Thursday, March 14, 2013

Greening’ of the Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza

Greening’ of the Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza
Celebrating the Friendship between Egypt and Ireland and Promoting Tourism to Egypt
Following an agreement between the Ambassador of Ireland, H.E. Ms Isolde Moylan, the Minister of Tourism, H.E. Hisham Zaazou, and the Minister of State of Antiquities, H.E. Prof. Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Ali Sayed, the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx were illuminated in green, Ireland’s national colour, on Thursday 14 March to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, Ireland’s National Day, Ireland’s current EU Presidency, and the friendship between Ireland and Egypt.

The Giza Pyramids and Sphinx are the most important and exciting new addition this year to Ireland's ‘Global Greening’ initiative during which famous world landmarks turn green for St. Patrick’s Day. The campaign has been running for several years and has generated extensive global interest, goodwill and publicity both for Ireland and the participating countries. The participation of Egypt and the Pyramids in the initiative for the first time this year has already sparked considerable international interest, providing an opportunity for Egypt to showcase its remarkable heritage and advertise itself as a prime global tourism destination.
Speaking on Thursday at a reception in Giza overlooked by the green Pyramids, Ireland’s Ambassador to Egypt, H.E. Ms Isolde Moylan, said: “We are delighted to be co-operating with the Ministers of Tourism and Antiquities and the Misr Company for Sound, Light and Cinema on the Greening of the Pyramids initiative. While celebrating Ireland’s National Day, Ireland’s Presidency of the EU, and our friendship with Egypt and its great people, we also aim to ensure that the Greening of Egypt’s renowned Pyramids will serve as a reminder that Egypt remains a unique, fascinating and welcoming country for visitors”.
She added:  ‘On five family visits to Egypt before being posted here as Ambassador in 2010, and indeed since then, I have greatly enjoyed the wonderful tourism experience which Egypt has to offer to international travellers, especially its incredibly rich archaeological heritage. I would urge all friends of Egypt to join me in playing our part in attracting foreign tourists back to Egypt’.
“We also hope that this joint endeavour will be a symbol of friendship between Ireland and Egypt and strengthen the bonds between our two countries. Ireland and the EU are good friends of Egypt, and we wanted to demonstrate this to the world”.
The Minister of Tourism H.E. Hisham Zaazou said “we want to do everything we can to show the world that Egypt is a friendly, outward-looking country with great attractions for tourists, and that we are ‘open for business’. Greening the pyramids in cooperation with our Irish friends is a great way of doing this”.
The Minister of Antiquities H.E. Prof. Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Ali Sayed said “we are delighted to avail of this opportunity to highlight Egypt’s unique heritage on the international stage. Egyptians are rightly proud of their national treasures and this is a wonderful way of celebrating them.”
The “Global Greening 2013” campaign will see over 50 iconic international landmarks right across the globe illuminated in green. In addition to the Pyramids and Sphinx, they include the Temple of Hercules in Amman, the Burj al Arab in Dubai, the Empire State Building, Niagara Falls, the leaning tower of Pisa, Sydney Opera House, Table Mountain in South Africa, the iconic Redeemer statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro and many more.  Coverage of the “Global Greening 2013” in these countries and beyond can be expected to highlight the greening of the Pyramids.

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