FILE-Historic Al-Hawais archways FILE-Historic Al-Hawais archways

Upset over historic archways covered by garbage in Sohag

Tue, Apr. 24, 2018
CAIRO – 24 April 2018: After it had been one of the most beautiful and historical waterworks in Egypt, Al-Hawais archways became a place where people now throw trash. Hence, residents of the village of Altaihat, Sohag have called upon officials to take immediate action to save this historic site.

Residents of Altaihat accused their village council of neglecting the historic Al-Hawais archways until it became a place with overflowing garbage.

The residents mentioned that the Islamic and Coptic sector in Sohag has called for documenting the archways among Islamic antiquities for the historical and architectural significance.

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FILE-Historic Al-Hawais archways

Mohamed Fahmy, one of the village’s residents, said that the archways were established by Muhammad Ali Pasha in 1905 and dated back 113 years. He called upon the ministers of antiquities and local development, as well as Sohag’s governor, to take immediate action to remove all the trash from the historic archways and to document them among Sohag’s antiquities.

In the same context, Ahmed El Sayed, director of the Islamic and Coptic sector in Sohag, said that the sector is waiting for a cadastral map and engineering report to identify the site of the archways and determine their structural safety.

On Monday, Parliament approved the government-drafted law that amends some provisions of Law No. 117 of 1983, known as the "Protection of Antiquities Law".

The draft law amends Article 42 so that whoever steals, possesses, hides and collects an antiquity for the purpose of smuggling or is involved in such an act shall be punished with life imprisonment and a fine not less than LE 50,000 ($2,821) and not more than LE 250,000. In the same context, whoever steals a state-owned or registered antiquity or part of such with his acknowledgment of being involved in such an act shall be punished with heavy imprisonment and a fine of not less than LE 50,000 and not more than LE 100,000.

Additionally, according to Article 45 of the law, whoever intentionally destroys, damages or spoils an immovable or movable antiquity or separates of such or digs to have an antiquity without license or is involved in such an act shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not more than one year and by a fine of not less than LE 1,000 and not more than LE 50,000.
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