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Ancient Egyptian Wisdom ... Daily Practice

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Obama: Ancient Egyptian Glyph "Looks Like Me"

During his recent visit to Egypt, President Barack Obama toured the Pyramids and the Tomb of Qar with Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass. Obama is seeking to repair the United States' relationship with Muslims worldwide after decades of policies bolstering the state of Israel and two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In a genuinely unscripted moment in the tomb, Obama astutely noticed the Metu Neter glyph, "hr", which means "face". Most media outlets covered the humorous moment as Obama exclaimed "That looks like me! Look at those ears!" However the outlets have not explored the fact that the Ancient Egyptians chose to represent such a fundamental word with an image of a man with very clear African features.

Just last year when Nfr-Ka Ma'at and I travelled to Egypt, one of our older students noticed the glyph and commented on its appearance. "Why would they make the face so African if they weren't actually reflecting on themselves?" I wonder if Obama would have made his comment if the glyph was clearly a European with protruding ears? Can you imagine what Hawass must have been thinking? You can't tell me he hasn't already pondered this. In response to African American protesters calling for acknowledgement that the Black African heritage of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun in 2007, Hawass stated "Tutankhamun was not [B]lack, and the portrayal of ancient Egyptian civilisation as black has no element of truth to it." To make his comments even more confusing, Hawass continued, "Egyptians are not Arabs and are not Africans despite the fact that Egypt is in Africa." I'm quite sure Hawass was both surprised and disquieted by Obama's impromptu response to seeing his image ... our image ... etched in stone for all to remember.

Take a look at a picture of the glyph for yourself at the far right. Note the image's broad nose, wide lips and even what seems to be rows of tightly curled locks! Who were the Ancient Egyptians? Why do you continue to ask this question? Our ancestors knew we would have been forced into lands, that we would have been forced not to speak our names. They etched our images in stone for eternity. Shem em Hetep (Go Forth in Peace)!


CBS News - http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/06/04/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry5062724.shtml

MSNBC - http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/06/04/1953704.aspx


Independent Online (Quote taken from this article)- http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=31&art_id=nw20070925175335472C333850

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"This means that the large majority of Egyptians were neither black nor white, and remain their own ethnic group. "

Various studies have shown that the Egyptian ethnicity hasn't changed much over the centuries, and the Egyptians you see today would've looked like the Egyptians 3000 years ago.

In fact, have you even seen what modern Egyptians? They do resemble Arabs, even though they're not...so this is one of the rare instances when Hollywood would be accurate in its portrayal.

Your "evidence" is as objective as when the nazis claimed the Egyptians were white. Why degrade your own religion like that?