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Special Services - Holy Family

The Egyptian Church in coordination with Ministry of Tourism identified 22 areas that represent the Holy Family drive in Egypt. This decision was taken to start developing and beautifying these areas in preparation for the world celebration in which major European tourist companies are to participate in the year 2000. These areas include El-Zaranik and Al-Farma natural preserves in Sinai, in addition to Tal Basta, Samanoud, Sakara, Natroun Valley, Garnous Monastry in Magaga, Bahnasa, Birds Mountain (Samalout), Ain Shams, Old Egypt and Zaitoun. It is decided, however, that Egyptian Church coordinates with a number of other organs with a view to taking all measures required to facilitate visits to be paid by tourist groups.

The beginning of June (24 Bashance in the Coptic calendar) marks the anniversary of the Holy Family's historical journey through Egypt. The journey was started by the Holy Family, including Joseph the carpenter, the Virgin Mary and her Child; the Christ, in fulfillment of the Divine Order to leave Palestine for Egypt, the land of safety and security. According to Matthew, "Now when they had departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said 'Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you.' Matthew 2- 13. The Holy Family passed by me than 20 cities on their way through Sinai, Gaza, Al-Arish and Al-Farama to the east, to Sakha in the west, and Assuit in Upper Egypt. The journey started when the Holy Family moved from Bethlehem to Gaza where they took the old coastal road to Al-Arish and 37 km west of Al-Arish to the ancient town of El-Flusiat presently known as Al-Zaranik reserve. Three ancient churches, dating back to the fifth or the sixth century have been recently discovered in this area, where excavations are still going on.



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