The Tourism Ministry devises the program to encourage tourists to visit the country and see a unique artistic rendition of the religious story – Photo compiled by Egypt Today
CAIRO – 16 August 2018: An archaeological committee, tasked with preparing a study on the archaeological sites along the path of the Holy Family's Flight into Egypt, held a meeting to discuss the latest developments in putting the sites on the UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The meeting was attended by Professor of Coptic Archaeology at Helwan University Shaza Gamal Ismail, Vice President of the Islamic and Coptic Archaeology Sector Atef Naguib, a representative from the Coptic Church, and Supervisor of International Organizations of Cultural Heritage and International Cooperation Jihad al-Rawi.
In this regard, Supervisor of the Technical Office of the minister of antiquities and a member of the committee, Ali Ahmed, said that the committee has identified the stations of the Holy Family's Flight in Egypt, and the sites, where celebrations for the journey are held, were chosen.
He added that the committee coordinates with the Ministry of Culture to organize a workshop aiming to document intangible cultural heritage of the Holy Family’s journey.
He further remarked that the committee continues its efforts to add Wadi El-Natrun monasteries to the UNESCO's World Heritage List.
The Flight into Egypt, as mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew, is a biblical event marking the appearance of an angel to St. Joseph in a dream to advise him to flee to Egypt with Mary and infant Jesus.
The journey passes through 25 different places that have significant meaning to the Holy Family during the escape from Herod the Great who sought to kill the newborn "King of the Jews" and led the infanticide known as the Massacre of the Innocents.
A statement from the Tourism Ministry said eight main locations have been chosen to be the key stops of the pilgrimage route.
The pilgrimage starts in the city of Al-Arish, North Sinai, crosses to the Eastern Delta of the Nile and reaches Wadi El-Natroun, where a number of important Coptic monasteries lie, including St. Mary Church, Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church and the Garnos Monastery.