Downtown Cairo did not sleep last Friday night. Its streets were enlivened with the scene of a huge carnival, with hundred of thousands of Cairenes leaving their homes to line the pavements and bridges as they bade farewell to the red granite colossus of the 19th-dynasty Pharaoh Ramses II. The colossus, the central point of Bab Al-Hadid Square since 1954, was now making the overnight journey to its new home at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) overlooking the Giza Plateau.
As the 'royal' cavalcade rolled through the streets, where thousands of policemen were deployed in a bid to form a cordon allowing for the safe passage of the convoy, people stood at their windows and balconies waving, clapping, whistling and ululating to greet the pharaoh, while others climbed buses, cars and buildings trying to catch the last glimpse of this familiar downtown landmark.
Saturday, April 09, 2011
Ramsess II's last journey
Ahram Online (Nevine El Aref)