08 January 2006

Back from Egypt

What a great time I had... As family sharing the experience of the still unbelievable historic sites, forgetting about our most recent past in The Hague and truely living our private discovery of Karnak, Medina Habut or Luxor temple. Not caring about the millions of people who have admired the same places we were standing on, but feeling what it meant for us. And of course seeing (and being part of) the tourists hordes, brings you into a conscious state of mind about the strenght of the Egyptian culture but also about the extreme fragility of those walls, paintings and carvings.
Are we doing the right thing now? How -as tourists- are going to be judged by the future inhabitants of Earth? Are we as wrong as all the previous "discovers" of Egypt as Napoleon, Belzoni, Davies and even Carter -that for his time, was extremely careful- were? All this hundreds of people entering the long passages of the tomb of Ramses III, in an hour, are they just bringing dollars to the Cairo pockets and damage to the walls? Aren't we as shameful as the thiefs or the 'visitors' of the previous centuries? Should we only look at it through photographs in a book? Just as we should experience the animal world in extinction?
I saw some people walking through the passages as zoombies from a 60's movie, not even turning their eyes at the beautiful hieroglyphs but only having an automatic goal of getting to the end of the passage and coming back as Naomi Campbell would do on a fashion show.

What defines the best what I am trying to say is what I've heard from one of those visitors about her day at Thebes: "Beautiful but boring".
As far as I am concerned this people should stay at the edge of their hotel swimming pools or their own beds and not bother to spend their money just to be able to say back at home "I was in Egypt". On the other hand, we all may be guilty of this sin, at one or another time.

Let just live it or leave it.

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