The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has offered $17m via the University of Chicago to conserve archeological sites, promote tourism, and establish an archeology school in Egypt’s Luxor city, in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, according to the US Embassy in Cairo.
US Ambassador to Egypt Jonathan Cohen visited the US government-funded cultural heritage sites and met local officials, programme partners, and US exchange alumni in Sohag and Luxor on 28-29 August.
Ambassador Cohen said, “This has been a productive visit to Upper Egypt – from the Red and White Monasteries in Sohag, and the Temple of Seti I at Abydos, to the town of Esna and the sites of Luxor. Egypt’s cultural heritage is truly incredible, as is the tremendous hospitality of the Egyptian people.”
Following the inauguration of the restored Wakalet el-Geddawy caravansary in Esna with the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Ambassador Cohen met with alumni of US government-sponsored exchange programs who are building connections between Egyptians and Americans and positively impacting their communities through local projects.
Ambassador Cohen also visited the Medinat Habu and Luxor Temple complexes. The US Government contributed $9.6m in support of cultural heritage projects at Medinat Habu since 2015, including a current $6m USAID grant to develop the site as an open-air museum. This work is programmed through the University of Chicago, active in Luxor since 1924.
The Medinat Habu and Luxor complexes and dozens of monuments on both banks of the Nile have also benefited from groundwater lowering systems that were installed over a decade ago. The US government contributed $15m toward the construction of these systems, which continue to protect some of Egypt’s most important monuments.
Over the past 25 years, the US government has offered more than $102m to preserve and protect more than 85 cultural sites in Egypt. This fund is part of the $30bn the US has contributed, since 1978, to support Egypt’s development efforts.