Tag Archives: Egypt

Building Egyptian Pyramids is Easy… with LEGO

I’ve never been to Egypt, but I’ve watched plenty of documentaries and informational shows about it to know everything there is to possibly know about its history. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch – but I’m sure you feel like you’re in the same boat as far as Egyptology is concerned.

Unless you’re in de Nile. Get it? Sounds like “denial.” Anyway…

The Golden Staff Guardians [7306] is but a small part of the entire LEGO Pharaoh’s Quest series. My only other experience with them was with the ill-designed LEGO magnets a few months back. That said, I’m still quite enchanted with how LEGO brought this small bit of humanity’s past into the brick universe.

Maybe the golden staff has the power of reversing the pain of stepping on a LEGO piece with your bare or socked feet? Or, perhaps that’s how the Egyptians built the real pyramids? Wouldn’t that be an amazing LEGO set: a complete “true to life” LEGO pyramid? Of course, if I had enough bricks at my disposal, I could probably attempt the same myself (and it’d probably cost as much as all the real gold in Egypt, too). I’m sure that build would be easier than the actual pyramids at Giza.

Here’s an overview / review of what my girlfriend and I built:

This LEGO set’s mummified minifigs (mummifigs?) drew me to it. Assembly was a snap, too – pun intended. The bricks clicked at the skilled hands of my girlfriend, who assembled the set live on YouTube. She was quite proud of her accomplishment, and I was impressed that she did so well without much guidance. Sometimes even I find myself misassembling constructions as laid out by LEGO instructions.

It’s quite a standard, simple build at $10 (for ~70 pieces). The motorbike might be a nice addition to your collection if you happen to be a LEGO vehicle fanatic, though I don’t find any other piece to be a must-have. The mummy heads do have dual faces to give you a little variation between them, and the scarab shields are a nice touch. The golden staff is, of course, the centerpiece – though its true value is completely subjective.

Speak to Tweet for Egyptians

Just like all of us, the folks at Google spent the weekend watching the events in Egypt unfold. They were flabbergasted, feeling helpless as they watched the people there who are desperate to be heard. The engineers knew that if anyone could help give them a voice, it would be them. They put their collective brains together and came up with a service they are calling “Speak to Tweet,” which gives anyone the ability to Tweet using just a voice connection.

The hope is that this project will help the people of Egypt to stay connected during such a horrific time in their lives.

We worked with a small team of engineers from Twitter, Google and SayNow, a company we acquired last week, to make this idea a reality. It’s already live and anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt. No Internet connection is required. People can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to the official Twitter account.

According to reports, the only remaining ISP holdout over in Egypt was taken offline earlier today, leaving the entire country paralyzed with no Internet connection. I cannot begin to imagine the horror of what these people are already living through. People from all over the world have been working together to try and find ways to reconnect the Egyptians with the outside world. It’s fantastic to see that the team from Google, Twitter and SayNow have come up with what appears to be a perfect solution.

10 Things to Do in Egypt

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Where would you visit if you could go anywhere in the world, and cost were not a factor? I haven’t done a travel tips video for a week or so, so I decided it was past time to bring a couple of them to you. This one is full of tips for places to visit in Egypt! Egypt is somewhere I’ve always wished I could travel to, and these ideas make me hope to get there one day even more. Thanks to Tarek for sending these to me!

  • Botanical Garden – Kitchener’s Island lies in the middle of the Nile at Aswan and is home to over thirty varieties of palm and tropical plants from around the world. The effect is lush and exotic and attracts colorful birds, water fowl, and egrets.
  • High Dam – Two dams straddle the Nile river at this point: the newer Aswan High Dam and the older Aswan Dam or Aswan Low Dam. The aim of this water project was to prevent the river’s flooding, generate electricity and provide water for agriculture. The old Aswan Dam is about 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) up-river from Cairo. The new Aswan High Dam is 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) upriver from the older dam.
  • Alsouk Street – Alsouk is the main street for market shopping in Aswan. At this popular street market you can find spices, food, souvenirs, baskets, colorful textiles, carvings and jewelry.
  • Philae Island and the Temple of Isis – The Temple of Isis is one of the greatest and grandest temples in Egypt. It occupies nearly a quarter of the island. It is, of course, the main temple on the island. There is an awesome sound and light show every evening. The extensive complex is dedicated to Isis, who is the Goddess of Motherhood and Fertility in ancient Egyptian religious beliefs.
  • Temple of Ramses II – Abu Simbel is the location of the most famous temple of Ramses. The most spectacular aspect of this temple is its setting: in the solid rock above the banks of the Nile River. The walls depict scenes which show Ramses’ greatness in battle. Ramses was proud of his victory at the Battle of Kadesh against the Nubian rebels, and depicted this pride on numerous monuments… including this temple.
  • Nubian museum – This museum contains about 3000 exhibits that represent the culture and civilization of the Nubian region… from prehistoric times to the present. The museum is built on steep cliff land, which enables it to create a full-scale design model of the Nile River and surrounding areas.
  • Nubian House Cafe – This laid-back Nubian café and restaurant is the place to be at sunset, with spectacular views over the First Cataract. Sit on traditional wooden benches on the huge shady terrace for a mint tea and sheesha (water pipe).
  • Take a Cruise along the Nile – If you visit Egypt, ytou don’t want to miss a trip down the Nile River. It’s inexpensive, and amazingly beautiful.
  • Aga Khan Tomb – This is the Mausoleum of the spiritual leader of the Ismailis, a Shi’ite sect (as were the Fatimid). The Ismailis are a diverse community speard all over Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. It is a very elegant pink granite structure of late 1950 origin, which also resembles the Fatimid tombs in Cairo.
  • Elephantine Island. – Elephantine Island is the largest of the Aswan area islands, and is one of the most ancient sites in Egypt, with artifacts dating to predynastic periods. This is probably due to its location at the first Cataract of the Nile, which provided a natural boundary between Egypt and Nubia. As an island, it was also easily defensible.

Doesn’t it sound like an amazing trip to go on? I definitely have to put visiting Egypt on my to-do-someday list!

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Can you Eat like an Egyptian?

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Pauleece is a regular in our chat room, and hails from Egypt! He wanted to share with us the top ten foods that you MUST eat if you ever get the chance to visit his homeland.

  • AWANES This is made of chicken gizzards. When a whole chicken is boiled to make soup, people cut off the Awanes to eat with then number five food I have listed.
  • ADS This is an orange legume that is boiled in water, and then drank like a soup. It can also be poured over rice. This is something that is often eaten when someone has to fast.
  • MOMBAR There is just no good or easy way to put this. Mombar is the lining of a sheep’s intestine that is stuffed with rice. It really IS delicious, I promise.
  • MOLOKHIA I know this was on the Jordanian list but it’s ours. This is a plant with large green leaves, and the leaves are cooked with taalya. People drink this as a soup, or pour it over rice.
  • HAWAWSHEE This is named after its creator El Sheikh El Hawawshee. It’s a meat sandwich, but the bread and the meat are cooked together.
  • KEBDA This is another name for liver. It’s cow’s liver cooked in a special oily sauce that is very spicy. At least 99% of Egyptians love this dish.
  • SOGO ESKANDARANI This is Alexandrian sausage, which is a special kind of sausage that is cut into slices. It is then usually cooked with the same sauce as the Kebda.
  • KOSHARY Koshary is a mixture of rice, macaroni, fried onions, hummus, tomato sauce and chili.
  • TAAMYA This has the same origin as Falafel, but its made from fava beans. Some countries use chickpeas instead.
  • FOOL Pretty much all North African and Middle Eastern countries make fun of Egyptians for eating this. Fool is basically just ground Java beans. You can use difference spices. There are probably ten million different Fool recipies floating around Egypt!


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