Who Ever Said Heritage is About the Past?

Zahi Hawass inspecting the restoration of Moses Ibn Maymoun (Maimonides) synagogue in Cairo in calmer times (photo: AFP)


 A return volley in the Israeli-Arab battle over “heritage lists.”  

After a series of highly publicized announcements last year by Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities chief Zahi Hawass that        

“Egypt deals with Jewish synagogues and monuments as an integral part of the country’s antiquities  

and that Jewish heritage is “part of our history,”          

we see that it may not be such a central and unalienable part of Egyptian cultural inheritance after all:         

From AFP 14 March:         

Egypt scraps synagogue ceremony after ‘provocative’ acts

CAIRO — Egypt cancelled the formal opening on Sunday of a renovated 19th-century synagogue in Cairo in protest at what antiquities chief Zahi Hawass called “provocative” Jewish and Israeli actions.           

Both Hawass and Culture Minister Faruq Hosni had been due to attend the event a week to the day after 150 people, including rabbis and the US and Israeli ambassadors, attended the rededication of the Maimonides synagogue.           

Citing press reports, Hawass said in a statement that the cancellation comes after “provocative” acts during the March 7 ceremony in Cairo’s ancient Jewish quarter.           

He referred to “dancing and drinking alcohol in the synagogue, as reported by several newspapers,” and said such acts “were seen to provoke the feelings of millions of Muslims in Egypt and across the world.”           

The decision was also taken at “a time when Muslim holy sites in occupied Palestine face assaults from Israeli occupation forces and settlers,” Hawass said…           

For full story, click here.        



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