A woman at an icon of Mary and Christ in Muharraq Monastery, Asyut Oct. 15, 2017 – Maher Eskandar
CAIRO – 9 April 2019: Local Development Minister Mahmoud Sharaway announced Monday that the ministry will develop five archeological sites to revive the monuments of the Flight of the Holy Family across Egyptian governorates.
The five archeological sites include the Church of Abu Sarja in Masr Al Qadima, the Church of the Virgin in Maadi, the Paromeos Monastery, the Monastery of El Suryan and the Monastery of Bishop Bishoy.
Egypt Today presents the most important information provided by the Ministry of Local Development on reviving the monuments of the Flight of the Holy Family:
1 - Developing five archaeological sites in Cairo and Wadi El Natrun.
2 - The first stage includes monasteries in Minya and Assiut and will last from sixmonths to a year and a half.
3 - The second stage includes the rest of the governorates of the Holy Family path, such as Kafr El Sheikh, Sharqia and Gharbia governorates.
4 - Developing the area of ancient Egypt and turning the largest garbage dump in West Cairo into an open garden.
5 - Developingthe Church of Maadi and its surrounding area andestablishing a tourist berth for the church at a cost of LE 6 million.
6. Paving and widening the road leading to the three monasteries in Beheira governorate at a cost of LE 3.4 million.
8 - Planting 250 palm trees in Beheira governorate in cooperation with the University of Damanhour.
9 - Designing three camps in the old Coptic style as a rest for tourists on the road leading to the three monasteries.
The aim of the renovation works is to encourage religious tourism in Egypt, taking advantage of the amazing and unique monuments Egypt possesses and creating an educational, touristic experience for the visitors.
The Holy Family came to Egypt, traveling for about three-and-a-half years across the country. What we have done is-and this project is not recent as we started it about two or three years ago- we picked eight locations in four cities and we prepared their infrastructure to receive tourists,” Hesham el-Demery, chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Board told Egypt Today in April.
To promote the tour, in collaboration with Egyptian authorities, Pope Francis visited Egypt in April of 2017, carried out a mass and acknowledged the Holy Family’s journey in Egypt as an official Christian pilgrimage. This announcement puts the Holy Family tour on equal footing with Fatima in Portugal, suggesting that thousands of Christian tourists would visit Egypt.
The Egyptian government declared in April 2017 that the Tourism Ministry has devised a program to encourage tourists to visit the country to watch a unique artistic rendition of the religious story and to trace the journey’s trail that covers many Egyptian cities after Virgin Mary, Jesus and Joseph had fled King Herod’s persecution in Palestine.