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Professor shares experience, insight to unlock mysteries of ancient Egypt

By Staff | Jan 17, 2011

Professor Katrina Valenzuela demonstrates a traditional Middle Eastern dance called "raqs," more commonly known worldwide as bellydancing.

Who hasn’t, at one time or another, wondered how the Pyramid of Khufu was constructed thousands of years before the birth of Christ? And what purpose the Great Sphinx of Giza served for ancient Egyptians? And how the Nile River helped in the development of this long-storied civilization?

“Mystical Egypt: Journeys Through Time,” an informative program offered by Professor Katrina Valenzuela, shares both exciting and educational presentations on the temples, pyramids, Gods and Goddesses of ancient Egypt.

“There is such an amazing energy that runs through Egypt,” said Valenzuela, a resident of Massachusetts who spends much of the month of January on Sanibel. “My grandfather was Egyptian, so I spent a lot of time going from Boston to Cairo over the years.”

Valenzuela has long been immersed in studying Egyptian culture and mythology. She has personally led more than 45 tours to Egypt since 1986 and has a wealth of knowledge and stories to share about this timeless and fascinating land.

“I prefer a group of 16 when we travel to Egypt,” she explained, noting that she conducts a very special, personal tour of the Middle Eastern lands not offered by other travel companies or group tours.

Professor Valenzuela, a frequent visitor to Sanibel, will conduct a free lecture about her experiences visiting Egypt, the Nile River, the Pyramid of Khufu and the Great Sphinx of Giza.

Her 12-night deluxe tour this November, for example, includes private visits inside the Great Pyramid and Sphinx of Giza, as well as excursions to ancient mosques, churches, temples and spiritual sights in Cairo, Aswan, Kom Ombo, Luxor and Dendera. Along the way, participants will cruise the mystic Nile and enjoy privileged access to the Nubian Museum, the Temple of Isis and the Valley of the Kings and Queens.

“Inside the Great Pyramid, nothing is in there except stone sarcophaguses,” said Valenzuela. “You can lie in there, in deep meditation, and it’s like the darkest, quietest place on earth. Truly, people are greatly moved by this experience.”

A faculty member of Cape Cod Community College’s Arts and Communications Department focusing on Middle Eastern culture, music and dance, Valenzuela both speaks and writes in Arabic. She is the founder and director of the Transformations Center for Healing & Holistic Studies, is a Certified Hypnotherapist, has studied at the Institute for Contemporary Dance in Boston for 10 years and is a graduate of the International Tour Management Institute.

While she most enjoys sharing the “histories and mysteries” of Egypt during her tours, Valenzuela’s favorite moments are when everybody comes together to dance.

“Everybody dances and music is everywhere,” she said with a smile. “We have a party on the rooftop of a friend’s house, which overlooks the Great Sphinx. Musicians come from all over. It’s really a wonderful experience. A lot of people will cry at the end of our trip because we’ve taken them on such an emotional journey.”

On Thursday, Jan. 20 starting at 6:30 p.m., Professor Valenzuela will be offering a free educational program discussing her “Mystical Egypt” tours and experiences at Sanibel Yoga, located at 2496 Palm Ridge Road, beginning at 6:30 p.m. There is no cost to attend the lecture and PowerPoint presentation.

For additional information, send her an e-mail at transform999@aol.com or visit www.transformationscenter.com.