Egypt celebrates 50th anniversary of building the Aswan Dam

Ahram Online, Thursday 15 May 2014

Egypt's prime minister attends a celebration at the Cairo Opera House for the 50th anniversary of the construction of the Aswan High Dam

Aswan High Dam
A view of Aswan High Dam on the Nile, in Egypt (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Celebrating the 50th anniversary on the building of the Aswan High Dam, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab attended late Wednesday a ceremony at the Cairo Opera House along with a number of officials.

Minister of Culture Saber Arab, Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Motaleb, and son of the former President Gamal Abdel Nasser honoured in the ceremony Russian and Egyptian engineers who participated in the construction of the dam.  

Meanwhile, Al-Ahram hosted a celebration also to honour the Russian and Egyptian engineers.

The ceremony was attended by Al-Ahram CEO Ahmed El-Sayid El-Naggar, Russian Ambassador to Cairo Serge Kirpichenko, prominent journalist Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, former Ministry of Housing Hassaballah El-Kafrawy and current Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Motaleb.

On 14 May 1964, Egypt's second president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, and Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev marked the first stage of construction of the Aswan High Dam by diverting the course of the Nile River.

The High Dam was constructed between 1960 and 1970 and has had a significant impact on the economy and culture of Egypt.

Before the dam was built, the Nile River flooded every year during late summer, when water flowed down the valley from its East African drainage basin. 

The Aswan High Dam had a positive impact on the development of Aswan Province, especially for the tourism industry.

In order to build the Aswan High Dam, both people and artifacts had to be moved. Over 90,000 Nubians had to be relocated.

After 10 years of construction, the resulting reservoir was named after former President Nasser, who died in 1970.

The Soviet Union aided Egypt financially and technically in constructing the Aswan High Dam after the World Bank and United States pulled out of financing the project.

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