Netflix’s Curious Cleopatra
This historical reality is what makes Egypt's nationalist anger over the Black Cleopatra TV series so intriguing. Cleopatra governed Egypt, yet she was not Egyptian; rather, she was the last descendant of Greek colonizers. So, historical accuracy and accusations of racism and colorism aside, Egyptian nationalists' protectiveness over the representation of a Greek conquering tyrant is somewhat ironic.
Brotherhood at a Crossroads
Conflicts large and small reveal the same deep pathologies that have precipitated an existential crisis of identity, legitimacy and membership for the Muslim Brotherhood, whose vision has shrunk from a grand dream of Islamic governance to power struggles over the millions of dollars in the organization’s treasury.
How Egypt’s Aswan Dam Washed Away Nubian Heritage
Before the Aswan Dam was complete, “Nubian life” was recorded by an “ethnological survey.” Yet what seemed to matter most to the Egyptian and Sudanese governments and others were the relics that the country’s Nubians lived among: archaeological sites and ancient temples from the Pharaonic and Greco-Roman eras.
A Century-Old Egyptian Whodunnit Resurfaces
Over a century ago, in the red-light district of Egypt’s port city Alexandria, two sisters partook in a series of murders. Raya and Sakina became synonymous with pure evil. But did they really kill sex workers for a few gold bracelets? New evidence suggests otherwise.
A New Theory: European Cathedrals Show Traces of Ancient Egypt
For years, I’ve been on an architectural odyssey, a quest for the origins of the zigzag. Curiosity was first sparked in 2005 after buying and restoring my Ottoman courtyard house in Damascus. Round all four courtyard walls, there was a distinctive decorative design — a trio of horizontal zigzags. My Syrian architect speculated it might be an ancient Mesopotamian pattern, but neither he, nor anyone else I asked, had any idea why it was chosen or what it signified.
The Artist Who Captured a Bygone Cairo
Menhat Helmy was a pioneering printmaker and painter, and among the first Egyptian artists to create elaborate etchings that captured the intricacies and minutiae of life in Cairo during unprecedented socioeconomic changes that transformed the country under former president Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Preserving the Coptic Language
Titi Maurice is a native speaker of Coptic, which puts her in a group of only hundreds worldwide. “As long as Coptic exists, no matter how small the number of speakers, it connects us to ancient Egypt,” she says. Now a number of initiatives are aimed at reviving that connection to the language of the pharaohs.