Egypt – of women and libraries… history repeats itself
Watching the news out of Egypt, I could have cried. Like the long ago Library of Alexandria, the richest and most celebrated library of the ancient world, it burned by ‘accident’ when the protesters threw Molotov cocktails at a neighboring building. The Library of Alexandria burned in much the same way, depending on the story.
“The burning of such a rich building means a large part of Egyptian history has ended,” the director of the institute, Mohammed al-Sharbouni, told state television over the weekend. The building was managed by a local non-governmental organization.
So much knowledge lost.
According to some accounts the Library of Alexandria burned as the Roman Emperor Aurelian tried to save his ships from Zenobia of Palmyra, an Arabian Queen. The fire spread to the Library of Alexandria, as Hypatia, mathematician, astronomer and the last scholar of the library, tried to save it. (According to some reports.)
Ironically, considering current events, Hypatia was murdered by Christians who accused her of creating turmoil. They stripped her, dragged her through the streets and flayed her with pot shards.
But history has long recorded the complaints of the upstart, educated women of Egypt.
If the military government had only read their history, they should have known better than to attack one. I can only cheer as the women in Egypt rise up in protest against the army stripping a woman, then dragged her through the street as they stomped on her.
They are demanding a return to the Egypt of old, and the rights they once were given, that celebrated and honored it’s strong, intelligent and capable women. They are not standing silent as their rights are assaulted but standing up and fighting for the rights.