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The articles in this issue have been divided up into the following categories







My Visit to Egypt

by: Elias Dangoor

The history of the Jews and that of old Egypt was intertwined for a long period of time. We know that it started when Joseph was sold by his brothers to Egyptian traders and was taken to Egypt. And that he became a man of prominence, when he explained to the Pharaoh of the day, that the dream of the seven lean and seven fat cows, was to forecast seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine. We neither know what was the name of that Pharaoh nor the date. When the seven years of famine started it also effected the land of Canaan, and the Patriarch Jacob with his family went to Egypt to buy from the grain stored during the years of abundance. A big number of Canaanites also went there for the same purpose.

The Jewish Exodus from Egypt was in the 13th century BCE. We don't know the name of the Pharaoh against whom Moses succeeded in liberating the Jewish people, who were then said to number 500,000. As explained in one Encyclopaedia, this figure incorporates all the Canaanite immigrants.

The Hebrews stayed in Egypt about 400 years. During that period the pharaohs shifted their capital from Lower Egypt, where they have built the pyramids as their tombs, to Luxor, in upper Egypt, where they dug their tombs deep in the sandstone hills of the Valley of Kings and the Valley of Queens. It is an arid area of no vegetation.

I went to Luxor, the capital of the second kingdom. It is a small city of much history. Each tomb in the Valley of the kings consists of a long tunnel dug as a square about ten feet wide ten feet high, and several hundreds feet deep, with coloured hieroglyphic writings all along. The colours are still distinct. The writing is made of pictures of birds, animals, plants, parts of the body, etc. Because the old Egyptian language has disappeared completely, it is not easy to read those writings. At the end of the tunnel there is a large room with two large granite stones brought from a quarry seventy miles away to serve as the actual tomb.

Then there is the Karnak Temples, built over a long period of time on a twelve acres of land with a big number of massive columns about thirty feet high with ceilings made of stones fifteen feet long, six feet thick. All the stones are covered with elaborate pictures either carved or painted. Some of the colours are still vivid in spite of being exposed to the very hot sun for such a long time.

The main temple in Karnak consists of three sections joined by entrances. Starting with a large open high walled square for the people, with an altar of a white stone in the centre. This is followed by a large room with high columns and ceiling, for the Pharaoh and the priests, followed by a small covered room which is called the "holy of holies," where only the high priest could enter. Outside, there is a pond of water for Pharaoh and the high priest to bath four times a day for purification.

I have no doubt that the Jews played a major part in the architecture, building, and decorating in Lower and Upper Egypt. It is a pity that we have no history of what happened to them during that long period in captivity.

It was interesting to see how each Pharaoh was thinking only about himself, his good life and his future tomb. The country was his property, and the population, his slaves. A big number of people worked for years to build his tomb.

Scribe : The writer did not send any photograhs, so we are publishing some of are own

Above: Renée Dangoor among the massive colomns of the Karnak Temple

Below: Naim Dangoor at Luxor

Above: The river-boat that takes tourists down the Nile from Luxor to Cairo

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