Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Do we know how to appreciate our heritage?

Hi! On one of the groups that I am a member, one of the members had circulated a message from a lady who wanted to do something to improve the status of monuments, and, the impression it creates on vistors when they come to Egypt.

I thought it was a great idea, not so much for what the vistors to Egypt think of it, but more on account of what visitors to Egypt do to it.

On my visit to the Valley of Kings, the tour guide specifically asked us not to speak in the tombs as the moisture ruins the frescos on the walls. To my shock, the tourists continued to chat and have discussions inside with little or no concern for the heritage that they were destroying.

Here we were, talking in sign language to our 6 year old son, who seemed to have no problem in understanding that he was NOT supposed to speak, and, there were full blown adults nattering away, obviously discussing some life threatening crises in the middle of the tombs (what else could make them ignore the guide's rather clear instructions?), and, guffawing at a joke that someone had just cracked!! Honestly, it was appalling!

The pyramids & the tombs etc are a heritage for all of us and not just the Egyptians, and, no one has the right to fritter it away.

I beileve it would take some concerned and like minded citizens to do something about it.

There is something similar that was done in India for our financial capital Bombay. Bombay, as a city, has a similar problem as the pyramids - a huge influx of people who come in to work or seek their fortunes.

Plus being the financial centre, it attracts a lot of overseas visitors as well and the city's infrastructure could not keep pace.

A group of concerned high profile citizens got together and formed a citizen's action force called Bombay First, which has over the years made some difference to the landscape.

It drew members from some of the biggest business in the city on account of the fact

a/ Business leaders have visibility and a political voice (to some extent) as they contribute to the income / employment being generated in a state

b/ As a part of their corporate social responsibility they have the ability to contribute funds

I don't know but destroying what nature has preserved for so many years really bothers me, and, I, very strongly, feel that one must do something about this.

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