By Islam El Shazly
Looking at the state of affairs in modern day Egypt makes me wonder: have we totally lost our innocence and simplicity?
Over the last 7,000 years Egypt has seen her fair share of pretty much everything, from natural disasters to human wrought disasters and multitude of invasions and occupations. However, we’ve always to learn from them, adapt, then advance further. All while still maintaining the simplicity that was characteristic of the Egyptian. So the question should rather be: what went wrong in the last 60 to 200 years? When did that dramatic shift in the Egyptian persona happen?
Blaming it all on the last 60 years of military rule would be a bit naive; even blaming it all on the British occupation would not be totally correct either, and since I am a Muslim I took a page from my scholarly ancestors, like Al-Khwarizmi, and look at our heritage and our, and because Islam is a way of life, not just a religion, it is inevitable that we come to the conclusion that we did this to ourselves. we stopped caring and as such our attitude towards our world and our life changed.
We stopped caring, we stopped building, and the creativity that raised architectural monuments such as Karnak and the Pyramids all but died.
The British occupation did their best to keep that flame as low as possible, Nasser’s regime and the Russian socialist model that he adopted extinguished it. Then 30 years of Mubarak just about obliterated the embers… But they weren’t that successful alhamdulillah.
A younger generation is on the rise, a generation that is full of hope for the future, with an eye on the glories of the past and the embers are glowing yet again.
We haven’t lost our creativity or ambitions, they were being smothered, we might have lost our simplicity and innocence for the most part, but all we have to do is look outside of Cairo and Giza and we can find them all over the countryside and in the rural and desert communities; a bit messed up, but still none-the-less.
That generation has to be nurtured, they have to learn the values that made their culture a great one, they have to learn from previous mistakes and learn to take risks.
We have to learn from history, and not dwell on it.
Tags: Al-Mu'izz, Alexandria, Aswan, Brooklyn Museum, Cairo, Cheops, Conservation, Egypt, Featured, Heritage, Lantern Slides, Minya, Sakkara