Description of the video:
Hello my name is Donna Albrecht and I am a professor at Indiana University Southeast in the School of Education. And I am here today to talk to you about ancient and modern day Egypt. I happen to have livee in Egypt myself for about 20 years and both of my boys were born there, and met my husband there. And so I just wanted to share a little bit about my experience and also some information about, Egypt for your students if you are a teacher and just for yourself if you're interested. So let me just pause for a second and get myself set up and I will share my presentation with you. Okay, so I am going to start by sharing a little bit of Egyptian music with you. This is modern music. Though as you can hear, the Egyptian music has a lot of drumming and it is very, very energetic, not always but it is fun music, great to dance to. So that's maybe a lesson for another time. So let me start out by, sharing what people usually imagine about Egypt. The first thing that comes to your mind, probably the pyramids of Giza and sphinx. So just to put a little bit of perspective on this pyramid, you can see the itty-bitty people down here towards the bottom. So you can get an idea of how massive these pyramids actually are. And the Sphinx over here looks really tiny in comparison to the pyramid. But of course, the Sphinx is also quite large, which you'll see in some pictures a little bit later on. So Egypt is situated in Africa. So most people would probably say when asked where Egypt is they might think the Middle East. Egypt has connections to the Middle East, of course, historically and culturally, linguistically, religiously, all of those sorts of things. But at the same time it is part of Africa. And it more closely relates to its northern African neighbors. Up here across the top of Africa, you can see how it's situated with the Red Sea on the East and the Mediterranean Sea towards the north Indian Ocean all the way over to the east and the Atlantic Ocean all the way over to the west. This provided Egypt with a central position in history. it was sort of a crossroads or melting pot. So we call the United States a melting pot because folks have come from all over the world into United States. And we have created a melting pot of people sharing ideas and sharing thoughts and languages and religions and all of those things. And that is very much what has happened to Egypt over the years. As the crossroads. I just want to share a picture of what might look like ancient Egypt with you. But this is actually ancient architecture, but built in our times. So this doming effect of these buildings is sort of a natural air conditioning. It allows the heat to rise up. And in Egypt in the summer it gets between a 100 and 110 degrees, So you definitely need something. And then when you didn't have air conditioning back a long time ago, this natural air conditioning was, was very beneficial. A little bit more detail about Egypt's position and geography. You can see a close-up here. So I want you to think about something as we go forward and then I will tell you the answer a little bit later. But here's what I want you to think about. The south of Egypt we call Upper Egypt. The north of Egypt we call Lower Egypt. So that has something to do... I'm going to give you a clue. It has something to do with the NIle river and with the direction that the Nile flows. So just think about that a little bit. Egypt is in the Northern Hemisphere. So if you're thinking about where the equator is and how rivers flow. So that's pretty much of a big hint for you there. Um, but we will come back to why the South is called upper and why the North is called lower. In just a little bit, Here, you can see that you are just surrounded by desert. So that's been an important, an important aspect of their development and we call that human environmental interaction. So this is an example of, what we do in modern times in Egypt, in the desert. we go four wheeling. So it's, it's a lot of fun. I think some people here in the United States do something called mudding. I have not done that myself, but I think it's maybe similar but in a different environment to four wheeling in the desert. So we would go driving around all over the place and this was literally maybe 15 minutes from our apartment. We could go drive around, we can hike. have a picnic, find fossils. So you'd be surprised how many sea fossils you can find out in the desert and that's because they used to be an ocean. So a little bit of more about Egypt's environments. And this is going to give you the answer to why. The question I asked you before about why the South is called upper and the North is called lower. And so the way that Egypt is situated. It's north of the equator. The Nile itself starts south of the equator. Ok, so somewhere down here in a place that is much more lush and not the desert has a lot of rain and a lot of water. And so what happens is this starts way down here where the water gathers and needs an outlet. And so it became a river, the Nile River and it has many different branches. The force of the Nile river grows until it gets to a point where it pushes north of the equator. So typically, rivers will, will run north or south towards the equator depending on which hemisphere you're in. So the Ohio River or Mississippi River for us, flow south. But if you live in the southern hemisphere, the rivers flow north. What happens here as we cross the equator, because the water has so much force and power, it pushes on up and it keeps going until it finds an outlet. And that outlet happens to be all the way up into Egypt where it meets the Mediterranean Sea. So your answer therefore is that it has to do with the direction that the Nile river flow. So upper is actually the South because the water is still coming north where the water exits into the Mediterranean Sea. That seems a little bit counter-intuitive, but that's the rationale there. Egyptians would not have been able to survive and live in Egypt without the Nile River. And so that's a very important part of their human and environmental interaction. The waters from the Nile, use to flood every year. And that would bring silt which is really rich soil to the earth and that would coat the land. That is what enabled Egyptians to grow their crops. And these days we know of Egypt from growing cotton. I'm very nice, high-quality cotton. We look at Egyptian made cotton towels and things like that. And so, that is kind of a product coming back from the ancient times when Egypt used to grow and still does grow many crops along the Nile. As you can see though, where the river and the Nile irrigation waters stopped feeding the land, it immediately becomes desert and it is an abrupt line where that changes. So you can see that in these pictures where it starts to become, I'm the hills in the mountains and there's no vegetation. It is not green at all. So it's quite a stark contrast. These days. We have a we have a dam called the Aswan Dam that was built to control the floodwaters. Partly to, to enable, I'm the Egyptians not to have to flee their homes every year. I when, when the rivers would flood from the rains from the south. And, and also to provide a huge source of electricity to the Egyptian country. But the flip side of that is that it did no longer provide that irrigation and that silt. To the land. So now other things need to be done. A lot of irrigation ditches provide the water from the Nile to the land so that we can still grow crops. And this is just a picture of, of modern Egypt that I took when I lived there. But you can still see aspects of the ancient. I'm, you can see a water buffalo here and even still, the water buffalo will turn a wheel. They, they walk around in a circle and they turn a wheel. And that brings up the water into the irrigation ditches so that the land can be, can be watered. In this picture, you can see the pyramids in the background. You can see that it's modern because there are satellite dishes on top of the buildings is how people get their their cable basically and air conditioners and some of these windows here. So Cairo is a city of about 20 million people. Depending on what source you look at. That's not just Cairo itself, but the surrounding areas. So there'll be a huge number of people to house. And that's why you see buildings are always in progress process of being built. As a contrast to that, you have the Red Sea, which provides a Beautiful area of, of escape and leisure. The ability to go and swim in the sea also provides a great source of fish and other resources for, for the Egyptian people. And this would be along the route where the Suez Canal was built, where large ships pass from the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea and provide a passage for, for goods and resources to eye, to travel from really one part one side of the world to the other. I'm the Egyptian people is, as I was saying before, sort of, you know, they're at a crossroads and so on. They have brought people from, from the north, from Europe, from, from the east, from Asia, from the south from Africa. And it has become a melting pie. And so I'm, the Egyptian people have a lot of diversity. They have a lot of different traditions that have come up from over the times. They have. They have their ancient way, ways that came from before. And then they have their more modern Arabic language, which is language I've now hieroglyphic Swiss language before in the past. And they share a lot of different traditions and cultures from, from across the world. This is another picture of poor recent Egypt. But I did want to show you that while, while we have the traffic and all the modern day, things like traffic lights and all of that. We can still see some of the older architecture. This doesn't go back to the Pharaoh's time, but I'm certainly older architecture in these buildings here with the ornate and building entry way and and designs. We have these windows which provides sort of a screen that's this is called Mash Serbia provide sort of a screen so that people from insight can look out, but people cannot see them. And so that's a privacy's river privacy barrier light come like blinds might be today. Just a little picture that shows you some of the things that we did with our kids for entertainment. And these are actually kids of some friends of ours. But instead of going to Chuck E Cheese isn't going to an arcade. You would go to a restaurant and you would have maybe the availability of a little donkey ride or something like that to entertain your kids well, while you're having meal. I'm, this shows you a little bit about some of the traditional, I'm Egyptian dress that is so worn today. At the same time people do also we're way I'm called Western clothing and other kind of clothing that we wear. I'm so it's a real mixture just depending on the individual and what they help them to follow. So this is something I wanted to share with you. We're talking about, you know, I'm an educator and so I'd like to talk about kids. I like to talk about being educating children and sharing those traditions across time and space. And so these are some Egyptian children that my students from the school where I worked went and worked with. We did a projects with this community center where we painted their spaces and tried to create some murals and things that would be entertaining it also produce some creativity for the students and we did activities and games with them as well. So that brings me to a story I wanted to share with you. And just to show you that there are so many traditions and ideas that have spanned across time and cultures. And the Cinderella story is one of those. So the Cinderella story, he, Ancient Egypt takes claim to being the first Cinderella story. I'm, I don't know if that's a fact, but, but but it's a nice story anyway. And so we're going to, we're going to stick with it. So give me one minute and I am going to share this story with you. Rotor pits was a girl from ancient Greece who was a child, as a child was sold into slavery in Egypt. This is ancient Egypt, by the way. So just the Pharaoh's time, um, they had slavery at that time. In Egypt, the other slaves made fun of voter pests because she looks different with her blue eyes and light skin. Wrote a press, was very unhappy with no friends and everyone making fun of her all time. Wednesday when rotor is taking a bath in, Eagle, grabbed winner for sandals and flew with it to Memphis, a big city in Egypt, where the pharaoh was holding court. As, as a judge in an open area. The eagle got to the pharaoh. He Jobs wrote up his sandal right into the fear of slap. The Pharaoh thought this must be assigned from the gods. And he thought the sandal must belong to a wonderful girl. He sent his slaves all around Egypt to look for the girl who on the sandal, when they found rotor pests in the crisis, they brought her to Memphis and she became the pharaohs wife. So you can see similarities to the Cinderella story that, that we still I'm tell and have movies about I'm To this day. And so just to show you that I'm, all cultures have similarities and also differences. I'm so this goes back to the community center where my students and I worked with that group of kids that you saw previously. This is what their classroom looks like there. It's very low tech. Or you can see they have a chalkboard and that's about it. I'm so we painted these rooms and we also worked on repainting and varnishing their desks in their benches. This is Arabic writing and it goes from right to left. So the opposite of our writing, not backwards, right? The opposite. So this is one of my students just doing an activity with the kids on there. So we had we had a lot of good times. This particular project was something called the week without walls. And so our entire school way basically close down and students would do projects all around either Egypt, Cairo or I'm even outside of the country. Sorry, excuse me. Back that up by mistake there. And this is one of the murals that, that my students painted. I'm on a very large wall and their outdoor space where they had some other recess area. So just to, I won't read all of this to you, but I want you to realize and understand that ancient Egypt came up with some of the most advanced science and math of the time. And also that informed our own science and math to even to this day. So their number system was based on ten. And this helped us to, to create the system that we have. Now. This just another picture of the pyramids from a different angle. And this shows where not only did, did the pyramid serve as a tomb for the Pharaoh that this was built four, they would be buried in this tomb along with all sorts of stuff. So they brought their, their valuable Zen and tools and anything they thought that they might need in the afterlife. Because their, their belief, an ancient Egypt was that they would carry onto another life after death and they would need all of these things with them, so they protected them. In this massive pyramid. Of course, your average person couldn't afford to have a pyramid builds. And so the people around the tombs around the pyramid would be, for example, his workers are the people that served. The Pharaoh, would be buried and more humble tombs. And this could be an example of that. The wives had smaller pyramids, by the way, and I don't think I have a picture of those here, but there are some solar pyramids that housed the remains of the wives and yes, multiple, you know that that was plural. I'm so a little other fun facts is that many people are, or the story would go, would say that Napoleon and his armies, when they were in Egypt, shot off the nose of the Sphinx during target practice? That's actually not correct. I'm the nose of the Sphinx just deteriorated over time. And just kind of were we from environmental factors. That's why the Sphinx has no nose. So in Ancient Egypt, the writing system was called hieroglyphics. And that is not a modern day form of writing I. And so that had to be deciphered along the way. We found that we are not we meeting us, but I'm in history. Something was found called the Rosetta Stone, which helped us to decipher what the hieroglyphics meant in that gave us a real break into understanding ancient, ancient Egypt in their traditions and cultures. Okay, sorry, little intermission there. So back to ancient Egyptian writing, which is called hieroglyphics. That is what was found on the terms. And so for a long time we couldn't understand it. We had no idea what was going on and we can only make guesses by little pictures. And so being able to decipher that was very helpful. It's one of the oldest forms of writing, along with the Sumerians, you had another form of writing called cuneiform. So they may have been influenced by each other, but they're certainly very different types of writing. So the only, one of the only things that, that has survived from that writing and from the Egyptian history are the writings that are on the tombs. And that's just because it's chiseled in stone. And so it's a lot harder for that to be lost in deteriorate. Then something that might have been written on papyrus scrolls, for example, which is a type of paper. So this shows you a little bit about the hieroglyphic alphabet and it has the curators. I'm translated into our letters so that Ukraine, if you wanted to create your Nim and hieroglyphics. I'm so that's a very popular thing to deal in Egypt now for people who visit Egypt virtuous to get a cartouche M0, which is the, the shape that the pharaohs names were written in back in the day. Kind of like a name tag. I have, have their cartoonist made with hieroglyphics and that sort of thing. You can see the website here which will give you some activities that you can do which you practice your hieroglyphic writing. I'm to be able to write your name and that sort of thing. So www dot Great Scott.com. So this is modern day contrasting from the ancient to modern day language in Cairo, in Egypt now is Arabic. And so it has an alphabet. The alphabet system. It goes from right to left, just like I was telling you, the writing does. And so that's the opposite of ours. And you can see the alphabet here. You can sort of get an idea about the sounds because of the that we have written here and English letters. So Alice, for example, is this would be sort of like a and Beth would be B, Tech would be t, and so on. Some of the more difficult ones for us who are not used to the sounds are like kf, which is produced in your throat. And let's see this one down here. I'm I'm is pretty spec here as well. And the fine as well back here in your throat. Those are sounds that were not very comfortable making coming from Egypt, from English backgrounds. These are my kids names written in Arabic script. I saw writing in Arabic is similar to our writing in cursive. The letters get connected together. And that's a little, a little bit complicated of how that happens. So that's a whole nother discussion for another time perhaps. But this is Binyamin. Benjamin and Alexander is scheduled or actually would be Alexander and an Arabic and Binyamin. And so I'm one of the last things I want to share with you before I just sure few photos in a couple of artifacts. And as a poem written by a student of my sisters from when we were living and teaching and in Egypt. So one minute I will share that with you. It's called the rhythm of Egypt. And, and you could hear the rhythm of Egypt from the very beginning when I was playing the music, right? So the rhythm of Egypt is in the air, swooping past palm trees, skimming the Nile, the rhythm of Egypt as in the streets, watching as tourists get sunburned and boys walk with boards full of Belady bread on their heads. The rhythm of Egypt is in the b of the tablet, drawn as a beautiful ballet dancer dances all night. The rhythm of Egypt is in a crowded round, giving things for cursory CAFTA and Belady bride. The rhythm of Egypt is with the IMAP, as his voice sounds out from the minaret. The rhythm of Egypt is with the Bedouins as they have a feast celebrating a good year. The rhythm of Egypt is on top of the Sphinx laughing because he has no nose. The rhythm of Egypt is sliding down sand dunes. In writing for Lukas, the rhythm of Egypt is picking right mangoes and dates in August. Rhythm of Egypt is in my heart, is I write, as I am writing this poem about a place I love. Thank you Joel, fifth grader written at that time. I'm Cairo American College, which is the school where we worked in a college there is is really a K through 12. I mean, it's just a different name for it. So this is the school where where I worked and my sister worked and my husband works in. Um, our kids actually were too young to tend the school by the time we left when they were 35 to come back to the States. But we did celebrate things like Halloween. You know, I'm on the campus. We had a little, little festival to bring some of our culture in. In addition to learning about some of the festivities and different cultures that happened in Egypt, one of those is called stem on the scene, which is actually means smelled the breeze. And that is a celebration of spring. So that's an opposite time of the year from this picture, but just a few other pictures to share with you before I show you a couple of artifacts. This is kind of a mixture of the ancient architecture with the domes and more modern architecture to make things comfortable. Some of our water buffalo friends who as I was mentioning before, even till this day, walk around in a circle and you can sort of see, see that here where they have created a path. They walk around in a circle wearing a harness that turns a wheel that pulls up the water for irrigation. We also do activities like water sports. Go to the beach. And the final picture from, from this PowerPoint is a sunset from our balcony in Cairo where we lived. Here you have a few resources for you references that supported some of the points that some of the information that I provided to you. And now I will stop sharing the screen so that I can show you some artifacts that I have for you to look at. So I was mentioning to you before we started out with music. And so this is called a, well, the tambourine. But basically this is a very big part of the Egyptian music that is played. And it's sort of as its drum and also as a tambourine like we would do. I want to show you that Tableau, which is Drum. Now this is not a very, very big wind. Drums come in very, very large sizes and musicians will play this, the drumming. And in the very beginning of the presentation, which the music that I played, we talked about high-risk, just briefly. That papyrus WhatsApp, say down pirates scrolls. Very few of these really survived throughout the, you know, all of those years from ancient Egypt. But, but they did learn how to make papyrus, again from looking at modern scripts and things like that. And they figured out how to actually make papyrus again in the modern day. So this is called Evil eye, well, we call it the evil eye or the Eye of Horus. And this was really to word of jealousy. A couple of other things I told you, I will show you some of the some of the clothing that would even still be worried today. So this is a man's vest. I'm, this vest is usually warn. I'm on the inside of what we call a gala Baia. And I'll, I'll show you a gala Libya in a second. But this is worn on the inside. And this is where I you can keep your your money or whatever that you need to carry around. This is an example of a gala b-a and this is more of a pajama Galileo because it's short sleeved. But the galbi i, this would be would a man would weird if you're going out into the street, would, would have long sleeves and would be along all the way to the ground. I'm a lot of reasons for the way people dress was environmental to protect from sorry, I'm trying to get something you're Australia to protect from the elements rates. So we're talking about living in a desert. I'm, we're talking about a lot of dust and sand and in high temperatures. And so in order to, historically to protect ourselves even from the ancient times, we would cover ourselves, cover our heads in our clothing. Sorry the cameras not focusing because I'm moving around. It'll settle down in a second here. So we would want to protect our hair and our skin. I'm both from the sine but also from the elements. And so maybe now if I stand still, it will refocus. There we go. Sorry about that. And so also same reason for wearing something, mom, this would be an example of a women's gala Bay would be again, to protect the skin and protect yourself from the elements and from the CIA and the dirt, you know, all of that sort of thing. I will show you just a couple of other things and then we will finish. I was telling you that in ancient Egypt they would write their name and what's called the cartouche. I'm, this is the shape of a cartoonish sort of like a, a name tag. And so they would write the hieroglyphics in here, and that will be the name of the person. So on the website that I showed you, you can go to that website and pull up worksheets like this where you can write your name and hieroglyphics. This is actually a story from Egypt. This one's in English. We, we got this to reach her own kids, but it's called Abdu the fishermen. And within this, within this book, are you kind of learn a little bit about, about their advisors should be a little bit more village life, not so much Cairo. I'm the pictures I was showing you would have in Cairo, this might have been Alexandria on the Mediterranean Sea. And so they're actually little characters that go along with this. And I happen to have one of them, which is the little boy. And this is belief. This is our little boy. So okay. Just a couple more things and we will end out. So I'm this is a backgammon side. And so probably backgammon was unpopular long time ago. You know, many, many, many hundreds, probably thousands of years ago. But it's still played in modern day Egypt a lot. So in Cairo or anywhere you have coffee shops, aqua shots on tea shops. Egyptians drink a lot of tea, very sweet with mint. And they will sit in the coffee shop and, and play this game of backgammon. And then the last thing I'm going to show you today is this is an example of a shoe shining Kate. And so you can see where I'm, the person would put their fight. And these little bottles would have the different types of shoe polish in them, different colors and different types for depending on the type of shoe that was needed. So thank you for, for joining my little presentation about ancient and modern day Egypt. I hope that you will look up some of those resources and learn more. I'm both about the ancient and the modern and how those civilizations have come together. And let that inform you. Learn more about the world and have a great day. Thank you.