On Thursday evening, the Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is attending a ceremony to mark the inauguration of the 3,000-year-old ancient walkway of the Avenue of Sphinxes in Luxor.
During the ceremony, Egyptian pop star Mohamed Hamaki and singer Lara introduced a prerecorded video clip showing a song and dance show at Luxor Temple. The two singers then gave a live performance.
The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has said that the ceremony is in accordance with a branding strategy prepared by the British-Canadian Expert House after the COVID-19 pandemic. The strategy involves presenting Egypt as a safe, lively and vibrant tourist destination through several campaigns, including holding a number of events throughout the year at tourist sites.
The walkway was built during the reign of Pharaoh Nectanebo I of the 13th-Dynasty. It replaced one built in the 18th Dynasty, as queen Hatshepsut (1502-1482 BC) recorded on the walls of her Red Chapel in Karnak Temple.
Hatshepsut built six chapels dedicated to the god Amun-Re on the route of the avenue during her reign, demonstrating its longevity as a place of religious significance.
Today’s ceremony started with a gradual panoramic illumination of Luxor Temple and the Avenue of Sphinxes. The ceremony will be celebrated from air, land, and the River Nile from hot air balloons, feluccas (sailboats), and youth parades in Pharaonic clothes.
Notably, Preventive measures against COVID-19 have been taken ahead of the ceremony, including PCR tests for the attendees, the Luxor health directorate said.
The paths along which President El-Sisi and the guests will walk have all been disinfected and social distancing will be maintained, the health directorate added.