Posted by: xeper | March 24, 2008

Ancient Egyptian Heritage.. Strong Globally, Weak Locally..

This is not an elaborate post.

I went to the movies last weekend to watch a movie that looked interesting in its idea and whose poster showed the Pyramids of Giza. In the movie previews playing before that movie, I found the Pyramids of Giza showed in the preview of one other movie, and that yet another one had other pyramids. I noticed something else too, and to verify it I checked a site listing movies currently playing in Egypt, I found out there were 26 movies playing in the modern movie theaters this week, of which 9 are Egyptian, 16 American, and one Lebanese.

By now you know what I noticed. The Pyramids poster was one of the American movies’; Jumper.

200px-jumperposter-promotional-movie-poster.jpg

I have to admit that the posters of one Egyptian movie (7iina Maysara) had the Udjat showing prominently on the main actress as her main piece of jewelry, but it didn’t show on the main poster which included all the actors. We are being crushed under the demands of everyday life and the eminent famine we are facing. However, and notwithstanding the reasons, the clear result is that living within a weak, old and dying Egypt caused modern Egyptians to lose interest in their cultural heritage to reach a level lower than that of humans living away from the dying old lady, thus remembering only her glory from the ancient times and her good old days.

For the sake of contemplative exercise, I’d like to note that Jumper jumped around many places around the globe; the USA, Egypt, China, the UK, France, Italy, the Emirates (specifically Dubai) and some country with a civil war. So if the collective consciousness of the movie producers was any indication of global consciousness, Egypt (the original version), may still own one eighth of today’s, for lack of a better term, global consciousness. However, it doesn’t seem to be that strong in local consciousness.

References:

  • About the bread crisis in Egypt, here’s a Google search. In addition to the BBC article in the main text, you might be interested in this article, and check out who’s happy about it here.
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Responses

  1. I have noticed this about awareness of Ancient Egyptian culture and it always saddens me. Several of my Egyptian friends are genuinely baffled as to why I deote so much of my passion and energy to AE, and for a long time I was genuinely baffled as to why it baffled them. When I belatedly looked at modern Egypt it really began to make sence to me, however.

    As a side note, I like this blog, it’s a great work!

  2. Indeed. I am planning to have two posts about the Egyptian tragedy on May 2. I would greatly appreciate your feedback on (one of) them of them.

    Aside from that, maybe you will be comforted to know there is a faint re-discovery of AE especially among the young educated. It is in isolated efforts and restricted with the constraints of budget and mainstream culture.

    Please tell me if I can improve the blog or any post in any way. And many thanks Silver for your nice words and encouragement. It’s really nice to know you’re there.

  3. Of course. I’d be happy to do that for you.

    It is god to know that there is some rediscovery. I think the two factors you mention hampering this are recurring problems over there that affect many cultural and academic revivals. The same is true anywhere, of course, but perhaps more acutely so in Egypt. But we can all pray and hope, and sieze what opportunities are presented to reawaken that interest, awareness and respect.

    I have seen some encouraging things too, on occasion (one fine day, and individual, in paticular stick in my mind always) but it is easy to feel depressed and that you are bailing out the Titanic with a plastic cup, in many ways, not just awareness of the past…

  4. Silver, you sound like you know a lot about contemporary Egypt. And judging by the very little I know about you, I think we have a lot to discuss. Would you like to propose topics to discuss on Xeper? for it is for Social development (particularly of the Egyptian context) as it is for Personal development.

    We are bailing the Titanic with a plastic cup, in many ways, indeed. But “Never think that a handful of committed people can’t change the world. In fact, it’s the only thing that ever has [happened].” –Margaret Mead

  5. I would lvoe ot help in anyway I can, though not sure how much help I can be! I’ve had a few thoughts though, and can email them over to you. What’s your email address?

    My contact details are on my blog (see “About the author”) so you can email me anytime.

  6. Do you think lack of awareness is mainly down to preoccupation with daily pressures of life? Were the Egyptians any more interested in AE in more affluent times? It seems to me that they were also unaware during the period when many of the antiquities were being “borrowed” and taken to Europe and America so they couldn’t have known the importance then either. Or did they?

    Lot’s of questions, I’m sorry, but last one… do you think it could be to do with religion and not wanting to be seen as “idolators” if they show too much interest and fascination in AE? As a Muslim I think knowing about AE can help with increasing knowledge of Islam and other religions. I believe it says in the Quran that Allah left these things as signs so we could know.

    “Sajdah 26. Does it not teach them a lesson, how many generations We destroyed before them, in whose dwellings they (now) go to and fro? Verily in that are Signs: Do they not then listen?”

  7. @Zakhak: Important and difficult questions. I will attempt to explore that in a post soon God willing.

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