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The High Dam The High Dam
Photo courtesy of
Egyptian Tourism Authority

After the 1952 army coup, the junta introduced new visions for the country. President Gamal Abdel Nasser planned to build the high dam to boost the development of the economy.

The dam was a necessity because the population was increasing and it was sure that Egypt's agriculture resources wouldn't meet the future demand. The construction of the high dam would significantly increase the cultivated lands, protect the country against unpredictable floods and droughts, and provide the country with electricity needed for development plans.

But its construction had also side effects; the dam would create a reservoir that would inundate big part of NubiaWhat does it mean? including important monuments and complete villages.

Egypt and Sudan launched an international appeal through UNESCO to salvage the threatened monuments. Several teams worked on site to move and document monuments in one of the biggest salvage operations of its kind in the globe. Among those monuments are Abu Simbel temples, Philae island and Kalabsha. The village of NubiaWhat does it mean? was relocated somewhere else. The construction of the dam took 11 years from 1960 to 1971.

After UK and US refrained from presenting the financial aid required for the building operation, the Soviet Union offered the required aid and the necessary expertise.

The dam made an artificial reservoir called 'Nasser Lake' behind it at the length of 500 kilometers (150 km or 93 miles in Sudan and 350 km or 218 miles in Egypt) with an average width of 11 kilometers (6.8 miles). The lake is one of the longest artificial lakes in the world. The dam itself is a miracle; it is 114 meters (374 ft) high and its width is 980 meters (3215 ft) at base and 40 (130 ft) meters at top. Its length is about 3.8 kilometers (2.4 miles) across the Nile.

To the west is a huge monumental structure built to honor the Egyptian-Soviet friendship. It takes the shape of a blossomy lotus.

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