Sunday، 15 May 2016 - 12:00 AM
It is one of the governorates of Upper Egypt which has a deep-rooted history and heritage which extends to the ancient ages, where Abydos, now located in Markaz Belina, was the capital of Egypt all through the eras of the first four Pharaonic Dynasties. Also, the ancient city of This (Thinis) or El-Tina, the village of mud or clay just north of Abydos, was home and headquarters of the first Pharaoh of Egypt, known in history as Mina Narmer who managed to unify Egypt.
During the Islamic era, the whole area of the governorate had been a part of Egypt under the Ottoman Empire until it became a separate province called Upper Egypt or Girga and its capital was Girga city. Later, with the rule of Muhammad Ali, Egypt was divided into directorates. However, Girga Directorate kept its name until 1960, when the capital was moved to Sohag and the name of the governorate changed accordingly.
The 10th of April is the National Day of the governorate on which it celebrates the victory of the Egyptian resistance troops on the French troops in Johaina Battle in 1799.
It shows the head of King Mina, who unified Upper and Lower Egypt, coronated by a crown that symbolizes this unity.
Sohag is bordered by Assiut governorate in the north, by Qena governorate in south, by the Red Sea governorate in east and by the New Valley governorate in west. It extends for 125 km along the Nile River and is 467 km away from Cairo.
It is characterized by a dry desert climate, where the temperature is high in summer and moderate in winter.
It covers a total area of 11218.10 km2, equivalent to about 1.1% of the total area of Egypt.
Its population is estimated at about 4,603,861 million (January 2015), representing about 5.2% of the total population of Egypt.
Sohag governorate consists of 11 administrative divisions (Markazes) or 11 cities namely Akhmim, el-Balyana, Sohag, Tima, el-Maragha, Tahta, el-Mansha, Girga, Juhayna, Dar el-Salam, and Sakulta, in addition to 51 rural local units, with subordinated 213 villages. Out of all these cities or Markazes, el-Mansha is considered the largest one in terms of area, followed by Sohag city.
The area of cultivated land is estimated at about 322 thousand feddans. The governorate is famous for the traditional crops such as wheat, onions, beans and cotton. Also, it ranks second in the cultivation of sugar cane after Qena. This is in addition to its contribution to animal and poultry production.
The governorate includes four industrial zones, namely Kawthar District - west Tahta- west Girga and east Alahajoh. Also, It hosts the industrial complex Nile Company for Cooking Oil and Detergents, as well as many spinning and weaving factories, onion-dehydration, beverages, sugar in Girga, and butane gas filling in Ahayiwia Shark.Furthermore, there are huge amounts of raw clay, marble, calcite, limestone.
1- Pre-university Education: In accordance to the statistics of 2013-2014, the number of schools in Sohag reached 2473 of which 79 are for technical education, and 91 are for private. This is in addition to 635 Azharite schools (institutes).
2- University Education: The governorate has its own university which encompasses 13 faculties, besides the College of Arabic and Islamic Studies for Girls and the College of Arabic and Islamic Studies for Boys affiliated to Al-Azhar University, in addition to the Higher Institute of Management Sciences, the Institute of Communications, and the Institute of Computer Science.
Research and Health Centers :
In Sohag, there are nine research centers, and five hospitals affiliated to the Ministry of Health, besides Health Insurance Crescent Hospital, which includes 22 renal dialysis centers, in addition to Sohag University Hospital, and 13 public hospitals.
The governorate includes 15 culture palaces, 2 movie theaters and 34 libraries, in addition to Sohag Museum which includes more than 7 thousand artifacts extracted from various places in the governorate besides a number of mummies.
Youth and Sports:
The governorate includes 175 youth centers,125 libraries, 48 sports club, 71 playgrounds, in addition to Sohag Stadium.
Monuments and Tourist Attractions:
Sohag is rich in rare cultural heritage as it includes monuments from all ages, namely Pharaonic, Coptic and Islamic.
Seti I Temple:
Seti I Temple was built in memory of King Seti I, where the walls depict King Seti I and his relations with the gods as a list of gods and kings are engraved in royal cartouches starting with Mena until Seti I. It, also, includes Osireion cemetery.
This is an enigmatic tomb situated to the rear of the temple of Seti I, where the wall engravings tell the story of creation, reckoning and punishment in front of the god Osiris court. The cemetery resembles the Valley Temple of King Khafre.
Ramses II Temple:
Ramses II temple is located north the temple of the daughter of Seti I. Although it has been mostly destroyed, but very few remains show its greatness, and the pictures inscribed on its walls illustrate the famous Battle of Kadesh details.
Merritt Amon Statue:
Merritt Amon is the daughter of Ramses II, the Great Royal wife. Her statue is the largest statue for a Pharaonic crowned queen in the Pharaonic history. It is an example of the ancient Egyptian arts' in skillfulness and splendor of colors.
Cemeteries of Umm al-Qa'ab :
This is an area which contains the tombs of some pre-dynastic kings as well as kings of the first, second, and third dynasties. It is located at Abydos in Markaz Belina.
Al-hawwaoich Cemeteries :
This is a series of tombs carved into the rock whose walls are engraved with colorful inscriptions. And, recently, a wooden colorful statue was found in addition to the first Pharaonic dress made of linen.
They are located south Otribis and include the tombs of the Fifth Dynasty, where the walls are engraved with daily life texts. and eight coffins of eight mummies were found.
Athribis City is located west Sohag, where two temples were erected at the site, namely the Temple of Ptolemy the Piper, and the Temple of Ptolemy X. In addition to many other Pharaonic tombs.
Sohag is famous for its Islamic monuments dating back to the Fatimid era, salient of which are:
1. El-Atiq Mosque:
It is also called el-Farshuti Mosque (the old mosque). It dates back to the era of Al-Hafiz, the 11th Caliph of the Fāṭimids 527 AH.
2. Sidi Arif Mosque (also known as Masjid Al-Arif Bellah):
It is located in the heart of the city of Sohag, dating back to the 8th century. However, it was reconstructed in 1968.
3. Prince Hassan Mosque:
It is located in Akhmim and constructed during the reign of Prince Hassan, son of Prince Mohammed in 1117-1121 AH on a rectangular area of 648 m2. The mosque is famous for its distinctive minaret, wonderful architectural decorations, and the wooden columns that carry the ceiling. It stands as a model of local heritage in Ottoman architecture.
4. Osman Mosque:
It is located in Girga, and is one of the ancient mosques dating back to the Ottoman era that has a distinguished architectural style. Its entrance is adorned with writings, architectural trims and beautiful decorations.
5. El-Sini Mosque:
The Porcelain Mosque known as the El-Sini Mosque is located in Girga and dates back to the Ottoman era. It was constructed during the era of Prince Mohammed Al-Fakary 1117 AH, and it was renovated in 1324 AH. It is known as El-Sini Mosque for the decorative tiles that cover the walls of the dome, and some parts of the walls.
6. Jalal Mosque:
It is located in Girga and known as the Ottoman school. It consists of three floors and dates back to 1189 AH.
7. Ali Bek Public Bath:
It is located in Girga and established by Ali Bek Al-Fakary. It consists of four small rooms surrounding a pool in center.
It is known as Anba Shenouda Monastery. It has been constructed on the basilica-style, however some of its walls had Pharaonic inscriptions and paintings. It had been constructed using some columns and stones taken from Athribis city. It is one of the most important churches in terms of space and luxury. In addition to a number of monasteries, including: the Holy Virgin Mary (Hawawish, Akhmim) , the Martyrs (Akhmim), the Archangel (Akhmim), Anba Thomas the Hermit (Akhmim), Anba Tadros Levantine and Anba Bisada.