Monday, 21 February 2011

Liquid Continent Afloat

The Liquid Continent project at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina is afloat again after the recent events. Michael Haag will be participating in the literary workshop on 21 March.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

The American University in Cairo Press on Tahrir Square

The low white buildings among the palms are The American University in Cairo where The AUC Press has its offices. In the immediate foreground the red building with a dome is the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities. Between the two is Tahrir Square, centre of the insurrectionary demonstrations. Protesters in the square were fired at by police snipers from the roof of The American University in Cairo Press, according to reliable report. Also the police, as well as demonstrators and escaped convicts, have been blamed for vandalism at the Antiquities Museum, which has included destroying numerous artefacts and stealing statues of Tutankhamun, Akhenaten and Nefertiti.

The American University in Cairo Press publishes books about all aspects of Egypt and the Middle East including a few by Michael Haag. Its remarkably resourceful editors and staff have continued working from their homes during the insurrection when not joining the demonstrations themselves. To visit The AUC Press website, click here.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Along the Canopic Way

The Municipality building on Sharia Horreya in Alexandria has been burnt down during the insurrection. Sharia Horreya, the former Rue Fuad/Rue Rosette, follows the line of the Canopic Way, the main thoroughfare of ancient Alexandria. Immediately behind the Municipality is the Graeco-Roman Museum; there are reports that it also suffered from fire, but fortunately it is empty while undergoing restoration. The Alexandria National Museum, a bit to the east and near Bab Sharki, seems to have escaped attack. But the destruction done to the Municipality and some other buildings in the city, not to mention the vandalism at the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo, shows how close Alexandria came to suffering catastrophic loss.

Alexandria's Police Stations in Flames

Information from Alexandria is that every police station in the city has been torched. The photograph below shows the police headquarters at Bab Sharki which has been set alight by demonstrators.

The photographs below show Bab Sharki police station in 1912.
Bab Sharki means the Eastern Gate which until the nineteenth century could still be discerned within the ruinous Arab walls of the medieval town. The walls enclosed a much smaller city than ancient Alexandria whose eastern gate, the Gate of the Sun, lay much farther eastwards. The Canopic Way, the main thoroughfare of ancient Alexandria, ran east to west through the heart of the city from the Gate of the Sun to the Gate of the Moon. In modern times the Canopic Way has been known as the Rue Rosette, then the Rue Fuad and now, officially, Sharia Horreya, meaning Freedom Avenue - but Alexandrians as often as not still call it the Rue Fuad, named for the king who ruled Egypt until his death in 1936.

Monday, 7 February 2011

An Alexandrian Murdered by the Police

It wouldn't have lasted long anyway -
years of experience make that clear.
But Fate did put an end to it a bit abruptly.
It was soon over, that wonderful life. ...

Then, sad, I went out on to the balcony,
went out to change my thoughts at least by seeing
something of this city I love,
a little movement in the streets, in the shops.
- Constantine Cavafy
In the Evening

These days you stand on a balcony in Alexandria and watch the police murder people in cold blood. Click here.