Aswan celebrates 30th anniversary

2 February 2001

A parade in Aswan marked the 30th anniversary of the completion of the Aswan high dam on 9 January in Egypt.

The anniversary is taken as a public holiday every year. Children march the streets in a procession led by a high school band; some dressed in the traditional white robes of the 100,000 Nubian people that were displaced by the project: a testimony to the benefits that the dam brought to the country even though its construction was so controversial that the UK and US blocked World Bank funding for it.

'The celebrations are to honour the 30th anniversary of the full implementation of the Aswan high dam project,' said M Shalaby, secretary general of Egyptian section of icold. 'We always hold a seminar where the pioneers of the project give presentations about the significance of the dam to the socio-economic development of Egypt. It's like a get-together for all the engineers and managers that were involved, as well as members of the local authority and civic society."

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