Egyption History & Travel - 2010

space to be called “personal”. Of course, most of these people were tourists rather than natives and our guide told us we were not seeing it at its most crowded since we were not here at high season. I cannot even imagine how any more people could have been packed into that building whose walls bulged outward under our attempts to pass by the marvelous statuary, sarcophagi, textiles, jewelry, weapons displays, and funerary objects! The historical wealth of Egypt is on casual display here and yet less than 10% of the holdings are on exhibit at any one time! Here Zahi Hawass is indeed the Pharaoh and he rules his kingdom with an iron hand. He determines what will be seen, whether or not pictures can be taken, when rooms are closed off, when construction takes place, what information is supplied—the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities is his home and his castle! But it is still Egypt's treasure house and it is truly magnificent. A new museum is in the planning stages and it is much needed, but since all projects here are very slow to complete, it will be at least another 10 years before Pharaoh Hawass has another palace. Note : At the conclusion of the formal demonstrations, it has been announced that 17 artifacts disappeared from the Museum during the standoffs. Two of them were connected with King Tut, but it appears that the great bulk of treasures was unharmed and remains safe in the national treasure trove. One of the biggest problems in Cairo is the lack of coordinated trash and garbage pick-up and disposal. When it is done at all, it seems to be individuals who take it upon themselves to do something about it. Usually, the trash and garbage just pile up along the streets and create the feeling that Cairo is not just untidy but unhealthy as well. We had read that some of the poor Christian citizens have traditionally attempted to deal with the garbage in order to salvage what is valuable from it. They apparently are said to pick the trash up and carry it into the districts where they live in order to sort it out. But what happens to the “non-valuable” stuff when they finish their “work” is never revealed. Note : The day after Mubarak's departure, the demonstrators themselves, helped and guarded by the military, carried out the cleanup in Tahrir Square. Surely this testifies to the responsibility and civic duty of the thousands of people who brought down Mubarak peaceably. May they continue on the road to a fair and just society for all the Egyptians.

Because of the Aswan High Dam, electricity is available inexpensively to almost all citizens of the country, so the cities and towns are brightly lit and there is no problem


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