U.N. warns of locust surge on both sides of Red Sea

FILE PHOTO: Locusts are seen in the Menabe region of western Madagascar, March 29, 2013. REUTERS/Clarel Faniry Rasoanaivo/File PhotoGENEVA (Reuters) - A locust outbreak in Sudan and Eritrea is spreading rapidly along both sides of the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said on Friday, flagging a possible threat to crops and food security.“Good rains along the Red Sea coastal plains in Eritrea and Sudan have allowed two generations of breeding since October, leading to a substantial increase in locust populations and the formation of highly mobile swarms,” the FAO said.At least one swarm had crossed to the northern coast of Saudi Arabia in mid-January, with further swarms a week later.Rains from two cyclones in 2018 had triggered breeding of locusts in the Empty Quarter region of Saudi Arabia, near the Yemen-Oman border, and a few swarms from two generations of breeding had reached the United Arab Emirates and southern Iran.There was a risk of further spread towards the India-Pakistan border, the FAO statement said.“The next three months will be critical to bring the locust situation under control before the summer breeding starts,” FAO locust expert Keith Cressman said in the statement.“The further spread of the current outbreak depends on two major factors - effective control and monitoring measures in locust breeding areas of Sudan, Eritrea and Saudi Arabia and the surrounding countries, and rainfall intensity between March and May along both sides of the Red Sea and in the interior of the Arabian Peninsula.”Control operations have treated nearly 85,000 ha (200,000 acres) since December including 30,000 ha in the past two weeks in Egypt, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia and Sudan, the FAO said.Control measures are also underway in Iran after at least one swarm arrived on the southern coast at the end of January, it said.Adult locust swarms can fly up to 150 km a day with the wind and adult insects can consume roughly their own weight in fresh food per day. A very small swarm eats as much in one day as about 35,000 people, posing a devastating threat to crops and food security.In an emailed comment to Reuters, Cressman said the last major desert locust upsurge was in 2003-2005 when more than 12 million hectares were treated in west and northwest Africa, incurring a cost of about $750 million including food aid.Since then there have been numerous outbreaks along the coastal plains on both sides of the Red Sea that were mostly controlled.The FAO will hold a meeting in Jordan next week to discuss intensifying control measures with affected countries, the statement said.

Source:Egypt Today

February 15, 2019 16:30 UTC

Tourism Ministry mulls boosting cooperation with China's Sichuan

Egypt's Tourism Minister Rania el MashatCAIRO - 15 February 2019: Tourism Minister Adviser for Training Soha Baghat discussed on Friday with Vice Secretary of Sichuan Provincial Committee of the CPC Gan Lin boosting bilateral cooperation in the field of tourism.On the behalf of Tourism Minister Rania Al Mashat, Bahgat stressed the importance of the Chinese market as one of the promising tourist markets for Egypt, pointing out that 2018 witnessed flocking of many Chinese tourists to Egypt.During the meeting, she noted that promoting for opening the Grand Egyptian Museum under the rubric "GEM2020" is a major axis of the Egyptian tourism promotion campaign.Bahgat pointed to the cooperation with China in the fields of training and improving the efficiency of the human factor, especially what is related to Chinese cuisine due to the Egyptians' turnout to it.Lin, for his part, said that China is looking forward to fostering tourism, academic, and cultural cooperation citing the Chinese tourists' passion for the ancient Egyptian civilization.He offered training programs for the Egyptian chiefs to train for preparing the Chinese food.Lin invited Mashat to attend the international travel expo, set to be held in Sichuan in September, saying the Egyptian companies' participation will have a great impact on the Chinese tourists flocking to Egypt.Chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Authority Ahmed Youssef said that the fair will be a great opportunity for getting acquainted with the Chinese tourism companies and the needs of the Chinese tourists as well as promoting for the cultural tourism in Egypt.The meeting touched on developing tourism between Egypt and China in light of operating the first direct flights between Cairo and Sichuan.

Source:Egypt Today

February 15, 2019 14:26 UTC

Egyptian Textile Museum celebrated its 9th anniversary

Egyptian Textile Museum - Facebook. The ceiling of one of the museum's halls - Egypt TodayCAIRO – 15 February 2019: Egyptian Textile Museum celebrated its 9th anniversary on Wednesday, February 13. This museum is the only textile museum in the Middle East.The Textile Museum in Muezz Street in Cairo displays fine collections of textile from the Pharaonic, the Roman, Coptic and Islamic eras.It is proof that Egypt’s lengthy history is not only documented on papyrus or stones, but also knitted in garments.The collection of the Ancient Egyptian textiles contains clothes, bed sheets, mummy covers, cushionsand even diapers.Beside the pieces of cloth, the museum also displays small statues of men, women, servants, and gods with their outfit carved on their bodies to display the variation in their dress codes.The section that displays the Roman era holds a number of sowing tools beside the textilesas well as a small model of a spinning and weaving workshop.The Coptic areain the Museum shows this era was revolutionary in the textile production in terms of colors, and the use of other materials, as cotton, wool and silk.The Islamic section features different styles of Arabic calligraphy and holds parts of a cover of the Ka’ba, which Egypt used to produce.The museum finally displays some pieces from outside Egypt, mostly from Iran.The lights of the museum are dim which is not very helpful for photographers, but this is because the lights, temperature and humidity are controlled to preserve the antiquities.

Source:Egypt Today

February 15, 2019 12:11 UTC

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