Dear John: What matters most?

In July 1991, when National Geographic published a feature story about China’s youth, we documented how democracy activists in Tiananmen Square were brutally crushed by their own government. For our society — and our Society — freedom and democracy were a top priority.

Today in Egypt, democracy activists are being brutally crushed by government thugs in Tahrir Square. But what is our Society’s top — and evidently only — priority in Egypt today? Mummies and golden death masks. Taking the lead in defense of those ancient artifacts is Zahi Hawass, who Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak recently appointed to his new cabinet, and who John Fahey long ago tapped to be a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence.

Here’s what’s changed at National Geographic (click to enlarge):


Dear John,
Why do you seem to care more about a dead civilization
than about
a free and democratic one that’s struggling to be born?

John rarely, if ever, gives interviews.
But we’re asking for one — partly to hear his answer to this question —
and you can help by clicking “Recommend,” below.

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