Det er ikkje ofte eg høyrer noko om jødar og jødisk kulturhistorie i dagens Egypt. Det er derfor interessant å lesa koss leiaren for arbeidet med å ta vare på historiske skattar i landet, denne veka har svara på anklagar om manglande oppfølging av viktige jødiske synagogar og kulturminne. Han har, ikkje uventa, eit behov for å framstilla den egyptiske staten som ansvarleg og rettferdig i forhold til religiøse minoritetar. Han uttaler blant anna:
The undisputable truth is that all Jewish historical monuments, including synagogues and historical sites are part of Egypt’s larger history.
Dette lyder jo bra, dersom det følgt opp. Men det eg har høyrt om tilsvarande saker i kristen samanheng, gjennom kontakt med egyptiske kristne, gjer meg nok noko skeptisk!
Her er eit større utdrag av artikkelen:
On account my of position [as head of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities], I had no choice but to visit the Maimonides synagogue with members of the press and news reporters in order to show the reality of what was taking place inside the synagogue. We reached Bab al-Nasr [Gate of Victory] in Cairo…everybody rode through the narrow alleyways of the slums in electric buggies until we reached the Jewish Quarter. This is the area where Jewish Egyptian families lived prior to 1960. There are still around 120 Egyptian Jews living in Cairo, they are looked after by a special Jewish association headed by Mrs. Carmen. Mrs. Carmen worked in the garment industry, and lives amongst Egyptians – both Muslim and Christian – without suffering any religious prejudice. Moreover, many Jewish women in Egypt are married to Muslim men.
The undisputable truth is that all Jewish historical monuments, including synagogues and historical sites are part of Egypt’s larger history. Any attempt to destroy or abuse this heritage would be nothing more than an attempt to remove part of Egypt’s history. Any country which attempts to forget or ignore its own history is committing a crime against its future generations, and will unmistakably face a number of historical problems that cannot be solved other than by reviving the history that has deliberately been excluded.
Egyptian antiquities, whether they are Islamic, Coptic, or Jewish, suffered equally from the impact of the 1992 earthquake that left a number of ancient mosques, churches and synagogues in an architectural state of disrepair. (Les meir)