Cairo-On Saturday night, downtown Cairo almost stagnated as 22 mummies moved from the museum where they lived for more than a century to a new house, and were transported in a custom-made vehicle in a carefully designed sparkling parade mummy.
The noise was broadcast live on national television, with a military band, 21 salutes and many Egyptian A-class celebrities. This is the grand opening of the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, where Egypt’s oldest monarch was set as a landing site after the pandemic and invited tourists to return to Cairo.
“These are the mummies of kings and queens who ruled in Egypt̵
Everyone, except many Egyptians.
On the five-mile road leading to the new museum, many working-class communities were deliberately hidden in front of the parade, which reminds people of the huge gap between Egypt’s historic past and the uncertain present.
The slogan marked “Pharaoh’s Golden Parade” and the large national flag prevented TV viewers from staring at the impoverished areas of Cairo and prevented local residents from glimpsing the fine glasses made for television. In one place, a plastic screen at least 10 feet high was installed on the scaffolding to bridge the gap in the cream-colored wall.
“They put up a hiding place,” said Mohammed Saad, a local resident. He and two friends stood a few feet behind the obstacle to separate them from the newly swept road. Coming, the ancestors’ procession will cross this road.
Two security personnel confirmed that no one was allowed to leave the nearby community or take to the streets to watch during the parade. One of them provided: “They can watch it on the screen.”
In a TV interview, the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities praised President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s idea of a public demonstration as a way of stagnating international travel during the coronavirus pandemic last year. A way to attract tourists back to the country.
But this spectacle also highlights the economic and social differences in the Egyptian capital.
Urban planner Ahmed Zaazaa (Ahmed Zaazaa) said of the government’s public image efforts: “There is a tendency to try to show a better picture rather than fix the existing reality.” “The government Said they were carrying out reforms, but the vast majority of people living in working-class communities in Cairo were excluded.”
Egyptian television broadcasts the preparations for the parade continuously, emphasizing the reverberation of news abroad, combining visual effects with dramatic themed music and information streams about the 22 kings and queens who ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago.
The members of the ancient royal family in action include Ramses II, the pharaoh who ruled the longest, and Queen Hatshepsut, one of the few female pharaohs in Egypt.
After sunset, the crowd gathered in downtown Cairo. Among them were enthusiastic young families who came with their children, hoping to catch a glimpse of this historic moment.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime event. These are our ancestors.” Sarah Zaher came with three friends.
But many people gathered were stopped by the police and turned away.
A uniformed officer yelled: “If you want to watch, then watch TV.” Disappointingly, the crowd retreated to a nearby cafe to watch TV or mobile phones.
Nada Rashwan and Dawlat Magdy contributed reports.