Okay, so it’s been awhile since I last doused some multi-perspective jive talkin’ on this blog, so apologies for the ridiculous delay. But I’ve been busy honing in my digi-techie media skills at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg’s Journalism & Media Studies graduate program, so it’s not like I’ve been sitting on my bum, eating Cheetos and counting how many times Maury Povich tells some poor schmuck with a disoriented look on his face “you are not the father.”*

*Full disclosure: I am currently on my bum writing this and I just ate some Cheetos. Povich is married to Connie Chung, who was a journalist, so technically if I were to hypothetically watch his show, I’m sure I could make an argument somewhere in there.

In any case, as I delve back into a more regular posting schedule of all things dual-worlded (that’s a real word, right?), I figured I’d start with something that’s near and dear to my heart: the arts.

The ‘New’ Egypt and its art (or what’s left of it)

It’s no secret that since the 2012 election, President Mohammed Morsi and Egypt’s primary legislative entity, the Muslim Brotherhood, have not exactly been fitting like snug gloves on the hands of the Egyptian people. What’s been remarkable to me, however, is the drastic blows being dealt to the essence of what makes Egypt a historically rich place of wonder. We built the pyramids for crying out loud! (see what I did there? The “we” implying some sort of personal participation. I like to just call it ‘cultural pride,’ but, whatever, tomato, tamato).

I started reading about it here and there, at first from people I know who were artists, musicians. Then, it sprung up on social media. Next thing I knew, the cries and outrage went viral, sparking conversations and heated debates calling to “save the ballet!” (I wonder if we’d hear that expression yelled with such gusto and passion in the U.S., but I digress).

The Egypt of now doesn’t seem to be the place I remember visiting as a child; a place of awe and beauty, and where the imagination and wonder of what human beings are creatively capable of infiltrated my senses with an effortlessness I could never quite describe. I just couldn’t believe the things that were happening to culture and the arts in a land that’s so long been associated with cultivating great artistic expression, so, as a journalist, an artist, and an Egyptian, I had to write about it. (click on the link below to view full story)

Fighting for art’s survival in a new – not improved – Egypt

In this Storify article, I responded to Egyptian musician, Osman El Mahdy’s eloquent call to [metaphorical] arms by stressing how essential it is to preserve the arts, even amid a turbulent period of uncertainty and governmental corruption:

“This post articulates precisely how essential the arts are to the identity of a people. Egyptians have been recognized the world over for maintaining a long, rich history of cherishing and cultivating the very spirit of what makes humanity grow, prosper and achieve greatness: art, music, architecture – among countless other influential contributions. The corrupt regime (and yes, it IS a regime) that now strangles this once triumphant nation should be challenged by all Egyptians – artists and otherwise – to relinquish this charade of religious righteousness and be stripped of all the power that attempts to siphon what’s at the core of Egypt (and all great civilizations): the free-flow of artistic expression. It’s what has – and what ALWAYS will – make us HUMAN.”

We have GOT to save art, in Egypt and beyond. The first step: awareness. Please pass this along and let’s start talking about it, to save not just Egyptian art forms, culture and national identity, but humanity’s. We simply can’t be left with Maury Povich re-runs.

Sample of a Book of the Dead of the scribe Neb...

Sample of a Book of the Dead of the scribe Nebqed, c. 1300 BC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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