Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Pyramid discovered...MAALESH!

In the Shadow of a Long Past, Patiently Awaiting the Future

"Maalesh", in modern Egyptian means 'never mind' or 'Oh, well". That seems to be the attitude of many Egyptians regarding the unearthing of a new pyramid in Gaza. This pyramid was built for Queen Sesheshet, mother of Pharaoh Teti. But many modern Egyptians are ambivalent:

"...Can you believe our government can do nothing for us, and this thing that was built thousands of years ago is still helping me feed my family?" Ahmed Sayed Baghali, 49, said as he sat in a plastic chair selling postcards to tourists outside the Egyptian Museum here, which
displays millenniums of antiquities. "Who would buy my things if they were not about the pharaohs? People come here from very far to see the pyramids, not to see Cairo..."

The above article points out that the country has numerous problems with infrastructure and government services. Officials change, but that can mean different things to different people:

"...When other people talk about hoping to see something happen soon, they probably mean within the next few months," said Salem, an Egyptian playwright. "For an Egyptian, it could mean in the next 50 or 60 years. An Egyptian has a particular pace. His pace is
different than an American's. And a long history can do this..."

But Egyptians have patience and sometimes see humor in the slow pace of change:

"...A man without history is a man without humor," said Galal, an economist and author who has written about Egypt’s modern decline. "A man with history is more likely to have humor, because he is more likely to see the irony in things, how things were and how they turned out to be. And patience..."

Maybe "whatever" would be a better translation of "maalesh"?

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