“We’ll chat about our country”
“Our dream is that everyone in the street should be aware of the full meaning of Egypt##s civilization, and know the value of our heritage and history.
Egypt has a wealth of archaeological and historical sites which are at arm’s length, but Egyptians in their majority are ignorant of their value, in some cases unaware that they even exist. We wish to make Egyptians more aware of their heritage; to talk to them about their history.”
The words were ardently expressed by Hebatallah Ahmed, coordinator of a campaign led by a group of young Egyptians, under the title of “We’ll talk about our country”. The campaign, Ahmed says, aims at spreading awareness among all sectors of the Egyptian people, through organising tours all over country, talking about Egypt’s history and all the tales it involves.
The campaign was launched by Mamdouh Farouq, a young archaeology inspector, tour guide and researcher. Farouq holds a Masters degree in Archaeology from Cairo University, and was the first to call on young people to join the campaign.
Facebook and Twitter, predictably, were used to sound the call. It started as “Let’s visit Egypt” but, as the campaign took off, was changed into “We’ll chat about our country”. The official launching took place last May in the historical al-Muizz Street in Fatimid Cairo to attract public attention. It was quite a success.
Now the campaign boasts some 200 members, most of them young students or graduates of archaeology, history, and tourist guidance. The most recent visit by the campaign was to the Egyptian Museum. And through its page on Facebook, the campaign publishes special articles on tourism, archaeology, as well as ancient and modern pictures of Egypt.
Ahmed deplored the fact, however, of the difficulty the campaigners face to obtain security licenses to assemble in tourist sites. “We know the security situation in Egypt is rather precarious,” she says, “but we are determined to fulfill our purpose of raising national awareness. Egyptian civilization is respected the world over, and Egyptians should be made aware of it.”
“To overcome financing problems,” Ahmed says, “we are trying to found a civil society for tourism and archaeology through which we may receive grants and donations.”
11 October 2013