Companionless within Egypt
End of August, 2013
The earliest civilization arose around Mesopotamia, the river valleys like the Indus & Yellow River, and a bit later independently alongside the Nile river in Egypt. Being one of the earliest people alive, I was not too surprised to discover that the Egyptians were inventors to many commonly used items. But considering they created the first ever condom (millennium before the birth of Christ), stilettos, toothbrush, combs, make-up, locks & keys, wigs, pen and paper, men and women all over the world today should be quite thankful. Nothing worse than having an unwanted child by a wrinkled wife with yellow teeth, messy/no hair and on top of that you can’t write down your misery on paper.
Tomb Raiding was actually quite popular already back in the days. At the Valley of the Kings on the West side of the Nile in Luxor or also known as the old capital Thebes, one can find 63 tombs and chambers barring Kings and their wives and sons from the 16th to 11th century before Christ. Like with this tomb of one of the children of Ramesses II you will notice that a lot of the paintings on the wall was purposely destroyed. A lot of the decorative figures and gods have their eyes scratched out.
All over Egypt protest broke out mid August mainly caused by the Muslim Brotherhood in the attempts get Mohamed Morsi back from the military coup d’état which took him out of office just recently. Military presence was everywhere. A massive protest broke out on August 14th, causing chaos and a huge decline in tourism within the ancient kingdom. On arrival I was asked to open the back of my film camera to show them what’s inside. I remember thinking at that moment that I had no film inside, so when I opened the film back and realized I just exposed a roll of film to light which had photos from Serbia and my sister’s wedding photos, I was pretty devastated. A couple were saved from the exposure like this one above. From this point on I decided to shoot digital. Not for the reason mentioned above, more just for practical reasons and to travel a bit more lighter and also to put something aside so you love it more later.
I grew up to drinking apple juice and cacao, but I slowly realized that its all about tea in the rest of the world. Despite Egyptians who I though drink a lot of tea only drink a bit less than one kilogram of tea per head annually. The Irish, British, Kuwaitis and Turks all drink tea way more accessibly. The Irish win with three kilograms per head.
Ancient columns and the ancient lazy way of dropping a basket out the window to make someone downstairs do your shopping. I remember that used to be easiest way to buy street beers in Barcelona if you lived on the top floor.
This man says he just loves to smoke. Occasionally he reaches the ‘3 packs a day‘ he swears, which is actually quite normal for some nicotine addict Chinese taxi drivers lighting them up by each red light. China produces 42% of all the cigarettes in the world and with 350 million smokers in China, every forth Chinese smokes tobacco.
While Christianity used to be the main religion throughout the Middle East and Egypt from the 4th till the 8th century, it has now declined to less than 10 million with the rise of Islam the past millennium. Egypt holds over half of the Christians in the Middle East. There are also small percentages of Christians to be found within Syria, Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and even Iraq and Iran. Practising in public can be very dangerous and life threatening in many of these states. I was quite fascinated watching this Copt Christan passing by while doing the hail mary.
The lack of tourism after the Egyptian Revolution is a big hit for the locals of Luxor. Many would stop me and want totalk politics about what the west thinks of Egypt right now. Most of the people I talked to saw the Muslim Brotherhood as a threat to Egypt and the progression of the country. While western media might praise them as revolutionary, on Egyptian Television they were labelled as ‘terrorists’. In tourist cities like Luxor, people just want to get back to work.
There was a party in Luxor, Egypt and this guy and his donkey and I were the only one that showed up.