19. What did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle claim was the cause of this man’s death in April 1923?
Answer to Egypt Quiz #19
The curse of the mummy’s tomb. George Herbert, Lord Carnarvon, sponsored archaeologist Howard Carter’s search for Tutankhamun’s burial place in the Valley of the Kings. After years of frustration, Carter finally located the Pharaoh’s sealed tomb in November, 1922. The discovery caused a media sensation and rumors began to circulate that anyone disturbing the tomb’s contents would be subject to a curse.
Shortly after the tomb’s official opening, Lord Carnarvon, who had been in poor health, received a mosquito bite. The bite became infected and developed into blood poisoning, eventually leading to his death.
In a newspaper interview, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries and a follower of the occult, speculated that ancient priests had spread deadly “elementals” (spores) around the tomb to protect it from grave robbers.
18. Egypt buys more of this on the world market than any other country. What is it?
Answer to Egypt Quiz #18
17. What event scheduled to take place in a neighboring country on the second Sunday in January has Egypt worried that it will cause political instability in the region?
Answer to Egypt Quiz #17
Southern Sudan will vote on whether to form a new country. In 2005, after more than 20 years of civil war, the Sudan government signed a peace accord with the southern-based Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement, agreeing to a January 9, 2011 referendum to determine whether Southern Sudan will become independent.
The international community is nervous that the referendum, which is expected to pass, may lead to renewed conflict. Egypt is particularly concerned about an influx of refugees, and a possible threat to its Nile water rights.
16. Why did Egyptians celebrate this past December 7?
Answer to Egypt Quiz #16
December 7, 2010 corresponds to Islamic New Year’s Day or Al Hijra, 1432 AH.
The Islamic calendar is marked from the date of Mohammed’s Hijra or emigration from Medina to Mecca, in the year 622 AD as represented by the Gregorian calendar.
Islamic months are based on movements of the moon, as opposed to Gregorian months that reference the sun. The Islamic year is 354 days long and so does not align with the Gregorian year.
Al Hijra was celebrated as a public holiday in Egypt, with offices and schools being closed.
15. Three well-known fugitives are suspected of landing in the neighborhood known as “Old Cairo” for a period of time, before crossing the Nile at Maadi and making their way to upper Egypt. Who are they?
Answer to Egypt Quiz #15
The Christian Holy Family, Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. Fearing the death decree of King Herod described in the Bible’s Book of Matthew, Joseph led his family into Egypt. There is no biblical record of their time in Egypt, but historical accounts and oral tradition have them finding refuge in a cave in the Roman city of Babylon, now the site of the Church of Abu Serga in Coptic Cairo.
From there, the family is said to have ferried across the Nile at Maadi (which means “crossing point”) and traveled south into Upper Egypt.
Egypt is the only country outside of Palestine to which Jesus traveled.
14. What is the name of this Egyptian delicacy?
Answer to Egypt Quiz #14
The dish is koshary — also koshari, kushari, kushary and kosheri. This Egyptian comfort food is a vegetarian concoction of lentils, rice, pasta and onions, and is the specialty of several restaurants around Cairo.
13. Why did EgyptAir add 323 special flights to their schedule during this November and early December?
Answer to Egypt Quiz #13
To accommodate Egyptian travellers observing the 2010 Hajj. The Hajj is Muslims’ annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and represents one of the five pillars of Islam. The 2010 Hajj took place over five days from November 14-18. An estimated 82,000 Egyptians made the journey this year.
12. This is a two-part question. (1) What is the name of this hieroglyphic symbol, and (2) name a pharaoh whose cartouche (i.e. nameplate) contains it.
Answer to Egypt Quiz #12
The symbol is the Ankh, the hieroglyphic character meaning “life.” It is conspicuous in the cartouche of Tutankhamun (Tut-ANKH-amun) whose name translates to “the living image of Amen.”
11. Members of what group hold nearly ninety seats in Egypt’s lower house of parliament, although the group is not allowed to compete in elections?
Answer to Egypt Quiz #11
The Muslim Brotherhood.
The Muslim Brotherhood was officially banned in 1954, but it participates in the political process by running its candidates as independents.
In the 2005 parliamentary elections, the group grabbed 88 out of 444 seats in the People’ s Assembly (the Lower House of the Egyptian parliament) and emerged as the largest opposition bloc.
A new People’s Assembly will be elected this coming Sunday. The field of over 5000 candidates reportedly includes 160 members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
10. What photogenic Egyptian is a noted contract bridge expert and has contributed to more than a dozen books on the subject?
Answer to Egypt Quiz #10
Omar Sharif. In addition to his achievement as an author and professional bridge player, Alexandria-born Omar Sharif is a celebrated actor. He received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his title role in the 1965 film, Doctor Zhivago.