x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

An Egyptian lesson

In stark contrast to the looting in Iraq after the 2003 invasion, Egyptians have protected their collective heritage, proving that sometimes the best news comes in the shape of a silver lining.

Sometimes the best news comes in the shape of a silver lining. After all the sacrifices that the Egyptian people have made in the last three weeks, it seems that hope for a bright civil future is to be found around every corner.

As reported by CNN yesterday, 17 artefacts - including a statue of Tutankhamun being carried by a goddess - were stolen from the Egyptian Museum of Cairo following a break-in.

Ironically, considering the thousands of items on display in Cairo, this news only accentuates the fact that after almost three weeks of unrest, the majority of Egypt's archeological finds escaped unscathed. At the height of the demonstrations, it was reported that ordinary citizens were taking shifts to guard museums and heritage sites. That the Egyptian people faithfully protected these treasures bodes well for the future and hints at a society that will honour its civic duties and protect its culture.

This situation is in stark contrast to what happened in Iraq after the 2003 invasion when thousands of ancient artefacts went missing. The presence of so many foreign entities, many of them mercenary, as well as the fractious state of the country's politics, meant that so many of Iraq's treasures ended as victims of the war.

Egypt's revolution, peaceful and by the people, ensured that such a dire scenario was avoided.