Tag Archive | "Egypt"

Egypt to bear cost of Alexandria Synagogue renovation


NOVANEWS

Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue

Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry on Thursday announced plans to carry out extensive renovations of a synagogue in Alexandria — despite the fact that, under Egyptian law, the local Jewish community should bear the cost of such restorations.

“The renovation of Alexandria’s Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue will take about eight months and cost some 100 million Egyptian pounds [roughly $5.5 million], which will be provided by the Egyptian government,” the ministry said in a statement.

According to the same statement, the government had already allocated 1.27 billion Egyptian pounds (roughly $70.5 million) towards eight major historical renovation projects.

In July, Al-Said Helmy Ezzat, head of the ministry’s Islamic and Coptic Antiquities Department, announced that proposals to renovate the historical synagogue had been approved and the appropriate financial allocations made.

Under Egyptian law, however, Egypt’s small Jewish community should bear the cost of the project and the reason for the apparent exception remains unclear.

Cash-strapped Egypt continues to face difficult economic circumstances, with the government implementing an IMF-approved reform program, which includes the reduction of government subsidies and which has led to skyrocketing commodity prices.

Built in 1848, Alexandria’s Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue is one of the largest Jewish synagogues in the Middle East region, capable of accommodating up to 700 people.

It also houses an impressive library containing dozens of ancient Torah scrolls, some of which date back to the 15th century.

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Egyptian Court Jails 56 over Migrant Boat Shipwreck


NOVANEWS
  • The bodies of victims of a boat carrying migrants that capsized off Egypt
    The bodies of victims of a boat carrying migrants that capsized off Egypt’s coast, are seen on a military boat, in Al-Beheira, Egypt, Sept. 22, 2016. | Photo: Reuters
Since the EU-Turkey deal aimed at curbing the flow of migrants, most migrant journeys have taken the more dangerous route from north Africa to Italy.

An Egyptian court sentenced 56 people to prison terms of up to 14 years on Sunday over the capsizing of a boat that killed over 200 people, one of the deadliest disasters in the dangerous Mediterranean crossings of migrants to Europe.

The boat capsized off the Egyptian coast on Sept. 21. Rescue workers and fishermen rescued at least 169 people, but at least 202 died.

Fifty-seven people faced charges including causing the accidental death of 202 passengers, not using sufficient rescue equipment, endangering lives, receiving money from the victims, hiding suspects from authorities and using a vessel without a license. One woman was acquitted.

The boat sank in the Mediterranean off Burg Rashid, a village in Egypt’s northern Beheira province where the sea and the Nile meet. It had been carrying Egyptian, Sudanese, Eritrean and Somali migrants and was believed to be heading for Italy.

One month after the boat sank Egypt’s parliament passed legislation setting prison terms and fines for those found guilty of smuggling migrants, acting as brokers or facilitating migrants’ journeys.

A record 5,000 migrants drowned in the Mediterranean last year, aid agencies have said.

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