For Immediate Release                      Contact:   Gail Towns              or           Tara Strickland
                                                                                   732.987.2266                          732.987.2291
                                                                                    gtowns@georgian.edu         tstrickland@georgian.edu

Ancient Egypt Focus of Georgian Court Summer Lecture Series

Lakewood, N.J., June 15, 2010—Georgian Court University offers a 21st-century look at ancient Egyptian civilization during Egypt Fest, the July 12-17 series of lectures and special activities focused on the land of pharaohs, pyramids, and priceless antiquities. 

Egyptologist Henry Ayoub of Cairo is the university’s special guest for the six-day program that examines the country’s rich history, the impact of women rulers, modern archaeological discoveries, and Egypt’s ties to the earliest Christians.

“He has a wealth of information to share,” says Lisa Festa, Ph.D., a GCU assistant professor of art history, who met Mr. Ayoub during a July 2009 visit to Cairo. “He’s a wonderful spokesman for his country, and I hope that in hearing from him, he will shatter any myths that participants might have about Egypt—not only in what we think we know about the ancient past, but Egypt’s modern history, too.”

The events, which are open to the general public, include morning and evening presentations, informal lunch discussions, and a Friday evening Egyptian dinner and lecture on Coptic art and architecture. Egypt Fest concludes with a Kids Cultural Day on Saturday, July 17, when area youngsters are invited to enjoy hands-on art activities and hear tales from ancient Egypt.

GCU’s Egypt Fest complements several Egypt-related presentations happening in the region this summer, and gives culture and archaeology buffs an affordable—and nearby—opportunity to explore subjects like the tombs of the Valley of the Kings, the Giza pyramid complex, and more. Regionally, traveling shows including "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" at Discovery Times Square Expo, "Tutankhamun's Funeral" at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and "Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt" at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia also underscore the public’s fascination with Egypt.

“The Egyptian civilization is one of the most significant in the ancient world, not only in terms of the length of its leadership—roughly 3,000 years B.C.—but also in geographic land mass as well,” Mr. Ayoub explains. “It is a civilization that is still full of mysteries and this makes people eager to investigate its ancient secrets.”

Participants at Egypt Fest will also hear Mr. Ayoub talk about present-day research in Egypt, including the use of modern technology, especially DNA and CT scans, to reveal new information about highly successful female pharaoh Hatshepsut and the “boy king” Tutankhamun.

Mr. Ayoub, a former field archaeologist who worked in the area of Giza’s pyramids from 1992 to 1996, has shared in many digs around the Sphinx and was part of the team that uncovered the tombs of the pyramid builders. Since 1996, he has been a freelance guide who has led English-speaking tour groups from around the world and works closely with religious and educational groups interested in exploring the country. Mr. Ayoub has degrees in Egyptology and Coptic theology, and has a post-graduate degree as a professional tour guide. When he’s not in Egypt, he lectures around the world. Egypt Fest includes:

Monday, July 12
The Old Kingdom, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in GCU’s Little Theatre
Lunch and informal discussion with Henry Ayoub, 12:30 p.m. in the GCU Dining Hall
Women in Ancient Egypt, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in GCU’s Little Theatre

Tuesday, July 13
The New Kingdom, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., place to be announced
Lunch and informal discussion with Henry Ayoub, 12:30 p.m. in the GCU Dining Hall

Wednesday, July 14
Women in Ancient Egypt, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in GCU’s Little Theatre
Lunch and informal discussion with Henry Ayoub, 12:30 p.m. in the GCU Dining Hall
Recent Discoveries in Egyptian Archaeology, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in GCU’s Little Theatre

Thursday, July 15
Recent Discoveries in Egyptian Archaeology, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in GCU’s Little Theatre
Lunch and informal discussion with Henry Ayoub, 12:30 p.m. in the GCU Dining Hall

Friday, July 16
The Holy Family in Egypt, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in GCU’s Little Theatre
Lunch and informal discussion with Henry Ayoub, 12:30 p.m. in the GCU Dining Hall
Dinner & Lecture: Coptic Art and Architecture, 6:30 p.m., North Dining Room

Saturday, July 17
Kids Culture Day, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., location to be announced

Event pricing
Lecture Package (includes five daytime lectures): $100; $80 for members of GCU’s McAuley Institute for Lifelong Learning
Individual Lectures: $25 per person
Dinner & Lecture on Coptic art and architecture: $37 per person
Lunches: $15 per person
Kids Cultural Day: $20 per person, which includes craft supplies, refreshments and a take-home craft

Descriptions of each lecture are available online at www.georgian.edu/public_events/index.htm and reservations for Egypt Fest can be made through GCU’s Office of Conferences and Special Events at 732.987.2263 or specialevents@georgian.edu. The McAuley Institute for Lifelong Learning, GCU’s ongoing series of non-credit courses for audiences 50 and older, is coordinated by the Office of Office of Conferences and Special Events. Registration forms and more information is available at  www.georgian.edu/mcauley/index.htm.

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves over 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at One Woodbridge Center in Woodbridge, at Coastal Communiversity in Wall, and at Cumberland County College in Vineland.

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