Monday, February 28, 2011

Hatshepsut/Osiris Trio

Hatshepsut/Osiris Trio
Originally uploaded by Gibna Kebira.

Three of the twenty-four enormous statues of Hatshepsut as Osiris on the upper terrace at Deir al-Bahri.

This is one of the photos I took when I had the opportunity to visit the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri a couple of weeks ago.

In The Illustrated Guide to Luxor: Tombs, Temples, and Museums, Kent Weeks writes: "Twenty-four colossal Osirid statues front the pillars on either side of a huge granite doorway at the top of the ramp [to the upper terrace]. The statues were originally painted and would have been visible from a distance. Their long beards would have been blue, their throats and faces red, with black and white eyes and blue eyebrows. The various items that they wore or held were red, blue, and yellow."

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tourism in Luxor on NPR

Here is the link to Corey Flintoff's brief report on tourism in Luxor (Weekend Edition Sunday, Feb. 27).

Friday, February 25, 2011


A couple of weeks ago I was walking down the Corniche towards the ferry to head over to the "beautiful West" and just before I reached the museum I spotted this equine duo. Too bad I didn't have a quick way of taking video (I was just too slow to switch over to "video" with my camera), because the little guy, while still staying within a reasonable distance of Mom, was engaging in a little "horse"-ing around, if you know what I mean. I think his way of showing joy and ebullience is a good metaphor for the "new Egypt"! ;]

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Corey and Me

Corey Flintoff of NPR has been visiting Luxor recently, ostensibly on "vacation" from his day job, which currently means reporting on the situation here in Egypt. He visited CH on Tuesday to chat with the boss and to find out a little about our work. He joined us for dinner last night, and again for lunch today. What a delightful man!

Now you have to understand that Corey and I go way back--to my days of listening to him during the homeward commute when he was reporting the news at the beginning of each hour on All Things Considered. So I got up my courage to ask two favors last evening: could I have my picture taken with him, and could I then post that picture on this blog. He very graciously acquiesced. In fact, he seemed rather surprised that I would want to do this!

He's off to Cairo tomorrow, and is due in Afghanistan next week. But we hope that he will be back and that next time he'll bring his wife with him.
Here's looking at you, Corey!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Absolutely nothing to do with Egypt for a change, this National Film Board (Canada) selection is a pure delight. Even non-quilters should enjoy it!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

your heart's on the left: 10 myths busted by the Egyptian revolution

A thought-provoking piece:
your heart's on the left: 10 myths busted by the Egyptian revolution: "The Egyptian revolution has busted 10 key myths about society, the “war on terror”, and social transformation. We’re told that ordinary peop..."

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sout Al Horeya

Doesn't matter if you can understand the Arabic!

With rough English subtitles (click the "CC" button which will appear under the video when you play it to get the subtitles):

Mubarak on Wikipedia (Wikibedia?)

Didn't take long! Imagine how the person doing the updating must have felt:

Protest and resignation

Massive protests centered on Cairo's Tahrir Square led to Mubarak's resignation in February 2011.
Mass protests against President Hosni Mubarak erupted in Cairo and other Egyptian cities in late January 2011. On February 1, 2011, Hosni Mubarak announced that he will not contest the Presidential election in September 2011. He also promised constitutional reform.[46] This did not satisfy the majority of protesters as they expected Mubarak to depart immediately.[47] The demonstrations continued and on 2 February 2011, violent clashes occurred between pro-Mubarak and anti-Mubarak protestors.[48] On February 10, 2011, it was suggested that Mubarak may step down imminently.[49], Mubarak later officially asserted that this would not happen even though he would be handing some of his powers to Vice President Omar Suleiman. At the same time, it was also confirmed that there is room for his resignation in the days and weeks to come. On February 11, Suleiman announced Mubarak's resignation.[50] The announcement sparked cheers, flag-waving, and celebrations from protesters still congregating in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Lest We Forget...

...the martyrs to this cause:


Yes! It took almost 24 hours, but he has resigned! Now we have to see what the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces does...
Tears of joy and dancing for joy in Tahrir Square and everywhere!!

Disappointed and Disgusted!

What can I say?
Perhaps this cartoon suggests a method of dealing with certain Egyptian officials?
I used to wrap, too, but this is so much easier...

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

(Still) Loving Egypt...

Please check out this post from a wonderful blog called "Black Coffee and Cigarettes"--

10 reasons why this foreigner (still) loves Egypt...

I couldn't have said it better myself! ;]

Luxor Update

Here's the latest update from my boss here at Chicago House:

Luxor Update February 8, 2011

For those friends and colleagues who are concerned about the well-being of Chicago House and its staff during the events of this last two weeks in Egypt, I am happy to report that we are safe, Luxor is secure, and we have been keeping a normal work schedule on all of our project sites: Luxor Temple, Khonsu Temple Karnak, Medinet Habu, and the tomb of Nefersekheru TT 107. After some relatively minor (compared to Cairo and elsewhere) demonstrations and vandalism of government buildings during the afternoon and evening of Friday, January 28th, order was restored in Luxor the next day, and it has been peaceful here ever since. There was no damage to or looting of any archaeological site in Luxor. We have been in constant touch with the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities / Ministry of State for Antiquities Affairs in Luxor, who informed us that archaeological missions could resume work on Sunday, January 30th. Police presence on the antiquities sites is strong, with some Egyptian military as well, and small groups of foreign and Egyptian tourists continue to visit the sites; a scattering of tourists is still being bused in from the Red Sea.
Two members of the Chicago House team have returned home (one who had no passport was assisted by the US Embassy which had a team in Luxor for a few days). While the rest of us are prepared to leave at a moment's notice, we will remain in Luxor for now and as long as we can to keep our documentation, conservation, and restoration work going with the SCA, and the library open for our Egyptian and foreign colleagues who have stayed to continue their work. Be assured that we will continue to monitor the situation in the country closely, but for now will continue to assist the scientific community in Luxor in any way we can.
Best from Luxor,
W. Raymond Johnson,
Director, Epigraphic Survey
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
Chicago House, Luxor, Egypt

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Crisis for Animal Care in Egypt (ACE)

Dear Friends,
Animal Care in Egypt is one of the charities that I try to support on a regular basis. They do incredible work here in Luxor to make life a little easier for the animals of the area. All CH cats are neutered/spayed ;] there. The carriage horses and donkeys in Luxor are visibly healthier because of their work. I am attaching their plea for assistance in this time of unrest in Egypt. Please consider donating to the cause.

Martin Oval

Dear Supporters

At the beginning of the year, we were delighted to welcome Martin Clunes, to Luxor as the first Patron of ACE.  We are excited to welcome Martin to our charity, and honoured that he has chosen to support ACE.

Sadly, just a few weeks on, we are extremely concerned about the situation all over Egypt, and the knock on effect it will undoubtedly have on the hard working animals of the region.

Martin has kindly written this personal appeal to you, as one of our supporters:

Since I visited the ACE centre recently with my family, I have followed the great work of the hospital with interest and admiration. The events that have unfolded in Egypt over the last few days will put even more pressure on the hard working animals in the Luxor area, making the work of ACE all the more critical. I have been in contact with the ACE team, who have already started planning a response for the days, weeks and months that lie ahead.

Please put your weight behind this wonderful charity and support these poor animals, who need our help, now, more than ever.

Martin Clunes
Patron of ACE

Donkey foalThis is an emergency bulletin on the current situation at ACE in Luxor.  We cannot thank you enough for all that you do for us, we appreciate it, and hope that you are able to continue to help us at this time of great need.  Please also, pass on this appeal to friends, and family members.  Perhaps you could hold a collection at work?  Arrange a quiz evening?  Or bake sale?

Anything that you can do to help us raise these much-needed extra funds will help.  Every single pound counts.

Thank you all.


P.S.  "Hello" magazine, which is out now, has a full report and plenty of pictures from Martin's visit to us in Luxor.

BULLETIN on emergency situation in Egypt

ACE PaddocksWe are sure that as supporters of ACE, you will have watched, with growing dread, the events in Egypt. Sadly the ACE centre has not been immune from the unrest, and Sunday morning we took the difficult decision to temporarily close the centre. A skeleton staff will maintain a service for critical cases and animals caught up in the current situation, however our UK volunteers are being evacuated.

In the days and weeks ahead the service that ACE provides will be more important than ever for the hard working animals and the people of Egypt.  ACE's team will continue to provide emergency care for as long as the situation allows and prepare to care for animals in the aftermath of these troubles which will no doubt come. 
For this reason we are appealing to all the friends of ACE to dig deep and continue to support us through this difficult time.

We need your help to save ACE


Donkey Rubbish tipThe ACE clinic is already stretched dealing with over 100 new cases per day, can you help us be as prepared as possible for what is to come? 

ACE believes that animals and humans are inextricably linked – in Egypt the survival of one often depends on the survival of the other. 

It is vital for the welfare of both to protect animals in times of crisis. 
Rubbish tip kid
People affected by poverty are most vulnerable to disasters such as that affecting Egypt at the moment, they frequently lack the skills, knowledge and resources to rescue or protect their animals. 

The staff at the ACE centre have the expertise and local knowledge to get help to these animals. In the aftermath of the unrest in Egypt, it is more than likely that there will be an influx of animals which have inevitably been caught up in the troubles. 

ACE has already begun to prepare for this, but we can’t do it alone, additional funds are needed for drugs, dressings and feed, to name but a few of the essentials. 

Monday, February 07, 2011

At Night, Protest Gives Way to Poetry

The Egypt and the Egyptians I have come to know and love are nicely portrayed in this NYT article:

At Night, Protest Gives Way to Poetry
Published: February 6, 2011
Some protesters collapse in exhaustion at the end of the day, but no one else seems willing to surrender a moment that feels imbued with the idealism of defiance.

Read the article here

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Friday, February 04, 2011

Helwa Ya Baladi...

Just a moment of pleasure in the midst of a sea of ugliness... Dalida sings about the beauty of her country against a backdrop of its ancient and natural wonders:

The Cats

I've been asked by several people to let them know how the CH cats are. They are all OK, eating well ;] and looking forward to our other cat ladies' return next week!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Alive and well...

Just a quick note to let everybody know that we are alive and well and living in peaceful Luxor, as the saying goes! Such a relief to have Internet back, even if it's only for a short time...