PRI’s The World: Listen to Dr. El-Baz Discuss His

Vision for Expansion Along Nile River in Egypt

By Traci Tong

PRI’s The World

August 12, 2013

Listen here

Farouk El Baz points to the Nile River in Egypt. He advocates for expanding development farther from the river’s edge. (photo: Jason Margolis)

Farouk El baz is imagining a second Nile Valley for his home country–in the town of Zagazig–the answer to our geo quiz.

El Baz is the director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University. But’s originally from Zagazig and that’s where his vision begins.

Zagazig is in the eastern part of the Nile Delta and is a rich and fertile area. That’s where El Baz hopes to expand his new development. He’s been working on the project for more than 30 years.

Farouk El Baz with former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat (Photo: Courtesy of Farouk El Baz)

Egyptians live on a thin strip of land along the Nile River. But El Baz wants to take an area close to the river, a fertile area, and expand out roughly 10 acres. He said by doing that, you can multiply the livable area three times. His plans also include connecting the development to railroad lines, electricity and water pipeline.

“My idea is to keep people very close to where they are today. Living away a hundred miles or 200 miles is not a very kind thing to Egyptians. They really would like to live very close to where they were born,” says El Baz.

El Baz credits former President Anwar Sadat for providing him with the vision.

The project is estimated to cost roughly $24 Billion.