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World - Middle East

Egypt to welcome millennium with Pyramids extravaganza

pyramids
The Pyramids at Giza will mark the new millennium with a huge celebration of lights, lasers and music  

December 27, 1999
Web posted at: 9:13 p.m. EST (0213 GMT)

CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) -- Egypt, birthplace of an ancient civilization, has seen many a millennium come and go. And it's not planning to drift passively into the new one.

At the Pyramids, Egypt's timeless monuments, late-night rehearsals are ongoing for the biggest sound, light and laser extravaganza this ancient site has ever seen.

From sunset to sunrise on the last night of the millennium, the site of one of the Seven Wonders of the World will form what is arguably the most breathtaking backdrop for any New Year's party anywhere.

 VIDEO
CNN's Ben Wedeman previews Egypt's extravaganza. (December 27)
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  MESSAGE BOARD
New Year's 2000
 

An audience of 50,000 is expected to attend this psychedelic fusion of the ancient and the modern.

French musician Jean Michelle Jarre will be the featured entertainer, but he considers himself in a supporting role.

"From day one, I think the real star that night will be the Pyramids and the state of Egypt," Jarre said.

"Celebrating the millennium is old meeting new - and maybe in a sense the hieroglyphs meeting the Internet," he added.

Meanwhile, as the nighttime rehearsals continue, nearby on the Nile River, sailboats practice for a New Year's Eve regatta.



RELATED STORIES:
City Guide: Cairo

CNN In-Depth Specials:
  • Millennium: A Perspectives Series
  • At 2000
  • THE NEXT MILLENNIUM: NOW WHAT?

RELATED SITES:
NOVA Online/Pyramids -- The Inside Story
Countdown 2000: Millennium Celebrations: Cairo
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