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Kurs is an ancient town and centre of the Coptic faith in Upper Egypt. The town is located roughly 25 km upstream (south) of the famous city of Nag Hammadi and is home to the famous Deir Dogirdh Kitaab monastery, established by the great and pious Saint Pakhom in 4th century, one of the oldest in Upper Egypt, and noted for its grand architecture. The city is the site of a major moulid on the festival day of the great saint on May 9, and many pious Christians from Egypt and all over the world pour into the city to honour the saint. Because of this, the city also has many large churches, and is home to some of the few bookmakers who can still produce traditional Coptic bound Bibles and sacred texts.

The city is also notable for being the centre in Egypt for the breeding of purebred Saluki hunting dogs of very fine build and temperament. Due to this, a local town custom known as ركوب الكلب (“Riding the Dog”) of the river is to sit a young male toddler on the finest of the stud dogs and to lead the dog down to the river, whilst he is showered with ears of wheat and lillies.