Egypt marks annual global Earth Hour

Egypt marked the annual global Earth Hour on Saturday evening by turning off the lights of a number of landmarks across the country for 60 minutes, including Saladin Citadel in the capital Cairo.

“We participate in Earth Hour by simultaneously switching off the lights of Saladin Citadel in Cairo, Qaitbay Citadel in Alexandria, the area of the Unfinished Obelisk in Aswan and the area of Deir el-Bahari temples in Luxor,” said Mostafa Waziri, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) affiliated with the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

“The ministry’s participation in the event comes from its belief in the efforts of all countries to shed light on the phenomenon of global warming and raise awareness of its risks,” the SCA chief told Xinhua.

In Cairo Governorate, unnecessary lights were also turned off by 50 percent in the same hour, such as those in the governorate’s main office and all public buildings.

Cairo Governor Khaled Abdel-Aal said in a prior statement that Earth Hour is “a strong message” urging the preservation of natural resources for future generations.

“The participation aims to save energy, economize costs and reduce the gas emissions causing global warming, which is one of the most important topics to be discussed at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) scheduled for November in Sharm El-Sheikh,” Abdel-Aal added.

The Cairo governor also invited hotels, tourist facilities, and various authorities and institutions to follow suit and urged citizens to reduce energy consumption at their homes during Earth Hour.

Earth Hour is a worldwide initiative organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The event started in Sydney, Australia, in 2007.

The event is marked on the last Saturday of March every year, encouraging institutions, communities, businesses and individuals to turn off non-essential electric lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. as a symbolic contribution to preservation of the planet. ■

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