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Fighting City Hall In Egypt To Save Red Sea Cliffs

In Sinai's Sharm el-Sheikh, a cliff restoraton project has mobilized a community against an over-the-top contractor.

Beautiful but dangerous, Sharm el-Sheikh's Um el-Sid cliffs
Beautiful but dangerous, Sharm el-Sheikh's Um el-Sid cliffs
Isabel Esterman

SHARM EL-SHEIKH — Viewed from the sea, Sharm el-Sheikh's Um el-Sid cliffs look idyllic. From the cobalt blue of the Red Sea, the water brightens to turquoise over reef formations that have made the stretch one of the world's most famous diving locations. Green gardens and white villas top the rippling brown cliffs. The spectacular setting has attracted high-flying holidaymakers such as Tony Blair and the Hosni Mubarak family.

Get a little closer, though, and the cracks start to show — literally. The cliff face is riddled with both horizontal and vertical splits, and in many places piles of boulders litter the beach. Most of the rock slides have been there for decades, but they still serve as potent reminders of what could happen if measures are not taken to reinforce the cliff face. Elsewhere, erosion is so severe that footpaths along the cliffs edge are barely wide enough for walking.

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Ideas

García Márquez And Truth: How Journalism Fed The Novelist's Fantasy

In his early journalistic writings, the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez showed he had an eye for factual details, in which he found the absurdity and 'magic' that would in time be the stuff and style of his fiction.

Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez reads his book

J. D. Torres Duarte

BOGOTÁ — In short stories written in the 1940s and early 50s and later compiled in Eyes of a Blue Dog, the late Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia's Nobel Prize-winning novelist, shows he is as yet a young writer, with a style and subjects that can be atypical.

Stylistically, García Márquez came into his own in the celebrated One Hundred Years of Solitude. Until then both his style and substance took an erratic course: touching the brevity of film scripts in Nobody Writes to the Colonel, technical experimentation in Leaf Storm, the anecdotal short novel in In Evil Hour or exploring politics in Big Mama's Funeral. Throughout, the skills he displayed were rather of a precocious juggler.

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