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Related to Aswan: Egypt, Aswan Dam




(both: äswän`, ăswăn`), city (1986 pop. 190,579), capital of Aswan governorate, S Egypt, on the Nile River at the First Cataract. It is one of the driest cities in the world. Long famous as a winter resort and commercial center, the city has become an important industrial center since the start nearby of hydroelectricity production in 1960. A chemical fertilizer plant is the largest of the new industries. Iron ore and hematite are mined in the vicinity.

The city was called Syene or Seveneh in the Bible and is described as the southern limit of Egypt. It was a trade center, serving as the gateway to Sudan and Ethiopia, and was the place where the annual Nile flood was first sighted in Egypt. From the syenite quarries nearby came stone for the temples and statuary of the Pharaohs. On ElephantineElephantine
, island, SE Egypt, in the Nile below the First Cataract, near Aswan. In ancient times it was a military post guarding the southern frontier of Egypt. The Elephantine papyruses, which date from the 5th cent. B.C.
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 island, in the Nile opposite Aswan, and PhilaePhilae
, former island, SE Egypt, NE Africa, in the Nile River N of the Aswan High Dam. Of its temples, all dating from late Egyptian and classical times (600 B.C.–A.D.
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 island (submerged by the Aswan High Dam complex), south of the city, are found ancient Egyptian and Roman ruins. Aga Khan III (1877–1957), leader of the Muslim IsmailisIsmailis
, Muslim Shiite sect that holds Ismail, the son of Jafar as-Sadiq, as its imam. On the death of the sixth imam of the Shiites, Jafar as-Sadiq (d. 765), the majority of Shiites accepted Musa al-Kazim, the younger son of Jafar, as seventh imam.
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, is buried in Aswan.

The Aswan Dams

The Aswan Dam, 3 mi (4.8 km) south of the city, was built by the British and completed in 1902. It and the barrages at Asyut in central Egypt were the chief means of storing irrigation water for the Nile valley before the completion of the Aswan High Dam. After being enlarged in 1934, the dam added c.1 million acres (404,700 hectares) of cropland along the Nile. In 1960 a hydroelectric station with an annual capacity of 2 million kilowatt-hours was opened at the dam.

The Aswan High Dam, about 4 mi (6.4 km) upstream of the Aswan Dam, was constructed from 1960 to 1970 and was dedicated in 1971. The Soviet Union took over much of the dam's financing after the United States and Great Britain quit the project in 1956. Built of earth and rock fill with a core of clay and concrete, the High Dam is 375 ft (114 m) high and 11,811 ft (3,600 m) long. Lake Nasser (c.2,000 sq mi/5,180 sq km), the dam's reservoir and one of the world's largest artificial lakes, has a storage capacity of c.204 billion cu yd (157 billion cu m); it loses some water through evaporation. The creation of Lake Nasser required the relocation of 90,000 people, most of whom lived in Sudan, and of many archaeological treasures. Under UNESCO auspices, the Nubian temples at Abu-SimbelAbu-Simbel
or Ipsambul
, village, S Egypt, on the Nile River. Its two temples were hewn (c.1250 B.C.) out of rock cliffs during the reign of Ramses II. To avoid the rising waters caused by the construction of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s, the colossal statues of
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 were moved (1963–68) to a cliff 200 ft (61 m) above the old site and reconstructed. In return for its financial assistance in this project, the United States was given the Roman temple of Dendur, now displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. In addition to providing hydroelectric power, the Aswan High Dam has greatly benefited irrigation projects and the fishing industry in Egypt. However, its flooding has caused some land erosion and agricultural problems.


, Assuan, Assouan
an ancient town in SE Egypt, on the Nile, just below the First Cataract. Pop.: 249 000 (2005 est.)
References in periodicals archive ?
With the Sheikha Al Jalila Paediatric Unit at Aswan Heart Centre, the recently opened Sheikha Al Jalila House for the Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Centre for Africa (WSPCCA) and the Al Jalila Children's Specialty Hospital, each of these organizations, whether in Egypt, South Africa or the United Arab Emirates, are a part of a triangle of knowledge, capitalizing on the research, education and innovation that stems from within," She added.
Ali Ramzy, President of the Egyptian Cardiac Society and Sir Magdi Yacoub, Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery National Heart and Lung Institute, Founder of the Chain of Hope foundation as well as the Aswan Heart Centre.
In the 1960s Egypt relocated hundreds of thousands of Nubians outside their historic homeland when the newly built Aswan High Dam flooded their traditional area.
The tour included a visit to the granite quarries and to the 2,000-year-old temple of Philae, which was moved stone by stone to higher ground three decades ago to save it from the rising water behind the Aswan High Dam.
In Aswan, there was also time to take in the High Dam - a magnificent structure which took the Egyptian and Russian alliance 10 years to build - and afternoon tea on the terrace of the Old Cataract Hotel, where Agatha Christie wrote Death On The Nile.
On the other hand, Tharwat Al-Agamy, Chairman of the Chamber of Tourism Companies in Luxor and Aswan, did not expect an increase in occupancy rates in the two cities during the holiday, adding that the rate in Luxor is only 5%, and that most families would choose seaside cities, whether in South Sinai, the Red Sea, or Alexandria.
Aswan Governor Major General Mustafa Yosri declared a state of emergency at the province hospitals and emergency wards and issued instructions to give all help needed to the victims and their families.
The fresh violence came despite a beefed-up police presence in Aswan province to end fighting between the Bani Hilal, an Arab tribe, and the Dabudiya, a Nubian family.
TEHRAN (FNA)- An Egyptian policeman was shot dead and another wounded on Wednesday at a checkpoint in the Southern town of Aswan, the Interior Ministry said, in what appeared to be a revenge killing.
After flying in to Aswan on a private jet and being welcomed at the VIP lounge, the couple stayed at Aswan's Old Cataract Hotel.
As a result, he complained, many that Nile cruise ship sailed had been docked since then on the banks of the river in Aswan, the site of majestic pharaonic ruins.
In the 1960s, a large part of the Nubian population living along the Nile River was moved out to make way for a new lake behind the Aswan High Dam, then under construction.