Thursday, August 5, 2010

So far, So GREAT!

It’s been a long 3 days. Yesterday, Memphis, Saqqara, and Giza.

Today (by now night), like yesterday, started with a 6am wake-up call and ended with the evening lecture from 8-10. Somewhere in between, there’s been a trip to the Mosque/Citadel and the Egyptian Museum, a flight to Aswan, and a welcoming water taxi to the Movenpick Hotel on Elephantine Island (home of Farouk, one the guides; what a team he a Waleed make!).

The Egyptian Museum is home of one of the greatest exhibitions on classical Africa. No doubt, a powerfully moving libation was offered at the entrance of the museum to prepare the young and old minds alike to experience the fullness and vibrancy of African civilizations.

While New York was all a-buzz a few days ago about the arrival of one of Tutankhamen’s chariots, now on display at the “King Tut” exhibit in NYC, the Kemet Krew 2010 saw a far more stunning and representative collection of his belongings. As the New York Times article notes (, the exhibitioners of the NYC collection shamelessly admit that the exhibit is driven by commercialism and greed (the carriage was delivered and reassembled at night after the museum closed to ensure that not a single day of profit from the exhibit was lost; so what if rushing puts history at risk?!). With Waleed, Farouk, and Profs Carr and Beatty’s guidance (the latter doing so defiantly since only licensed guides are permitted to provide information during group tours), the commercial exploits have been circumvented, and all within earshot will be the wiser for it.

The serenity of Aswan never fails to make me think that this is how life should be lived. Wish I were there… Since there are only 24 hours in the day, and site visits (and travel time to and fro) and lectures comprise no less than 16 of them, it’s tough to find time and technology to upload to the blog regularly. But hang with us; great entries are being written and are coming to a blog post near year sooner than later. The slower pace of Aswan (compared to the rat-race of Cairo) assures it.

Until then, hotep…

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