue of Sphinxes

On November 25, 2021, Egypt officially opened the Luxor Avenue of Sphinxes, a 3,000-year-old avenue to the public in a ceremony in the southern city of Luxor. The avenue is a walkway that’s nearly two miles long and is 250 feet wide connecting the Karnak Temple with the Luxor Temple. This road was buried under sand and dirt for centuries until Egyptian archeologist Zakaria Ghiniem discovered the first 8 of many sphinx statues near the Luxor temple in 1949.
The city of Luxor was the capital of Egypt for more than 1,500 years when it began to gain its importance around the year 3,000 BCE and it eventually became ancient Egypt’s political, military, and religious capital. The name “Luxor” comes from the Arabic word for “palaces”. Today, Luxor is known as the world’s greatest open-air museum as well as home to some of Egypt’s most famous temples, tombs, and monuments. One of the historic builders of ancient times, Pharaoh Amenhotep III, was responsible for starting the construction of the Luxor temple during the New Kingdom, followed by Tuanankhamun, then Horemheb, and then finished by Ramses II. The Greeks named Luxor “Thebes” while the ancient Egyptians called it “Waset”.
After the last two years during COVID-19, Egypt was unable to attract all the tourists due to the worldwide pandemic. Now that more people are able to travel around the world, Egypt has opened most of its tourist attractions to the world to show them what ancient Egypt may have looked like as well as an attempt to revive the tourism industry. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, the president of Egypt, has attempted to restore stability to the key U.S. ally and worked to bring tourist dollars back to the country, whose economy has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. During the Arab spring uprising in 2011, Egyptians overthrew the country’s longtime autocratic ruler Hosni Mobarak, which eventually led to several years of unrest that led to the interruption of the effort to restore the site.
Zahi Hawass, an Egyptian archeologist, worked on the restoration of the Avenue of Sphinxes from 2005-2011, when work was stopped by the uprising. He said that Thursday’s festival sends an important message to the world that “Egypt is safe and we invite everyone to come back to Egypt.”
These festivals were part of the occurring push to promote the fascinating archeological discoveries. As part of their effort to promote those discoveries, it included all of the stagings of the spectacular public events.
The following video is of the opening ceremony of the Avenue of Sphinxes. As seen in the video, the celebration is unique in the fashion that the models are dressed in.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUc4emiS53I
This previous video showed all the new fashion that all the models had. This new fashion is dressing up in pharaoh clothes while models walk the avenue during the ceremony. The entire walkway of the avenue is filled with sphinxes on the side.

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