Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, February 17, 2011

There is a very interesting new comment from Dr Mike Jenkins and Ms Patricia Kempa on the Luxor page of the Looting Database.  It reads:

A report from a close friend in Luxor regarding the events of 28 – 31 Jan on the West Bank (some editing done to make English flow):
This is what has happened on the West Bank, as my friend Ahmed [who works as a Guide there] told me:
‘When we heard that some people had attacked the Cairo Museum and some houses we went around in groups [protecting the ancient sites and modern settlements on the West Bank] for three days. There were no policemen at all: they had gone back to the police stations to protect themselves [inside]. Some of the local groups went to look after the villages and the others either stood by the entrances of the Valley of the Kings or Hatshepsut’s temple or Medinat Habu and the Queen’s Valley, and the tombs. Because all of the sites are close beside each other [on the West Bank] Ahmed said it was easy for the locals to guard them.
The people who are living near the sites (most of whom are working in tourism) and the workers at the [tourist] alabaster factories went outside so that nobody could walk or even move in the streets. They made checkpoints and stopped and checked everyone. They even stopped Ahmed three times even though he is a local too.
Ahmed told me it wasn’t like the protection needed at Karnak [with hundreds of people on each side of the site in mobile phone contact with each other]: Karnak temple is a very big site but those on the West Bank are more contained [and easier to protect].
Thank be to Allah everything starts to become more normal now and we feel safe again. And no one will ever touch our history!’

It is another testimony to the actions of the Egyptian people.  But I was also struck by the first sentence, "‘When we heard that some people had attacked the Cairo Museum..."  For me that is a perfect example of why instant news is a good thing and that sharing news of attacks on sone sites helped to protect others, thanks to people like Ahmed. 


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