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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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Families wait for news of their missing relatives following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Barev!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where 21 are killed in a school shooting in Texas, Davos focuses on Ukraine, and a vertigo-inducing world record is broken at Mont-Saint-Michel. Die Welt also offers a psychoanalyst’s perspective on how war survivors pass trauma onto their children.

[*Armenian]

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