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the situation in egypt.

i dont know how closely you all follow the news. i'm pretty sure you all know by now that i have a long-term interest in egypt, but the issues extend far beyong archaeology.

for those who haven't been following events, which have only broken out in the past 10 days, there have been a number of anti-government demonstrations in egypt (particularly in the cairo area) which have resulted in an estimated fatality number of over 100. it's an extremely tense time with a great deal of worry and hope for the future. there is a very good summary article by the bbc here.

if you have been following events you'll probably know that the violence has extended to cairo museum, which has been looted. several irreplacable, priceless artefacts have been destroyed. there is also potential damage to other museums and archaeological sites.

i would just like to take a moment to acknowledge the heroes among the egyptian people. the bravery they have shown is an example to people everywhere. at cairo museum, ordinary people linked arms to protect their cultural heritage.

it's not all bad news. in every news story (news stories usually being about chaos and destruction and warfare and unrest), there is always at least one ray of light. there's always someone to restore your faith in humankind, and on this occasion it's the ordinary egyptian people who have banded together to protect not only their future, but their past as well. i hope you'll all join me in sparing a thought and a blessing for the people of egypt, and for people engaged in other conflicts all around the world. we are all very lucky.

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