January 30, 2011

Egypt Links and Various News, 30 Jan 2011 UPDATED 31 Jan 2011

So much is happening. Please forgive the information dump but I hope it will be of use. Note: January 31's updates are all in BOLDFACE. If you have any information you'd like me to post please feel free to send it along to nisut at kemet dot org or hit the reply/comment button at the bottom of this post and link it up.

There are some excellent websites out there collecting and distributing the news from Egypt. I'm watching everything I can and also collecting material and putting it out via my Twitter feed, which will also pick up anything I post on Facebook as it's set to do that. In the meantime, here are some updates along with links so you can follow yourself.

For news inside Egypt live: Al Jazeera is still broadcasting as it can, despite being shut down by the Mubarak government. You can follow a live stream in English here: http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/  UPDATE 31 Jan 2011, 8:30pm Chicago time: Al Jazeera has been banned and shut down inside Egypt and a media blackout is happening sporadically; you may not be able to view this but keep trying.

Some excellent blogging by my colleagues, some of whom are in Egypt right now and are telephoning outside the Internet blockade to get the news out:

Ancient Egypt Online - news out of Egypt. Sunday, a map of damaged Museum areas: http://ancientegyptonline.org/egyptnews/
UPDATE: Now there is a listing of sites and their known conditions: http://ancientegyptonline.org/egyptnews/p/mapofantiquitiestheft

Egyptology News (Andie, Kat and Kate) http://egyptology.blogspot.com/
UPDATE: Kate now has a special update site especially to gather and confirm/deny looting reports: http://egyptopaedia.com/2011/

Jane Akhshar's Luxor News http://luxor-news.blogspot.com/

The Eloquent Peasant (Margaret Maitland) - many photos of damaged Cairo Museum items:

News from the Valley of the Kings (Kate Phizackerley): http://www.kv64.info/

Sarah Carr's excellent blog about conditions in Egypt, which may be disabled sporadically: http://www.inanities.org (note strong language and photos).

An excellent website (again, note strong language) about how NOT to talk about Egypt, discussing racist, political and other tropes that are really NOT helpful:

The Coptic Orthodox Church in North America has declared the next three days to be days of fasting and prayers for the people of Egypt. For those of you who feel compelled to join them in solidarity I encourage you to do so. Many protests have occurred and continue to occur in larger cities in the USA; I have observed footage from events in New York, Toronto, Chicago and LA so far. There are a number of Facebook "groups" that have been created to get news out of Egypt and the #Jan25 hashtag on Twitter as well as the #Egypt hashtag will also supply much news and real-time information.

In other news I can substantiate as being first-hand and/or confirmed by experts in the field:

-An official statement at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina website about events in Alex: http://www.bibalex.org/News/NewsDetails_en.aspx?id=3128

- Zahi Hawass (www.drhawass.com) is reporting that all 24 national museums are being protected by the army, but that many of the SCA's magazines are in jeopardy throughout the country. Looting and theft has already been substantiated, by Zahi and others, at Memphis, Saqqara, Abusir, South Saqqara and the Port Said Museum magazine located near Qantara. Unfortunately because Dr. Hawass was not present at the Cairo Museum when things occurred and is still defending Mubarak, I find much of what he is reporting to be underestimated/underreported, especially since other officials including the director of the Cairo Museum are saying far more and far more damaging things including that members of the police forces themselves are behind vandalism and theft.

- Luxor: Chicago House (the University of Chicago's operation headquarters in Luxor) is reporting everyone is safe so far and that work is progressing. Luxor is relatively quiet compared to other parts of the country at the moment, and the Gurnawis are protecting the West Bank in the absence of the police forces. The army has moved in to guard Luxor and Karnak temples proper. Tourists who are trapped in Luxor are either going south (via cruise ships) or being encouraged to contact their departments of state.

- Egyptologists and archaeologists by name, who have checked in with friends and family and are safe for the moment include Rita Freed (safe and working in Hierakonpolis), Salima Ikram (in Cairo), Barry Kemp (safe at Amarna which is also safe), Mark Lehner and A. Tavares (who are being forced to leave Giza after watching attempts to loot the dig house), Susanne Onstine (in Luxor), Jo Rowland (location uncertain), and Peter Sheldrick (in Dakhleh Oasis). I have not heard from Nicole Hansen (Cairo) since Thursday. I am unable to reach others and appreciate any news on our friends and colleagues that can be provided and will pass it along.

UPDATE Monday night Chicago time (Tuesday morning Cairo time): Matt Adams and the Abydos excavation team are checking in OK. Kent Weeks in Luxor is OK and working at the KV today. The EES Luxor team is OK but is planning to leave the country and may already have left by now (Sarah Jones, Angus Graham and Kris Stutts were named in the news I received).

Tuesday is set to be a very large march/protest day in Cairo, a "million march," according to organizers. Not too long before dawn a complete blackout of news and cell phones and Internet went into place amid reports the police force (Mubarak's personal army; the National Army has said it will not fire on protestors) is regrouping to return to the streets. There will be many rumors and things happening today. Please pray for Egypt and try not to spread information that cannot be substantiated first-hand. I am still hopeful this will come out well for Egypt and that there will not be any more bloodshed.

Please keep Egypt in your thoughts and your prayers.

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