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Twitter... Once again

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  • Lynch, Brian M
    Egypt s last internet service provider has shut down in the last day, cutting people off from communicating both within and outside the country through what
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 1, 2011
      Egypt's last internet service provider has shut down in the last day, cutting people off from communicating both within and outside the country through what had become typical channels of internet access. In response, Google has built another "work around" called "Speak To Tweet," providing several phone numbers that people can call and leave short voice messages that will then be posted as voice message through Twitter. Interesting social/cultural development. If you do a Google search on "Speak to Tweet" you should find the details.


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    • Kaupp, Ann
      Zahi Hawass, Secretary General for the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt, released this statement about the situation in Egypt and its museums. The
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 1, 2011
        Zahi Hawass, Secretary General for the Supreme Council of Antiquities in

        Egypt, released this statement about the situation in Egypt and its museums.

        The Situation in Egyptian Antiquities Today

        On Friday, January 28, 2011, when the protest marches began in Cairo, I

        heard that a curfew had been

        issued that started at 6.00pm on Friday evening until 7.00am on Saturday

        morning. Unfortunately, on

        that day the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, was not well guarded. About a

        thousand people began to jump

        over the wall on the eastern side of the museum into the courtyard. On

        the western side of the museum,

        we recently finished something I was very proud of, a beautiful gift

        shop, restaurant and cafeteria. The

        people entered the gift shop and stole all the jewellery and escaped;

        they thought the shop was the

        museum, thank God! However, ten people entered the museum when they

        found the fire exit stairs

        located at the back of it.

        As every one knows, the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, is naturally lit and due

        to the architectural style of it,

        there are glass windows on its roof. The criminals broke the glass

        windows and used ropes to get inside,

        there is a distance of four metres from the ceiling to the ground of the

        museum. The ten people broke in

        when I was at home and, although I desperately wanted to go to the

        museum, I could not leave my house

        due to the curfew. In the morning, as soon as I woke up, I went directly

        there. When I arrived, I found

        out that, the night before, three tourist police officers had stayed

        there overnight because they were not

        able to get out before the curfew was put in place. These officers, and

        many young Egyptians who were

        also there, helped to stop more people from entering the museum.

        Thankfully, at 10.00pm on Friday

        night, the army arrived at the museum and gave additional security


        I found out that one criminal was still at the museum, too. When he had

        asked the people guarding the

        museum for water, they took his hands and tied him to the door that lead

        to the gift shop so that he could

        not escape! Luckily, the criminals who stole the jewellery from the gift

        shop did not know where the

        jewellery inside the museum is kept. They went into the Late Period

        gallery but, when they found no

        gold, they broke thirteen vitrines and threw the antiquities on the

        floor. Then the criminals went to the

        King Tutankhamun galleries. Thank God they opened only one case! The

        criminals found a statue of the

        king on a panther, broke it, and threw it on the floor. I am very

        thankful that all of the antiquities that

        were damaged in the museum can be restored, and the tourist police

        caught all of the criminals that broke

        into it. On Saturday, the army secured the museum again and guarded it

        from all sides. I left the museum

        at 3.00pm on Saturday, 29, 2011.

        What is really beautiful is that not all Egyptians were involved in the

        looting of the museum. A very

        small number of people tried to break, steal and rob. Sadly, one

        criminal voice is louder than one hundred

        voices of peace. The Egyptian people are calling for freedom, not

        destruction. When I left the museum

        on Saturday, I was met outside by many Egyptians, who asked if the

        museum was safe and what they

        could do to help. The people were happy to see an Egyptian official

        leave his home and come to Tahrir

        Square without fear; they loved that I came to the museum.

        The curfew started again on Saturday afternoon at 4.00pm, and I was

        receiving messages all night from

        my inspectors at Saqqara, Dahsur, and Mit Rahina. The magazines and

        stores of Abusir were opened, and

        I could not find anyone to protect the antiquities at the site. At this

        time I still do not know what has

        happened at Saqqara, but I expect to hear from the inspectors there

        soon. East of Qantara in the Sinai, we

        have a large store containing antiquities from the Port Said Museum.

        Sadly, a large group, armed with

        guns and a truck, entered the store, opened the boxes in the magazine

        and took the precious objects. Other

        groups attempted to enter the Coptic Museum, Royal Jewellery Museum,

        National Museum of

        Alexandria, and El Manial Museum. Luckily, the foresighted employees of

        the Royal Jewellery Museum

        moved all of the objects into the basement, and sealed it before leaving.

        My heart is broken and my blood is boiling. I feel that everything I

        have done in the last nine years has

        been destroyed in one day, but all the inspectors, young archaeologists,

        and administrators, are calling me

        from sites and museums all over Egypt to tell me that they will give

        their life to protect our antiquities.

        Many young Egyptians are in the streets trying to stop the criminals.

        Due to the circumstances, this

        behaviour is not surprising; criminals and people without a conscience

        will rob their own country. If the

        lights went off in New York City, or London, even if only for an hour,

        criminal behaviour will occur. I

        am very proud that Egyptians want to stop these criminals to protect

        Egypt and its heritage.

        At this time, the Internet has not been restored in Egypt. I had to fax

        this statement to my colleagues in

        Italy for it to be uploaded in London on my website.


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