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MODERN EGYPT

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Bianca
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« Reply #105 on: April 24, 2009, 08:03:55 pm »











References



[1] Redford, D.B. 1992. Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 412.

[2] Ibid, 129.

[3] Eban, A. 1984. Heritage: Civilization and the Jews. New York: Summit Books, 20.

[4] Ibid, 20.

[5] Lemche, N.P. 1998. Prelude to Israel's Past. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 139-141.

[6] Shanks, H. 2001. "A Centrist the Center of Controversy," Biblical Archaeology Review, December, 41.

[7] Finkelstein, I. and Silberman, N.A. 2001. The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of its Sacred Texts. New York: Simon and Schuster, 60.

[8] Dever, W.G. 2003. Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 12-13.

[9] Finkelstein and Silberman, 2001, 68.

[10] Konner, M. 2003. Unsettled: An Anthropology of the Jews. New York: Viking Penguin, 3.

[11] Finkelstein and Silberman, 2001, 283.

[12] Redford, 1992, 412-413.

[13] Kirsch, J. 1998. Moses, A Life. New York: Ballantine, 179.

[14] Denby, D. 1998. "No Exodus." The New Yorker, December 7 & 14, 185.

[15] Kirsch, 1998, 47.

[16] Lazare, D. 2002. "False Testament: Archaeology Refutes the Bible's Claim to History," Harper's, March, 41.

[17] Denby, 1998, 186.

[18] Quoted by Konner, 2003, 197. ---



http://www.dimaggio.org/Heretic/non-divine_origins_of_the_bible.htm
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« Reply #106 on: April 27, 2009, 12:37:20 pm »









                                  Egyptian woman dies of bird flu, 3rd fatality in a week
           





Fri Apr 24, 2009
CAIRO
(Reuters)

– A 33-year-old Egyptian woman has died of the H5N1 bird flu virus, Egypt's third human death from bird flu in a week, the state news agency MENA said on Friday.

The woman, Saadiya Mohamed Abdel Latief Hamed, died in Kafr El-Sheikh province and is Egypt's 26th bird flu victim, MENA said, citing a health ministry statement.

She was admitted to hospital on April 15 suffering from fever and difficulty breathing, and tests confirmed she was infected with H5N1 avian flu. MENA said she had been exposed to infected household poultry.

A 6-year-old boy and a 25-year-old woman died from the H5N1 virus on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, and an Egyptian woman contracted the virus on Thursday.

Egypt, harder hit by bird flu than any other country outside Asia, has seen a surge of cases in recent weeks, with eight new human infections in April alone -- as many as in all of 2008.

Most of the Egyptians infected this year have been young children. While the avian influenza virus rarely infects people, experts say they fear it could mutate into a form that people could easily pass to one another, which might spark a pandemic that could kill millions.

Since 2003, H5N1 has infected more than 400 people in 15 countries and killed more than 250. It has killed or forced the culling of more than 300 million birds in 61 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

Most Egyptians infected with bird flu had come into contact with infected domestic birds in a country where some 5 million households depend on their poultry as a significant source of food and income.

The World Health Organization said this month it was concerned some Egyptians may carry the bird flu virus without showing symptoms, and this could give the virus more scope to mutate to a strain that spreads easily among humans. Whether such cases exist will be the focus of a planned Egyptian government study, backed by the global health body.



(Writing by
Aziz El-Kaissouni,

editing by
Tim Pearce)
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« Reply #107 on: April 29, 2009, 08:29:08 am »









                                      Egypt orders slaughter of all pigs over swine flu 
 





Apr 29, 2009
By MAAMOUN YOUSSEF
Associated Press Writer 
 CAIRO
(AP)

- Egypt began slaughtering the roughly 300,000 pigs in the country Wednesday as a precautionary measure against the spread of swine flu even though no cases have been reported here yet, the Health Ministry said.
The move immediately provoked resistance from pig farmers. At one large pig farming center just north of Cairo, farmers refused to cooperate with Health Ministry workers who came to slaughter the animals and the workers left without carrying out the government order.


"It has been decided to immediately start slaughtering all the pigs in Egypt using the full capacity of the country's slaughterhouses," Health Minister Hatem el-Gabaly told reporters after a Cabinet meeting with President Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt's overwhelmingly Muslim population does not eat pork due to religious restrictions. But the animals are raised and consumed by the Christian minority, which some estimates put at 10 percent of the population.

Health Ministry spokesman Abdel Rahman estimated there were between 300,000-350,000 pigs in Egypt.

Agriculture Minister Amin Abaza told reporters that farmers would be allowed to sell the pork meat so there would be no need for compensation.

In 2008, following fears over diseases spread by animals, Mubarak ordered all pig and chicken farms moved out of population areas. But the order was never implemented.

Pigs can be found in many places around Muslim world, often raised by religious minorities who can eat pork. But they are banned entirely in some Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Libya.

In Jordan, the government decided Wednesday to shut down the country's five pig farms, involving 800 animals, for violating public health safety regulations.



Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
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« Reply #108 on: May 01, 2009, 07:56:36 am »









                         Egypt Retrieves 454 Ancient Artifacts From Eton’s Myers Museum






By Mahmoud Kassem and
Emad Mekay
April 30, 2009
(Bloomberg)

-- Egyptian authorities have recovered 454 ancient Egyptian artifacts, including pharaonic pottery
and bronze coins, from the U.K.’s Myers Museum. They had been removed from the country more
than 30 years ago.

The pieces have been returned to Egypt, the Cairo-based Culture Ministry said in a statement today, citing the country’s chief archaeologist Zahi Hawass. The Myers Museum is part of Eton College, in Windsor, west of London. No one at the museum was immediately available for comment.

The recovered artifacts were taken out of the country between 1972 and 1988 after Unesco banned antiquities trafficking in 1970, Hussein Al-Afuni, a head of Egypt’s Red Sea antiquities department,
was quoted in the statement as saying.

The items included 12 bronze coins, four scarabs, 94 beaded necklaces, 99 fragments of pottery with colored drawings and 109 funerary figures, the statement said.

Since 2002, Egypt has recovered some 5,000 ancient Egyptian artifacts that were taken out of the country.

The Myers Museum is a collection of ancient Egyptian decorative arts, and is housed inside Eton College. Most of the collection was acquired by William Joseph Myers (1858-1899), who attended
Eton.





To contact the reporter on this story:

Mahmoud Kassem
in Cairo at
mkassem1@bloomberg.net;

Emad Mekay
in Cairo
emekay@bloomberg.net.



Last Updated: April 30, 2009 12:08 EDT
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« Reply #109 on: May 01, 2009, 09:31:05 pm »










                                                       Each to their own






Nubia's curious geographical location as a corridor between Africa south of the Sahara, Egypt and the Arab world coupled with a somewhat schizophrenic outlook -- simultaneously espousing historical isolation and integration with its neighbours -- created a unique culture that Nubians appear eager for outsiders to comprehend, writes Gamal Nkrumah

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------









History provides hope in dark days, and especially so for the proud people of Nubia.

They lost their land in the early 1970s, now submerged beneath one of Africa's largest man- made fresh water reservoirs -- Lake Nasser. The lake, some 360km long in Egyptian territory and a further 140km in adjacent territory
in Sudan, virtually plunged what was once known as Lower Nubia.




               

                 LAKE NASSER
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« Reply #110 on: May 01, 2009, 09:32:25 pm »




               
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« Reply #111 on: May 01, 2009, 09:33:23 pm »










Archaeologists like to kick tough decisions into the long papyri and tall rushes that sprout along the banks of the Nile. An unprecedented salvage operation was launched to rescue the monuments and temples of Nubia from the muddy, silt-laden waters that accumulated behind the Aswan High Dam constructed between 1960-64, and completed in 1970. Many dreaded questions are now re-emerging from the inundated undergrowth. Interestingly enough, for the first time in the recorded history of the period, unpublished documents written by scholars and archaeologists and relating to the days of the salvage operation were presented and debated at this week's Aswan conference.

Delving into the depths of Nubian history and heritage requires a great deal more openness with prospective scholars, the new generation of archeologists concerned with Nubia. Institutions, the local Egyptian and Sudanese ones included, are needlessly vague -- and let us be blunt, occasionally dishonest about who will be teaching what. Too little is known about what has gone under, what has been lost forever. But at least now we know a little more about what remains -- what was salvaged and what was submerged. The consensus at the Aswan conference was that the Nubians deserve more in return.

Traditional bonds with their ancestral land remain as binding today as they were in the days before the Pharaohs. Ceramics were, after all, produced by the forefathers of the Nubians by 8,000 BC -- at least two millennia before far less sophisticated imitations were crafted in Egypt. So what was the precise nature of the relationship between the land now known as Nubia and Egypt proper over the ages? The history and culture of Lower Nubia, the geographical focus of the Aswan conference, was always inextricably intertwined with Egypt's. Yet, the relationship was never clearly defined. Lower Nubia was culturally contiguous with Egypt proper, but it was never fully incorporated into the "Two Lands".
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« Reply #112 on: May 01, 2009, 09:34:25 pm »




               

                ASWAN HIGH DAM
                Aereal View








Why Lower Nubia continued to be designated as something of a Wild West by the Pharaohs continues to be a curious mystery: was it an accident of geography or an indication of a racial and ethnic separation?

The 50th anniversary of the official appeal by Egypt and Sudan to UNESCO on 6 April 1959 to save the monuments of Lower Nubia proved to be the perfect opportunity to tackle this contentious subject afresh.

In the corridors of the Nubia Museum, Aswan, the dominant metaphor in deliberations at the conference entitled "Lower Nubia: Revisiting Memories of the Past, Envisaging Perspectives for the Future" was continuity. In the Nubian context, the word is synonymous with eternity. The conference took place in Aswan (21-24 March) -- in actual fact the closing session was extended to 25 March.
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« Reply #113 on: May 01, 2009, 09:36:03 pm »



             
   
              PHARAOH,
              LORD OF 'TWO LANDS'








So who are the Nubians and what do they desire? In ancient times the inhabitants, or at least the ruling cliques of the highly stratified and hierarchical societies, of Lower Nubia adopted Egyptian attire. Their priests, like their Egyptian counterparts, donned sacred leopard skins. Their rulers, however, were invariably depicted by the Egyptians as wearing a headdress distinguished by a sole upright feather -- which in Egypt's New Kingdom's iconography denoted a southern adversary.

A love- hate relationship developed, which is curiously commonplace even today.

The contemporary Nubians are the indigenous peoples of the central Nile Valley who live along the narrow patches of fertile land that snakes through the desert and forms a gigantic letter "S" in northern Sudan and the southern tip of Egypt. They are a people whose precise origins are unknown, but whose elders today converse in four closely related Nilo-Saharan languages known collectively as "Nubian". The Nubians' aspirations like their compatriots in Egypt and Sudan are for social and economic uplift. Ancient Kushite inscriptions abound, but the Meroetic language is not yet deciphered.

"Nubia was the meeting place of the Mediterranean and African civilisations," director of the Nubia Museum, Aswan, Osama Abdel-Maguid told Al-Ahram Weekly. "We are neither Saaida [Upper Egyptians] nor Arabs. We are Nubians," he states categorically.

"Egyptian state gods such as Amun were worshipped in ancient Nubia, but so were purely Nubian gods such as the Lion deity Apedemek," he explains. "Exquisite pottery, intricately-designed jewellery and fine woven cloth were all produced to a high standard of craftsmanship."
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« Reply #114 on: May 01, 2009, 09:37:11 pm »











In some ways, of course, it is only natural that Nubia should appear as an appendage of Egyptian civilisation. It is in a different category partly because Nubians are distinctive racially from the rest of Egyptians -- then and now the darker complexion of the Nubians was a defining characteristic of their unique identity and a distinguishing factor from Upper Egyptians. Language was yet another differentiating factor. However, it is clear that in ancient times -- from the pre-dynastic era to the dying days of the Pharaohs -- the distinction between Upper and Lower Nubia was as marked as that between Nubia (Upper and Lower) and Egypt (Upper and Lower). It was then that I was confronted with the notion that Lower Nubia was different in more respects than one, that it had its own separate cultural identity.

An attempt at obfuscation is not conducive to a serious study of Nubia at this historical juncture. It is vitally important to stress that the area under discussion at the Aswan conference is Lower, as opposed to Upper, Nubia.

Broad-ranging and meticulously researched working papers were presented at the Aswan conference. Personally, I got to thinking about the curious question of Nubia's uniqueness. Nubia is not a country, and Nubians do not necessarily aspire to create a country distinct from either Egypt or Sudan.
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« Reply #115 on: May 01, 2009, 09:38:06 pm »









However, since time immemorial Nubia was a distinct land, but an integral part of the Egyptian sphere of influence. It was also an extension of sub-Saharan Africa albeit with distinct Egyptian influences. Lower Nubia traditionally was far more Egyptian oriented than Upper Nubia which retained to a greater degree its "African" character.

The salvage campaign commenced in the 1960s and 1970s, with temples lifted piecemeal to countries that generously donated in terms of funding and personnel to the salvage operation. A prime example was the Ellesya Temple, which was reconstructed, stone by stone, in Turin's Museum of Egypt, Italy. However, there were monumental structures that remained almost intact at home, or were partially or completely reconstructed such as the Temple of Abu Simbel and that of Philae, Aswan.

The Aswan conference was organised by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture (the Supreme Council of Antiquities and Office for the Salvage of the Monuments of Nubia) in conjunction with the Sudanese Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport (the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums). The four- day conference focussed primarily, although not exclusively, on the areas of Lower Nubia inundated by Lake Nasser.

Nonetheless, there was clear polemic on the areas of Lower Nubia not subjected to flooding, at least not yet. Indeed, the laying of the foundation stones last month of the Meroe Dam in northern Sudan is bound to subject more Nubian land to permanent inundation. "There are fundamental differences in the nature of the salvage operations of the Aswan High Dam and the Meroe Dam. The latter led to the inundation of an area that was characterised by monumental temples, forts and palaces. The area further south in Upper Nubia contained relatively fewer gargantuan structures," General Director of the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums of Sudan (NCAM) Hassan Hussein Idriss told the Weekly.
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« Reply #116 on: May 01, 2009, 09:38:52 pm »










Idriss explained that the planned Nubia Museum of Wadi Halfa, Sudan, is designed to cater for the tourists (both local and foreign) who are more interested in the smaller and less glamorous but equally revealing artefacts, historical remains and ancient objects. The proposed Wadi Halfa Museum is meant to play a complimentary role to that of the Nubian Museum in Aswan. Both focus on Lower Nubia -- a region of once meandering farmland along the banks of the Nile between the First Cataract immediately south of Aswan and the Third Cataract north of Dongola in Sudan.

"Egypt and Sudan are working in tandem to facilitate the exhibition of the cultural heritage of the people of Lower Nubia throughout history and including contemporary Nubian culture."

There is something heartwarming when it comes to enthusing about Nubian culture. The zeal and anticipation of Idriss is infectious. He notes that the Wadi Halfa Museum is designed to be a "showcase for ancient and modern Nubian culture".

And, the director of the Nubia Museum, Aswan, concurs. "I strongly believe that the present is an extension of the past," Abdel-Maguid tells the Weekly. "Nubians like to keep the ancient traditions alive. They are acutely aware that theirs is a special heritage," he explains.

Beneath the rather relaxed exterior, the director of the Nubian Museum, Aswan, exudes an unmistakable exuberance. He is particularly ecstatic with the proceedings, results and recommendations of the conference.

"The present echoes the past," he reiterates. "Essendogo, the Water Angel, was placated with sacraments of grain porridge and boiled dates," he extrapolates. He cites living examples. "The Nubians have a very distinct tradition of celebrating the Muslim festival of Ashoura and that bears little resemblance to Islam and that is reminiscent of ancient legends from the remotest past. There is an intrinsic and symbiotic relationship between Osiris and Al-Hussein, this is an integral part of our culture. It also denotes our cultural specificity."
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« Reply #117 on: May 01, 2009, 09:39:42 pm »









He sheds further light on a fascinating analogy. "In the Nubian mind, Al-Hussein is very much associated with Osiris. Indeed, the martyrdom of Hussein is reminder of the assassination of Osiris." He revels in facets of Nubian culture and calls his listeners' attention to the minutiae and particularistic nuances of Nubia's cultural heritage. I ponder the implications.

For someone so self-avowedly wedded to tradition, the Aswan conference is of special significance. Questioned about the potential conflict of interest involved in the construction of yet another Nubian museum in the region, he adopts the maxim the more the merrier.

"The cross is to this day a powerful symbol of Nubian cultural specificity and is frequently used as a motif to embellish buildings," he points out. Nubia, he stresses, was a Christian land for more than a millennium before its inhabitants adopted Islam as its own religion.

"The concept of libation is particularly prevalent in Nubia. It is a tradition that is practised in many African cultures. It is related to the Nile, the sanctity of the river, and the closely related notion of ritualistic purification, ablutions and even baptism," he explains.

The conversation veers sharply and with astonishing suddenness to the social content of contemporary Nubia. "The curious phenomenon is that Nubian women are far more determined than the men to act as depositors of the past. Nubian women are especially proud of their cultural heritage." Isis takes over from Osiris.

Isis salvages and reassembles the remains of Osiris. This is how he views the salvage operation. For 50 years, it was the Nubian women who kept the cultural heritage of their people alive even as their land was inundated.
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« Reply #118 on: May 01, 2009, 09:40:42 pm »









The Nubian Studies Research Centre, now relocated to Khartoum, carries out some of the services that the Nubian Museum in Aswan, and its new counterpart in Wadi Halfa, provide or are supposed to provide. Foremost among these are those pertaining to the preservation and propagation of the Nubian tongues. Two courses entitled "How to Speak Nubian" are currently taught.

"We've no lexicons, no Rosetta Stone," the director of the Aswan Nubian Museum notes. He adds that in 2012, the Nubian Museum, in conjunction with the Supreme Council of Antiquities, will host yet another conference on the Nubian cultural heritage. "The question of language will be tackled more systematically. Some 35 per cent of the vocabulary of the Nubian language of Faditcha and 20 per cent of Kenuz have Meroetic origins," he says. Accordingly, there are also Meroetic connections with a number of African languages including the Fur of Darfur, and certain languages spoken in Kordofan in western Sudan, Chad and Ethiopia. "There is a strong connection," he insists between the contemporary spoken languages of Nubia and those of Africa south of the Sahara.

With racism to the fore and religiosity lurking in the background the subject of Nubia's heritage is always going to be contentious.

However, polemics aside, Meroetic declined with Christianity and Old Nubian developed influenced by Coptic, Greek and Latin and written in Coptic and Latin script. However, it was the same language spoken in the pre-Christian Meroetic kingdoms of Nubia. "The Nubian Christian Church and kingdoms had strong affiliations with the Ethiopian Church. Nubia, however, had the upper hand at first. It was in the 14th century that the Ethiopian Church became more prominent and the Nubian Church declined. Nubia was Christian before Ethiopia." Yet, he notes that the conversion of Nubians to Islam was a peaceful process and was pre-empted by trade. "There are Nubians, certain tribes, with Arabic origins. They are a mixed race people not of pure Nubian stock."
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« Reply #119 on: May 03, 2009, 07:18:55 am »









                                              Clashes erupt over Egypt pig cull 
 




BBC NEWS
May 3, 2009

Clashes began outside Cairo on Saturday.

Pig farmers have clashed with police in Cairo as they try to stop their animals being taken for slaughter, reports say.

Hundreds of people threw stones and bottles at police, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

The authorities are carrying out a mass pig cull in what they at first said was a precaution against swine flu but now describe as a general health measure.

UN experts have criticised the move as unnecessary and a mistake, as Mexico said the outbreak could be stabilising.



Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova said the country was seeing fewer cases every day.

Globally more than 700 people are known to be infected.

Person-to-person transmission has been confirmed in six countries.

But in cases outside Mexico, the effects of the virus do not appear to be severe.
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