Tag Archives: Egypt

How The Egyptian Air Force Does a Coup


If you’re going to kick out the President, that’s the way to do it.

Syria: Straining the Gnat and Swallowing the Camel

Really, Syria?  You don’t see the irony here?  The hypocrisy?  The absurdity?


‘The Radical Minority’ in Islam? Maybe Not Such a Minority After All

Maybe it’s time to start speaking of a minority of Muslims who are NOT radicals, because it seems that most Muslims, at least in many places (where the survey mentioned below took place) are quite radical.

About eight-in-ten Muslims in Egypt and Pakistan (82% each) endorse the stoning of people who commit adultery; 70% of Muslims in Jordan and 56% of Nigerian Muslims share this view. Muslims in Pakistan and Egypt are also the most supportive of whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery; 82% in Pakistan and 77% in Egypt favor making this type of punishment the law in their countries, as do 65% of Muslims in Nigeria and 58% in Jordan. When asked about the death penalty for those who leave the Muslim religion, at least three-quarters of Muslims in Jordan (86%), Egypt (84%) and Pakistan (76%) say they would favor making it the law; in Nigeria, 51% of Muslims favor and 46% oppose it. In contrast, Muslims in Lebanon, Turkey and Indonesia largely reject the notion that harsh punishments should be the law in their countries. About three-quarters of Turkish and Lebanese Muslims oppose the stoning of people who commit adultery (77% and 76%, respectively), as does a narrower majority (55%) of Muslims in Indonesia. Opposition to whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery and the death penalty for people who leave Islam is even more widespread in these three countries; 86% of Muslims in Lebanon, 82% in Turkey and 61% in Indonesia are against making harsh punishments for robbery and theft the law in their countries, and 93%, 91% and 64%, respectively, object to the death penalty against those who leave the Muslim religion.

Radical ‘minority’?  It doesn’t seem so.  The real minority in Islam clearly appears to be those not living in the 14th century.

More Evidence of Egyptian Domination of the Entire Israelite Territory

A rare scarab amulet newly unearthed in Tel Aviv reveals the ancient Egyptian presence in this modern Israeli city.

Given that whenever artifacts identified as ‘Israelite’ are discovered the ‘bible and spade’ crowd invariably shouts ‘this proves the land is Israel’s!!!!!’, doesn’t this discovery prove that the territory really belongs to Egypt?

Scorched mud bricks from an Egyptian fortification gate in Jaffa.
CREDIT: ©: Martin Peilstöcker + The Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project

Archaeologists excavating the ancient city of Jaffa, now part of Tel Aviv, have long uncovered evidence of Egyptian influence. Now, researchers have learned that a gateway belonging to an Egyptian fortification in Jaffa was destroyed and rebuilt at least four times. They have also found the scarab, which bears the cartouche of the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep III, who ruled from 1390 to 1353 B.C. Scarabs were common charms in ancient Egypt, representing the journey of the sun across the sky and the cycle of life.

Jaffa was the site of major trading activity since the second millennium B.C. Excavations in the 1950s uncovered the Egyptian fortification, which dates back to the dynasty of Ramses II between 1279 and 1213 B.C. Mud brick architecture and household pottery also point to Egyptian influence, according to researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany and the University of California, Los Angeles, who have been conducting new explorations at the site.

Tel Aviv clearly belongs under modern Egyptian control….

Newt Couldn’t Pay Me $500 to Have My Picture Taken With Him…

But he wants people to pay $50 to have their picture taken with him!

That reminds me of the folk in Egypt last time I was there who, as soon as their picture was taken, walked up and asked for money for it!  Here I was, taking pictures of statues and every time I did someone wanted to be paid for their incidental visage.

What does this mean?  It means Newt is really an Egyptian!

In a sign that his campaign is in need of cash, Newt Gingrich began charging supporters $50 if they wanted him to pose for a picture.  The National Journal first reported the story, saying the campaign began the practice Monday.  “Some campaigns make you travel all the way to Wall Street to pay $2,500 for a photo with a candidate,” a Gingrich spokesman told the Journal. “We are trying out a new tactic and asking our supporters at our rallies for a nominal donation. And guess what, it is working.”

Get out, Newt, before you embarrass yourself even more (if that’s possible).

Egyptians Are Missing Being Senselessly Murdered by Mubarak

So they’re killing each other- over football.  CNN reports (via email)-

At least 68 people were killed when riots broke out at a soccer game in Egypt, the country’s deputy health minister said. Hundreds were injured in the riots, the deputy minister said. The fighting occurred in a stadium in the northeastern city of Port Said at a match between Al-Ahly and the home team, Al-Masry.


UPDATE:  The AP is reporting now that 73 are dead and over 1000 injured.

Is The Merenptah Stele The Earliest Egyptian Mention of ‘Israel’? Maybe Not

… a new publication by Egyptologists and Biblical scholars Manfred Görg, Peter van der Veen and Christoffer Theis suggests that there may be an even earlier reference to Israel in the Egyptian record. Manfred Görg discovered a broken statue pedestal containing hieroglyphic name-rings in the Egyptian Museum of Berlin and, after studying it with colleagues Peter van der Veen and Christoffer Theis, they suggest that one of the name-rings should be read as “Israel.” Not all scholars agree with their reading because of slight differences in spelling, but Görg, van der Veen and Theis offer strong arguments, including supportive parallels in the Merneptah Stele itself. This newly rediscovered inscription is dated to around 1400 B.C.E.—about 200 years earlier than the Merneptah Stele. If Görg, van der Veen and Theis are right, their discovery will shed important light on the beginnings of ancient Israel.

Interesting. I’ll have to ask Peter about it (because I’m a little [ok a lot] unwilling to pay for the essay).

Nonetheless, it’s important to remind ourselves that even the ‘Israel’ of the Merenptah Stele is still the subject of discussion as to what exactly ‘Israel’ means. I’m fairly sure that if Peter (et al’s) has an older reference it too will be subject to the same questions.

Oh Peter….

UPDATE:  Eric reminded me that this was old news so I searched the archives and uncovered, in a moment, this.   I wonder why BAR is so slow and called it ‘new’ when it clearly isn’t (and even more importantly, why I can’t remember everything).

UPDATE II:  Peter van der Veen writes

I just read what Hershel Shanks wrote. He summarizes what I have written together with my colleagues Christoffer Theis and Manfred Görg in our technical articel in JAEI 2:4 (2010). This is nothing new, really but “the news” is spreading. That is all. Although the stele fragment was acquired by Ludwig Burchardt (the famous Egyptologist who also brought the Nefertiti bust to Germany), there is not a shred of a doubt about its authenticy, so all Egyptologists said with whom I spoke. I have studied the stele on many occassions and yes the reading – though fragmentary – as Israel does make sense. Now we are working on a second technical paper to be submitted shortly dealing more specifically with the etymology of the name Israel and with the date of the stele (indeed quite likely c. 1400 BC). Best wishes

Peter van der Veen

Peter informs me that if readers wish to have a copy of his original essay all they need do is write him:  van_der_Veen@gmx.de

God. I Understand Him

Numbers 14 (in the Common English Bible) –

1 The entire community raised their voice and the people wept that night. 2 All the Israelites criticized Moses and Aaron. The entire community said to them, “ If only we had died in the land of Egypt or if only we had died in this desert! 3 Why is the LORD bringing us to this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our children will be taken by force. Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt? ” 4 So they said to each other, “ Let’s pick a leader and let’s go back to Egypt. ”

5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before the assembled Israelite community. 6 But Joshua, Nun’s son, and Caleb, Jephunneh’s son, from those who had explored the land, tore their clothes 7 and said to the entire Israelite community, “ The land we crossed through to explore is an exceptionally good land. 8 If the LORD is pleased with us, he’ll bring us into this land and give it to us. It’s a land that’s full of milk and honey. 9 Only don’t rebel against the LORD and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are our prey. Their defense has deserted them, but the LORD is with us. So don’t be afraid of them. ” 10 But the entire community intended to stone them.

Then the LORD’s glory appeared in the meeting tent to all the Israelites. 11 The LORD said to Moses, “ How long will these people disrespect me? And how long will they doubt me after all the signs that I performed among them? 12 I’ll strike them down with a plague and disown them. Then I’ll make you into a great nation, stronger than they. ”

God. I understand him.  I completely get why he was so sick and tired of their whining and rebellion and disobedience.  Be fair, wouldn’t you be fed up too?

The thing I don’t understand, but for which I am all the more grateful for that very reason, is why God continued, and continues, to be gracious to the sorriest splotch on his creation- humankind.

Marcionites ancient and modern who think that the God of the Old Testament is unlike the God of the New are idiots who have never bothered to read either.

What’s Changed for Egyptians?

It looks to me as though they’ve only traded one tyrant for 100.  The military, having taken power, isn’t treating the population any different than the President did.

Egyptian police and soldiers fired weapons and used batons and teargas for a fifth day on Tuesday in the latest security operation to clear Cairo’s central Tahrir Square of opponents of army rule.

Power corrupts.  Absolutely power corrupts absolutely.  And it doesn’t matter if power lays in the hands of one or in the hands of a council.  Once power is had, it never gives up its gain until death rips it away.  Just ask Saddam.  Or Hitler.  Or Mubarak.  Or Il.  Or Qadaffi.  Or your local elected official who, even after leaving office, wields power through lobbying…

Once corrupt people have something they will not give it up. You only show yourself a fool if you think those ‘public servants’ are at all interested in the public good.

Agree to A Truce, and then Attack…

That’s just what Israel did- they agreed to a truce and then launched an air strike against Gaza.

An Israeli aircraft struck a pair of Palestinian militants on Sunday, killing one man and wounding a second after Egypt said it had brokered a truce to end attacks that have killed 10 Palestinian gunmen and an Israeli civilian in the past five days. A ceasefire had appeared to be taking hold, with the frontier quiet for eight hours, until Israeli aircraft attacked Palestinian militants who the military said were about to fire rockets from the southern Gaza Strip.

They were ‘about’ to fire rockets… Yeah, sure they were. ‘But mom, he was about to punch me so I pulled out a gun and shot him. That’s ok, right?’….

Peace? There?  Don’t hold your breath.  Dawkins will be a televangelist before there will be peace in the Middle East.  Hell will freeze over first.

The Latest Egyptian Tragedy

Al Arabiya reports via twitter  just moments ago-

25 people killed, 272 wounded in Maspero clashes: Egypt\’s health ministry

What madness.

Anti-Christian Violence in Cairo

UPDATE:  The death toll is now 23.  Earlier it was reported…

The Associated Press reports

Riots erupted in Cairo Sunday night as Christians protesting a recent attack on a church came under assault by thugs who rained stones down on them and fired pellets. Two soldiers were killed in the melee, according to state television, and a number of military vehicles were burning on a scenic street along the Nile.

Further details at the link above. Will Christians be driven from Egypt as they have been from Iraq as radical Islamists gain their ‘freedom’?

one of the Coptic churches in Cairo I visited when we were there

Pharoahs at War: And Eric Cline is On It

On History International Channel tomorrow night (Sunday, October 9, at 10 pm)

In this hour of our innovative and comprehensive look at the history of Ancient Egypt, we ask how Egypt maintained its relative independence for 3000 years. We answer this through Thutmosis III. He conquers more land than any other pharaoh. Yet ultimately he has no interest in establishing an expanding empire abroad. Like all pharaohs he is guided by the wish to establish peace and stability at home and secure the borders through forward defense. The pursuit of peace remains a key part of Egypt’s success story.

With thanks to Eric for the tip, and for the link to even more info.

The Digital Amarna Project

Here’s something quite useful for folks interested in ancient Egypt or Egyptology: The Amarna Project.

The ancient Egyptian city of Tell el-Amarna (or simply Amarna) was the short-lived capital built by the ‘heretic’ Pharaoh Akhenaten and abandoned shortly after his death (c. 1332 BCE). It was here that he pursued his vision of a society dedicated to the cult of one god, the power of the sun (the Aten). As well as this historic interest Amarna remains the largest readily accessible living-site from ancient Egypt. It is thus simultaneously the key to a chapter in the history of religious experience and to a fuller understanding of what it was like to be an ancient Egyptian. There is no other site like it.

It looks like they’ve taken a page from the Cargill digital modeling book.  (HT Chuck Jones on ANE-2).

Egyptian Democracy #Fail

Angry Egyptians have attacked various news outlets reporting on the storming of the Israeli embassy, including Al-Jazeera’s Cairo Bureau.  Egypt, that’s a big #fail!  They also went after CNN-

An angry crowd lingering near the Israeli embassy in Cairo after an attack on the building a day earlier turned on journalists reporting the incident Saturday, accusing at least one of being an Israeli spy.  As a CNN crew filmed the embassy from across the street, another crew from American public television — led by Egyptian television producer Dina Amer — approached the building.  The crew’s Russian cameraman was preparing to film the embassy when a woman in the crowd began hurling insults at the TV team, Amer said.  “There was this older lady who decided to follow me and rally people against me,” Amer recalled.  “She said ‘you’re a spy working with the Americans.’ Then they swarmed me and I was a target.”

Egyptians need to let the press work freely.  That’s what a democracy does.  And, oh, in democratic societies, Embassy’s aren’t attacked either!

Video of the Senseless Attack on the Israeli Embassy in Cairo

Al Arabiya has it.

The Egyptians Have Sullied their Freedom

And turned it into a license for idiotic and senseless violence and destruction.  The folk nobly pursuing freedom have become a band of thugs.  What a tragic turn of events.

An Egyptian security official says a group of protesters have broken into an apartment one floor below the Israeli Embassy in a high-rise building in Cairo and are dumping hundreds of Hebrew documents off the balcony.  Hundreds of protesters have been converging on the embassy throughout the afternoon and into the night, tearing down large sections of a security wall outside the 21-story building housing the embassy.

Egyptians should be as ashamed of their countrymen as Canadians were after the senseless riots and Brits were after the vile riots there.

The UCL Petrie Collection Online

Egyptologists (and those interested in Egypt) rejoice!

This is the searchable dataset for all 80,000 artefacts preserved in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, with one photograph for each item. To start searching right away, click on ‘Search’ above.

The Museum houses one of the largest archaeological collections in the world for Egypt and Sudan. It is named after William Matthew Flinders Petrie (1853-1942), appointed in 1892 as first UCL Edwards Professor of Egyptian Archaeology and Philology.

What’s Israel Doing Crossing into Egypt?

Wanting an all out war with the Arab world?  What dimwit issued the order?

Anxious to head off a diplomatic crisis with Egypt, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak issued a statement Saturday expressing regret for the deaths of Egyptian security personnel in a border incident following a deadly raid in Israel. It also promised a joint investigation of the incident and commended Egypt’s conduct in the relationship with Israel.

An apology?  Ask Israel if it will accept an apology from Hamas.   What multi-sided madness.

Very Unpleasant News from Egypt

Out of Egypt reposts a news essay, claiming

The number of Christian girls abducted and coerced into converting to Islam since the Egyptian “January 25 Revolution” has skyrocketed, according to Father Filopateer Gamil of St. Mary’s Church in Giza. “More than two to three girls disappear everyday in Giza alone,” he said. “The cases that are brought to public attention are few compared to what the numbers actually are.”  Many Christians blame the military council for not intervening to put an end to this problem, which has escalated after the Revolution because of the “emergence of Muslim Salafists,” says activist Mark Ebeid, “who believe strongly that converting a Christian Infidel is in some ways like earning a ticket to paradise — not to mention the earthly remuneration they get from the Saudis.”

This is perfectly unacceptable.  The US State Department needs to exert whatever pressure necessary to bring an end to this barbarism.