Saturday, September 11, 2010

Egypt must wake up to respect and protect its treasures

The National (Hadeel al Shalchi)

Egypt is an open-air museum. Every few months a news release pops up in newsroom inboxes announcing the discovery of an ancient tomb, statue or even complete cities.

The latest was the discovery of a Greco-Roman underwater city discovered in the elite summer playground of Marina. It’s amazing to think about the hundreds of upper- class Egyptians frolicking in their pools and pristine beaches, right on top of one of the oldest human cities.

It reminded me of the ancient Egyptian grave site I was invited to visit a year ago and discovered just an hour outside Cairo. We were led by the head archaeologist on the dig and invited to crouch down inside the graves, inches away from intricately painted sarcophaguses, with pieces of mummy linen escaping from the cracks.

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