History Other / Egypt And The Strength Of St. Catherine’S Monastery

Egypt And The Strength Of St. Catherine’S Monastery

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Autor:  anton  24 March 2011
Tags:  Strength,  Catherines,  Monastery
Words: 780   |   Pages: 4
Views: 827

Egypt and the strength of St. Catherine’s Monastery

The Middle East consists of many countries that span from the Atlantic Ocean to Russia, but one that is rich in culture is the Arab Republic of Egypt. Currently with a population of 77,506,756 million people republic government, it is one of the leading countries in rich Arabian culture. The size of the country is about three times the size of the state of New Mexico. Egypt is located on the continent Africa between Libya & Sudan. 94% of their people are Muslims, 6% Christians & other. Its official language is Arabic & its capitol is Cairo. Egypt is famous for its pyramids and has thrived from the precious water that is supplied by the Nile, where most of the cities in Egypt including Cairo are located. Economically Egypt’s industries export many goods such as textiles, food, chemicals, petroleum, cement and metals (Spencer 42-43). Egypt conceders itself to be an Arab nation and is a member of the League of Arab states. It is a country that is on the up and coming, working through economical issues and also fighting the education crisis. “A rapidly growing population (the largest in the Arab world)” (CIA world Fact book)

Egypt economically and educationally is still on its exponential growth. Educationally the adult literacy rate is only approximately 60 %. Another statistic that gives an insight of the poor education in Egypt is that per 1,000 people only 43 are a part of the daily newspaper circulation (Spencer 43). The lack of newspaper circulations and poor schooling has led to this 60% literacy rate. On the economical side of the country there is great chance of hope. The natural resources include petroleum which in today’s world is the most valuable resource. Also, agriculturally Egypt contributes to cotton, sugarcane, rice, corn, and wheat. Egypt exports about $11 billion and imports about $19 billion.

Further more, Egypt is rich in historical aspects. “the pliant Hellenic genius could not remain insensible to that ancient and marvelous civilization with its pyramids and temples” (Maspero 8) Egypt is very eminent for its pyramids. Pyramids are tombs for Pharaohs & queens. There are about eighty pyramids known today from ancient Egypt. The three largest pyramids are the “Great Pyramid”, built for King Khufu. Another famous pyramid is the Sphinx located at Giza. The word “sphinx” means strangler. The sphinx represents King Khafre. It is supposed to be 150 ft in height.

Located at the foot of Mount Moses, St. Catherine's Monastery was constructed by order of the Emperor Justinian. It is built around Moses' Burning Bush, which has a chapel built atop it. It is a spectacular natural setting for priceless works of art, including Arab mosaics, Greek and Russian icons, Western oil paintings, paintings on wax, fine sacerdotal ornaments, marbles, enamels, chalices, reliquaries. But of perhaps even greater significance is that St. Catherine’s Monastery has the second largest collection of illuminated manuscripts (The Vatican has the largest collection). The collection consists of some 3,500 volumes in Greek, Coptic, Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, Slavic, Syriac, Georgian and other languages. As some of the researchers have said, they consider St. Catherine to be the oldest monastery still in existence; it’s so remarkable that The Monastery church has undergone little basic change since that time. Its great western portal is still closed by the original wood door, fourteen hundred years old, which functions perfectly on its first pins and hinges.

The Monastery was originally ordered built by Empress Helen, the mother of Constantine the Great, but was actually built by Emperor Justinian to house the bones of St. Catherine of Alexandria. St. Catherine, whose body was reportedly carried away by angels, was discovered 500 years later at the top of the peek that now bears her name. Her relics are stored in a marble reliquary in the Basilica of the Transfiguration. St. Catherine's is also a formidable fortification, with walls 40 to 200 feet tall, surrounded by gardens. It was a perfect place for safety of emperors and empresses. It has withstood numerous attacks over its 14 hundred year existence thus protecting a rich store of art, and today, while it is one of the oldest monasteries in the world, its original, preserved state is unmatched.

All in all Egypt has a rich past in the historical aspect. The pyramids, the Nile and the monastery are just some examples of what Egypt has to offer. Being in a position as Egypt is almost a blessing, the improvements that are taking place in this Middle Eastern country can only mean good. Hopefully these changes affect the future without changing the rich past of this beautiful country.

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