One of these dreams is not like the other

Dr. Zahi Hawass,
National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence:


The dream of the Egyptian people:
Ending the reign of Pharaoh.

Anti-Mubarak protest in Cairo (via AP)

But President Mubarak refuses to resign.
Instead, he fired his old cabinet,
and appointed
Zahi Hawass
(among others)
to his new cabinet.

Egypt's President Hosni Mubarek & Dr. Zahi Hawass

Nothing new, say the people.
Democracy activists call yet again for Mubarak to leave,
proving that their dream of a democratic Egypt
is “more than just imagination.”

Wael Ghonim addressed the crowd in Tahrir Square on Tuesday. (Dylan Martinez/Reuters via The New York Times)

President Mubarak tells the people
where they can put their dream:

“We will not accept or listen to any foreign interventions or dictations,” Mr. Mubarak said.

Which shows that the story
that Zahi Hawass is still narrating…

… and the story that National Geographic
continues to showcase (with monotonous regularity)…

… is not about Way Back When,
but about Right Now:

“We were once at the very top,” Dr. Hawass has said,
referring to the time of the pharaohs.
“Be proud of this heritage,” he tells young people.

To which we reply:
Thank God Egypt’s young people
are looking elsewhere for inspiration.

Unfortunately, when they open National Geographic magazine,
they’ll get a motherlode of Pharaoh —
and mountains of landscape photos to
inspire people to care about the planet” —
but nothing about…

NGM, February 1976

… because we don’t publish stories like this anymore.

Any comment, John?

≡  photo of Zahi Hawass & sphinx via Glenn Ashton

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