Cairo – Downtown Cairo approached Saturday night when 22 mummies moved from a museum where they had settled in a new building for more than a century, transporting the tops of custom-made vehicles in a shiny, carefully planned procession.
The fanfare – complete with live broadcasts on state television and a host of military bands, 21 gun salutes and Egyptian A-list celebrities – served as the country’s most ancient kings where a variety of inaugurations for the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization took place. Tourists were invited and invited to return to Cairo after the epidemic.
“These are the mummies of kings and queens who ruled during the golden age of Egypt,” said Zhi Haws, an ancient minister who spent thousands of years searching for tombs. “It’s a thrill, everyone will see.”
Everyone except many Egyptians.
The five-mile path to the new museum features working-class neighborhoods that were deliberately hidden from view ahead of the parade, reminiscent of Egypt’s famous past and its intricate present.
Banners announcing the “Far Pharaoh Noni Golden Parade” and large national flags prevented television viewers from flocking to Cairo’s poorer areas and prevented locals from getting a glimpse of the grandeur created for the polished, TV-made. At one point, at least 10 feet of plastic screens were placed on the scaffolding to close the gaps in the cream-colored wall.
“They put us to hide,” said Mohammed Saad, a local resident who was standing with two friends a few feet behind a barrier that separated them from the new route to the parade to the east.
Two security officials confirmed that no one would be allowed to leave the nearby neighborhood during the parade, or take steps to see the street. “They can see on the screen,” one of them offered.
In a television interview, the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Anti-Antiquities credited President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for conceiving a public procession as a way to repatriate tourists after the coronavirus epidemic halted international travel last year.
But this grandeur also underlined the economic and social divisions in the Egyptian capital.
Ahmed Zazaa, an urban planner, said of the government’s public image efforts that there is a tendency to try to show a better image rather than improve the current reality. “The government says it is making improvements, but excludes most of Cairo’s people living in the working class neighborhood.”
Egyptian television broadcasts non-stop coverage of preparations for the parade, emphasizing how news details abroad are intertwined, with visuals spelled out with dramatic theme music, and the 22 kings and queens who ruled Egypt 3,000 years ago. Was informed about.
The ancient royals who advanced included Ramesses II, the longest reigning king, and Queen Hatshepsut, one of the few female kings of Egypt.
After sunset, crowds gathered in the city of Cairo, one of the most enthusiastic young families bringing their children along in hopes of catching a glimpse of their historic moment.
“It simply came to our notice then. These are our ancestors. Said Sarah Zahre, who came with three friends.
But many of those who had gathered were met by police barricades and turned back.
“Go on television if you want to watch,” a uniformed officer shouted. Disappointed, the crowd returned to a nearby coffee house to watch on television or on their phones.
Nada Rashwan and Davlat Magdi contributed to the report.