Monday, August 9, 2010

Strip Me

Egypt is everything I wanted it to be and also everything I could have never imagined it to be. It's quite funny how things can be so different halfway around the world, but also the same as what you see on a daily basis in your own backyard. For instance, the highest price I've paid for a can soda is $4.00! (I was DESPERATE!!!) But contrastingly, I saw the effects of "gentrification" in Egypt, something that is no stranger to the city of Washington D.C. It's also interesting to see how the tourist industry vigorously drives the country of Egypt and how vital it is for the survival of the Egyptian people.

It's quite amazing to view the impact history can have on a person. When I was a second grader, my mom gave me a CD that had a virtual tour of Egypt on it. Everyday for at least three months I would watch the tour and learn various things such as how mummies were prepared, what lakes emptied out into the Nile River, and the names of various kings, queens, and pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. For a long time, I have always said that Egypt would be my first international trip. And what do you know? I am here in the great country of Egypt on the magnificent continent of Africa.

Although I had been studying this country off and on for many years including skimming of the summer reading, it dawned on me that what I had studied could only compare to one tiny spec of salt, in regards to the the concrete history or better yet OURstory that actually engulfed this country. As I looked out the window of my flight before it entered Cairo, I noticed the vast area of nothing but sand and wondered to myself if there may have been ancient ruins still buried in the actual sand. And sure enough, from the assurance of my outstanding professor, Dr. Carr who is well informed about Ourstory of ancient Egypt my thoughts were correct the artifacts that have been recovered from the ruins of Ancient Egypt is actually the tip of your pinky fingernail in comparison to your entire body. Amazing! As I walked through the terminal, went through customs, and stepped out in the 106℉ weather with a blazing sun hitting the back of my neck, I decided I wanted to be stripped. I wanted to be stripped of the National Geographic virtual tour of Egypt (although it was a great CD), stripped of western thought from western textbooks, and even stripped of the thoughts of Egyptian Egyptologists like Zahi Hawass, who should probably go back and rethink his theories, especially on the issue of race of the Ancient Egyptians. So Egypt, you have my permission to strip me. Let your statues, temples, and artifacts strip me of HIStory and begin to tell OURstory.

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