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Workers in the Karnak Temple in Luxor succeeded in restoring and erecting the obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut, lying near the holy lake for many decades.

The obelisk has great historical value, as it was made 3,500 years ago, according to the director of the Karnak Temple, Salah Al-Masikh, to “Sky News Arabia”.

Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, announced that the studies conducted on the obelisk recently proved that its dormant condition may negatively affect its safety over time, so it had to be restored and raised again, according to an official statement issued by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

According to Al-Masikh, “The Permanent Committee of the Supreme Council of Antiquities indicated that the position of the obelisk obscures part of its important inscriptions, as well as its exposure to various factors of erosion. After obtaining approval to intervene to protect it, a team of experts worked out a plan to restore and erect it again.”

Regarding the importance of the obelisk, Al-Masikh explained that it is “the second obelisk mentioned by Queen Hatshepsut on the walls of the temples, as it was brought from the granite quarries in Aswan, and bears her image on the four sides, as well as containing her titles and her relationship with Amun, as well as the name of the Crown Prince at the time, King Thutmose III.” My first city.”

It is likely that the obelisk fell in ancient times due to a devastating earthquake that hit the country, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, and its remains were left on top of the rubble accumulated above the Wadget Hall until the French archaeologist Georges Legran at the beginning of the twentieth century moved the upper part of it, and placed it lying in its current place near the holy lake .

Regarding the restoration project, Al-Masikh said: “The project to restore and erect the obelisk witnessed cooperation between dozens of restorers, archaeologists and engineers. During the first days of work, the team was busy determining the weight of the obelisk, which amounted to 90 tons, and its length reached 12 meters, and a concrete base was made to protect it from water. underground, with the preparation of an insulating material to be placed under it so that it is not affected after its installation.”

The director of Karnak Temple continued, “The role of the restoration men came after that, as it was confirmed that there were no cracks in the parts of the obelisk, and then dealing with all manifestations of damage to the giant artifact, especially in the area lying on the ground, and the team was able to complete the mechanical cleaning operations in a way good to get the best results possible.

With regard to moving the huge obelisk from its place near the holy lake to its new location, Al-Masikh confirmed that the experiment required a lot of effort, although the distance did not exceed a few metres, explaining to “Sky News Arabia” that “the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities searched for a suitable (winch).” For this step, the largest (winch) was found in Upper Egypt, specifically in Qena Governorate.

Regarding the details of the erection of the obelisk, Al-Masikh said: “We made great preparations to receive (the winch) and complete the process of transferring and erecting the obelisk of Hatshepsut. We spent the whole day inside Karnak Temple to prepare the antique for that task, and we put wooden panels around it and then covered it with fabrics to prevent any damage, And we were very careful to bring heavy equipment to the place.”

And Al-Masikh added: “The operation took place late at night before the tourists flocked to the temple. Dozens of archaeologists, workers and engineers gathered to find out all the details and supervise every step. Hearts were almost worried due to the importance of the event. We carried out the transportation procedures very calmly and with utmost precision, and moved ( the winch) slowly until the desired area is reached and the obelisk is lifted at the end.

 

In his statements to Sky News Arabia, the director of the Karnak Temple pointed out that there is a plan to place the obelisk within the scenario of the sound and light show that is held daily inside the temple to unveil its ancient history and its relationship with Queen Hatshepsut, and the stages it went through in previous eras.

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India’s partition with Pakistan: A look at the history

Polarised by religion, friends and neighbors turned on each other. Hundreds of thousands were killed and millions displaced. The atrocities were horrific; pregnant women and infants were not spared.

That was the unexpected result of Britain’s haphazard plan to leave the subcontinent in 1947 after nearly three centuries and split it into Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan, itself carved into two regions more than 1,000 miles apart.

The partition, as the division came to be known, triggered one of the biggest migrations in history.

It would forever change the face and geopolitics of South Asia; almost 25 years later, for instance, Bangladesh was born from East Pakistan.

Some historians argue that partition would have been unnecessary had Britain granted self-rule earlier to India, where Hindus and Muslims had lived side by side for centuries.

But the idea of a separate state for British India’s Muslims had gained traction by the 1930s even though it was opposed by Mahatma Gandhi. A decade later, Britain was reeling from World War II and prepared to hand over power.

The demand for Pakistan, led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah of the All-India Muslim League, contributed to one of the biggest Hindu-Muslim riots in India in August 1946, when at least 2,000 people were killed over five days in Calcutta (now Kolkata), then the capital of the province of Bengal.

Over the next few months more communal fighting followed, especially in Bengal and Punjab, another area with a large mixed population that also included Sikhs.

As India and Pakistan prepared for independence, Jinnah, set to be president of the Muslim-majority state, proclaimed a liberal Pakistan.

And on Aug 15, Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, famously celebrated his nation’s independence and “tryst with destiny”. But trouble was already afoot.

Lord Louis Mountbatten, the recently appointed last viceroy of British India, had not yet revealed where the new borders, which created East and West Pakistan with India wedged between the two, would be. That would come two days later, on Aug 17.

Muslims left India for Pakistan, mostly heading west, while Hindus and Sikhs made the opposite journey.

As many as 20 million people fled. Both sides left devastation in their wake. Documentation is scarce, but hundreds of thousands, and as many as two million people, were killed. There are no tallies for how many were raped.

“It’s a really, really massive part of world history,” said Guneeta Singh Bhalla, founder of the 1947 Partition Archive, a decade-old oral history project. “It has really defined where we are culturally, sociologically, politically,” she said of South Asia.

Most Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis today were born a generation after partition. But its repercussions endure.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars, skirmishing often over claims to Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state. The liberal ideals espoused by the founders of both countries now appear to be forgotten to history.

 

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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Britney Spears’ ex-husband convicted of crashing her wedding

A man once briefly married to Britney Spears has been convicted of aggravated trespassing and battery after appearing uninvited at the pop star’s wedding in June.

Jason Alexander, 40, pleaded no contest to two misdemeanour counts in a California court, prosecutors in Ventura County said.

Spears married Sam Asghari at her home in Thousand Oaks, California, on 9 June. The wedding guests included Selena Gomez, Drew Barrymore, Paris Hilton and Madonna.

Alexander, a childhood friend of Spears to whom she was married for less than three days in 2004, appeared uninvited at the house before the ceremony while livestreaming on Instagram.

He entered the house and went up to the locked door of Spears’ bedroom while she was inside getting ready for the wedding, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing.

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Rare McLaren Elva flown in from US among supercars in photo shoot at the Padang

Adding to the shine on Sunday night (Aug 7) at the Padang were 38 supercars gathered for a colorful photo shoot under the city’s lights.

In the line-up were rare high-performance sports cars such as the Koenigsegg Agera RS Genesis, which can cover more than 127m a second, and the open-top McLaren Elva, which was specially flown in.

The Padang is the latest landmark chosen for the annual photo shoot organised by supercar enthusiast club Scuderia FSG, which marks its 11th anniversary this year. The club’s previous photo shoot destinations included a private hangar in Seletar Airbase and Pasir Panjang Power Station.

Scuderia FSG vice-president Kevin Lim, 41, said the photo shoot at the Padang was a special occasion for the club’s members, with it taking place so close to the nation’s 57th birthday.

“I think what struck me the most was the significance of the place, as well as how beautiful the backdrop looked,” he added.

The Padang, which was officially gazetted as Singapore’s 75th national monument on Tuesday, has been the site of countless historic events in the nation’s history.

The 4.3ha site, roughly the size of six football fields, was where the first National Day Parade had taken place in 1966.

Lim said: “The Padang is such an important place from a national perspective, so I’m glad we managed to take photos there.

“With the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix taking place next month, it also just seemed apt that we shot there.”

The Padang is part of the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore’s F1 race.

Apart from the McLaren Elva, three other McLaren supercars, the Sabre, Senna and Speedtail, were to have been flown in from the United States for the shoot, but were not included as they could not be released from the port in time.

Regardless, the number of cars still posed a challenge for Adrian Wong, 34, who took the photos.

He had to line up all the cars with only their headlights and the ambient light guiding him.

“But the end result was worth it,” said the commercial photographer.

 

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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