Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Tolerable World


~ Anais Nin

Of Note: When Egypt erupted in protests a few weeks ago, nine criminal-minded individuals took advantage of the ensuing chaos to loot the Egyptian Museum, which had been abandoned by police. The thieves broke the prominent glass roof, rappelled down by ropes and then proceeded to break cases and rummage through the exquisitely displayed antiquities. The locals were not amused by these thuggish activities so cornered the thieves and held them, much to the surprise of the museum's storied overseer, Dr. Zahi Hawass. At the same time, after 1,000 looters rampaged through the building, protesters formed a human fence around the institution until the military arrived in tanks. A professor of Egyptology in Cairo proclaimed: "It's remarkable, really. People are protecting their cultural heritage and reconnecting with their past. It's a shift." Much of this change can be attributed to Dr. Hawass's tireless efforts to educate the public and create more cultural appreciation of their pharaoh ancestors. Meanwhile, at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the 10-year old library funded by UNESCO, the Egyptian government and others, youths held hands around the structure to prevent similar looting or vandalism. The director stated that not one stone had been thrown at the glass facade even though many other buildings in Alexandria had been destroyed or severely damaged since protests began. Since it opened, the library has served as a bastion of political reform and civil liberties and would have been an easy target. 50 volunteers and 50 staff members made sure it was not. As Egypt goes up in flames, the Phoenix of liberation may arise out of the ashes. Many can thank concerned and caring locals for making sure the ashes did not include irreplaceable antiquities and books.

Today's Weather Report: Man, was it ever cold today at 4 degrees Fahrenheit with a stiff wind! The wind chill must have been well below zero. Unfortunately, I had to work on the snowplow today but my -40 degree Iditarod suit made the job possible. It did not make the truck start, however. So, tomorrow the task will continue in warmer weather; at least that is the forecast. Errands took me to Hayward, and surprisingly town was very busy though everyone walked VERY quickly to get into a store. There was no dawdling, that was for sure.

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