Egypt's Past and Future in the Midst of Conflict
By Aracely Jimenes-Hendricks
In viewing the changes within Egypt’s political climate, ancient Egypt’s history comes to mind, particularly that of a pharaoh that I personally admire. One of the lesser known but favorite Egyptian pharaohs (relative to each pharaoh's era of rule) is Ahmose I, the founder of the 18th Dynasty, what's perceived as the “New Kingdom” of ancient Egypt. Having come to power before the exile of the Hyksos, he strived to make changes to Egypt that would help everyone, not just himself.
The reason for the Hyksos’ exile was due to their conduct upon their settlement of Egypt, which included razing most of the cities such as the city of Memphis and destroying the culture of Egypt at the time. Even though the Hyksos were exiled from Egypt, they contributed many things to the future reigns of Egypt, such as improvements in pottery and agriculture along with military weapons. In exiling the Hyksos (who were a Semitic group in the lower region of Egypt), Ahmose I was able to unite the lower and upper Egyptian regions and centrally controlled his new kingdom.
Ahmose I had monuments rebuilt after the unification and attained many items that the Hyksos possessed, such as gold and silver. After looking at Egypt's past, the actions of Ahmose I can somewhat be reflected in Egypt today. You could say the Hyksos are like the modern Egyptian military under Hosni Mubarak and Ahmose I is like Mohammed Morsi. Though Egypt's current political climate is unsure Egyptian, the actions of Mohammed Morsi united the whole of Egypt through elections, after the country had been in a state of revolution, largely against the military, for many months.
However, Morsi soon put awful restrictions and policies in place which went against the people’s freedom. This has now culminated in another round of popular revolution against the very regime the first revolution had voted into power. Coming to the people’s aid in this was Morsi’s foil, the Egyptian military.
In comparing the Hyksos and the modern Egyptian military, the Hyksos can be seen as bringing new and unknown technology to the greater ancient Egypt and, in being Semitic were God’s people to an extent. The modern Egyptian military, though at times has ruled with an iron fist, has kept Egypt and the larger region relatively stable for approximately forty years.
The comparison of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood to Ahmose I can clearly be seen in the unification of a deeply divided and fearful Egypt. The people had grown tired of internal conflict and wanted peace and relief more than almost anything else. But where this comparison leads is to a people, though whose voice was heard, found that choice to be less than savory and worthy of correction, again, by almost any means. So the Egyptian people, along with the long-time strong arm of Egypt (through whom Ahmose I defeated the Hyksos) have banded together to reclaim Egypt and it’s ideals for themselves.
When the Egyptian people voted for Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, they were gambling that he could bring the same kind of prosperity that Ahmose I brought to Egypt after the Hyksos were forced from the area. However, this mighty gamble failed the people as the hope they had been waiting for was seen as a straw man for people whose only desire was power for themselves. So a new hope has gripped Egypt and its people, people who are striving for unity, liberty, the opportunity to thrive; and most importantly, the will of the people to be followed and to become the very life-blood of Egypt. It’s my hope that Egypt will once again be affluent within its territories and within its culture, which has spanned for millennia already.