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From Egypt to Canada and Back: Timeless Inspiration

2015/02/01 in Press_Release

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Despite a snow storm, the Canadian Institute in Egypt’s Tuesday March 3 event “From Egypt to Canada and Back – Timeless Inspiration” proved to be a perfect and unexpected fit for the Institute’s “performing arts” mandate.

During his fascinating lecture, Professor Redford, mentioned “visual speech,” an inspiration for Professor Lorna MacDonald who immediately associated it to her Toronto premiere presentation of “The Bells of Baddeck –” Professor MacDonald’s music composer, Dean Burry, of the University of Toronto, the author of the very popular children’s opera “The Scorpions’ Sting – An Egyptian Myth,” was also present.

The Institute is hoping to be able to stage Dean’s opera in situ for the opening of the Mendes site to tourism. When Canadian scholars from different disciplines combine efforts, the cultural image of Canada at home and overseas is dramatically enhanced!

Special thanks to the attendees, volunteers, the Institute’s board, the students’ committee, Professor Donald Redford, Professor Lorna MacDonald, Suzy Smith, and Dean Burry for making this event possible.


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In Memoriam

2014/07/17 in Press_Release


Reis Farouk Sharid, long-time participant in archaeological activity in Egypt, passed away earlier this month. He was a well-known and respected figure over three generations of excavators, through his work at such sites as Elkab, East Karnak, Quft, Tel el-Maskhuta, Tel er-Rub’a (Mendes) and Gurneh, apart from his work for the Dept. of Antiquities.

My own association with Reis Farouk began in 1971 when our expedition from SUNY-Binghamton and the U. of Toronto engaged in excavation at the Temple of Osiris, Karnak. Then, in 1975 when a concession was granted for the excavation of East Karnak, Farouk joined our team permanently, and remained Reis until 1991, our last season. By no means finished, Farouk’s participation continued, stretching over 23 seasons at Mendes (from which he had just returned south when the fatal heart attack occurred.)

Farouk was an unparalleled gem. A born manager of men and women, he could be adamant but was always honest and straightforward. I could rely on him in any difficult situation, and he rapidly became a problem solver par excellence. A close personal friend, Farouk, more than anyone in the field, never failed to offer sound advice and encouragement in dire straights.

May you negotiate successfully, Farouk, those roads of the West, and may your sons follow in your path of life!

Donald Redford

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Déjà News – When Business Meets Academia

2013/10/06 in Press_Release


An Ancient Egyptian Model for Today’s Business and Political Leaders

Donald B. Redford

Financial crisis, trade, state control, economic empires, system collapse, ecological disasters, feminism, national sovereignty, foreign relations, bureaucracy, taxation, performing arts, technology… are these your daily concerns? If so, become a member of the Canadian Institute in Egypt and learn from historical case studies! At the very root of much of our present fascination with Egypt is this subconscious feeling that the ancient Egyptians were in possession of a secret knowledge or expertise far in advance of ourselves. But beyond these nebulous and fanciful considerations, Egypt does offer us a vast array of concrete, undisputed evidence which business and political leaders can readily use.

Egypt became the first nation state in the world, the inventor of what we today call bureaucracy and the tax system, the calendar and the enumeration system, engineering know-how, and manpower organization. The fascination with Egypt as a foreshadowing of ourselves has enticed many people into more than a casual look at this Nilotic landscape. Egypt shares with five other geographical locations the distinction of having been the stage whereon was acted the painful coming-to-birth of a sophisticated nation state from beginnings in the hunter-gatherer stage of human development. As such it deserves careful scrutiny, not from the passing voyeur, but from the serious student.

More than any other civilization, ancient or modern, Egypt enjoyed an isolation in time and space which sets it apart as a kind of “hot-house” culture under glass. What happens to a society of that sort? What happens when people can rest free of any real threat to their safety and security from outside? When they can look back over generations of recorded and uninterrupted family history, and can confidently expect that posterity to any number of future generations will be able to remember them? How, under these circumstances, did they view the outside world which could never impinge on them or alter their way of thinking? What happened when in fact the outside world did ingress upon their cosy corner, and produce what Egyptians saw as nothing short of a catastrophe? For the story of Ancient Egypt is not only about a brilliant society that built the pyramids, but also at the latter end of its appointed time on earth, about a once-proud people no longer masters of their own house. In this regard Ancient Egypt confronts us as a model for what is happening in the present Middle East and the world in general.

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Revival / Réactivation

2013/08/11 in Press_Release

July 26 2013

The Canadian Institute in Egypt is revived and becomes partially virtual – For more information click on the links at the bottom of this page (The Canadian Institute in Egypt and Scripta Antiqua).

L’Institut Canadien en Égypte est réactivé et devient, en partie, virtuel – Pour tout détail complèmentaire, veuillez cliquer sur les liaisons au bas de cette page (The Canadian Institute in Egypt et Scripta Antiqua).

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