Baffling blocks

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 23 July, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 July, 1995, 12:00am

THE Pyramids of Giza, among the most famous structures in the world, were built in descending order of size, starting with the Great Pyramid which was completed in 2650 BC by King Cheops. Almost 2.5 million stone blocks were used to construct the monument which baffles engineers and architects to this day.

Popular Nile ONLY 3.6 per cent of Egypt's one million square kilometres is inhabited, although the population concentrated along the River Nile is over 56 million and is the oldest political system in the world.

Longest river FLOWING 6,690 kilometres from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean Sea, the River Nile is the world's longest river. Its headwaters start in Tanzania, Kenya, Zaire, Burundi and Rwanda before converging in Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan and Egypt where the river is revered at festivals.

All systems go A PLANNED road network linking Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories came closer to reality recently with the signing of a US$1.5-billion (HK$11.6 billion) project by a regional economic development party.

Gaza diplomacy EGYPT became the second Arab country, after Morocco, to establish diplomatic links with the Palestinian Authority in Gaza by opening an office.

Mosque work RESTORATION work has started on the 10th-century Al Azhar Mosque in Cairo. Costing US$18 million, the four-year project is going ahead with a $3 million contribution from King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.

Tea top up EGYPTIANS have long been assumed to be the world's top tea consumers but in fact rank only 10th. They drink an average of 550 cups a year each. The Irish top the table with 1,414 cups per person.

On the books ANCIENT Egypt's tradition of making scrolls from papyrus was lost until an ambassador to the People's Republic of China discovered paper-making techniques dating 2,000 years in the village of Lel Yang, 600 kilometres south of Beijing.