Sunday, December 19, 2004Rosetta got stoned?
I would like to start first by explaining what is the "Rosetta Stone" . It is an ancient Egyptian stone found by the French Napoleon troops in the year 1799 in a small town in Egypt called Rosetta (Rashid in Arabic). The stone was written in two languages "Ancient Egyptian" and "Greek" using three scripts (hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek). After many years of studying the Rosetta Stone and other examples of ancient Egyptian writing, Jean-François Champollion deciphered hieroglyphics in 1822. It was considered an opportunity for modern Egyptians and the rest of the world to learn a lot from ancient Egyptian history. The stone cherished many scientific and sentimental values to the Egyptians.
The Rosetta stone now rests in the fancy halls of the British Museum since 1802 as it was taken by our former colonists the British from our also former colonists the French (goddamn imperialists lol). While many Egyptians who can not afford to travel to England to watch their heritage, the Rosetta Stone is being displayed to appease the foreigners only and wealthy Egyptians who are curious about their culture. The Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) led by the brave Dr. Zahi Hawass decided to demand the British government to return the stone to its homeland. Their brave attempt failed by the refusal of the Brits, but when Dr. Hawass compromised and asked for its return as a loan for only three months to be part of a display in an exhibition, the Brits again refused but this time with a grudge. The British press slandered Dr. Hawass, accusing him of holding a grudge against the UK that dates back to occupation time, and they also accused him of applying discriminating policies against the British expeditions working in Egypt. Relating to an incident which caused all the stir, where a British Egyptologist Dr. Fletcher who was banned from working in Egypt. Dr. Hawass defended himself from the accusations, arguing that there's no such thing called a grudge in archaeology, and he also commented on the Dr. Fletcher incident by saying that she did break the SCA guidelines and rules for working in Egypt, while there are 300 foreign expeditions working accordingly to these guidelines all around Egypt.
You see how the Western media successfully twisted the story from the Egyptians being the victims of the British government arrogance into becoming the oppressors. It seems that old imperialists thoughts still hangs deeply with some of the "lads" up there.
I will take this opportunity to vow in solidarity with Dr. Zahi Hawass on his noble mission to bring all the stolen Egyptian artifacts back to homeland. Dr. Hawass is a respected international figure and we take pride in him as an honorable Egyptian. I will soon talk about his great work and biography in another post.