Bringing Egyptian Heritage to Life Find us
Tarek Swelim with the group in Historic Cairo
We enjoyed the best tour ever this past November as 13 intrepid travels from across the U.S. came together to experience Egypt through the lens of ARCE preservation initiatives. Designed for first-time (and it was suggested second-time or third-time) travelers to see the iconic, must-see sites of Giza and the Egyptian Museum, Egyptians on holiday outnumbered tourists by a 10-to-1 ratio, offering a true glimpse of Cairenes at play.
The crowds in Cairo were light as we navigated the streets during the Eid Al-Adha. While the Khan el Khalili was at less than half the normal crowd level and vendors were intent on making the sale, they were still friendly. Many of our group became great negotiators, learning the dance, and giving in a bit at the end. After all, these are hard economic times for many there.
St. Anthony's Monastery
Our group was varied by every measure, but became a community as they shared their stories and experienced Egypt together. The weather in November can still be hot, but for us it was perfect, warming in the afternoon and cooling again each evening.
Jocelyn Gohary teamed up with Tarek Swelim, Michael Jones, and John Shearman to provide an excellent basis for understanding the sites and the modern contexts they inhabit — among the people for whom the social and economic impacts of cultural heritage preservation are real and pressing.
EXCERPTS FROM OUR TRAVELERS
Outside the Nubian Museum
"The opportunity to see so many Egyptian treasures, ARCE conservation projects, and behind the scenes work of Egyptologists was an incredible learning experience. I encourage anyone who has an opportunity to visit Egypt to do so and I hope ARCE will do more tours such as ours in the future."
"ARCE's tour of Egypt in November was of the highest quality. The well planned itinerary allowed us to maximize our time and energy seeing the major monuments of Egypt's glorious Pharaonic, Coptic and Islamic past while absorbing the scale and focus of ARCE's conservation and preservation projects. We observed conservators at work, learned about problems and procedures for restoration, and visited laboratories for specialized analysis of building and decorating materials."
"We experienced the relationships ARCE has created over the years with the Egyptian people who are dedicated to preserving their ancient monuments. Egyptian guards and guides who had been through ARCE training programs on seeing our ARCE leaders, Michael Jones and Jocelyn Gohary, would come up to them with greetings of honor and appreciation and then often open an area closed to the public for our group to see. It was Michael and Jocelyn's continual sharing with us from their wealth of art historical knowledge and cultural experiences in Egypt that really made the trip exceptional. They were able to impart some of the flavor and soul of the country as well as its grand heritage. It was like an on-site, in-depth dip into three ancient worlds one at a time, yet one after another and one on top of another. And we were there!"
"Hotel accommodations were first class so that relaxing in the evening to prepare for the next day was easy and comfortable."
VISIT EGYPT WITH ARCENo matter how many public lectures ARCE gives in the United States or elsewhere, it is difficult to convey a real sense of place and purpose without actually experiencing our work sites. Traveling with ARCE offers a unique chance to share in our commitment to Egypt, its people and their heritage. If you would like to consider joining our next ARCE Tour in 2013, please email Dina Aboul Saad at email: email@example.com.
INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF MUSEUMS
The International Council of Museums, in an effort to fight against illicit traffic in cultural goods, compiles the Emergency Red List of Egyptian Cultural Objects at Risk. This list aims to help art and heritage professionals and law enforcement officials identify Egyptian objects that are protected by national and international legislations. View the Red List for Egypt.