Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Egypt – CLXXIII. A Return Visit (2 of 15)

Giza Pyramids and the Sphinx

I was 12 when I first saw the pyramids for the first time. The sense of wonder that I felt back then never died. And, here I was, 48 years later, given a chance to see them again. This time it was with a knowledgeable guide, a curator with the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities no less.

The tour included both a guide, Magdi, and a chauffeur, Ahmad, to allow the guide to do his job without distraction. And that he did. He promised that he would transport me back to the time when these monuments were built. And he came close to that!

The time of this whole tour was two packed days. I will describe it without interruption, as if it was one day; and somehow it seemed that way!

The three pyramids sit on a plateau; as you come from Sharia Al-Ahram or Road of the Pyramids you will see the Great Pyramid or the Cheops Pyramid. This is the oldest and the largest of the group. Chephren and Mycerinus stand in descending order of age and size.

From a distance they seem small, really not worth their formidable reputation. But as you approach them they grow and grow until they finally command your respect as they have done to countless others over the centuries.

It took 20 years to complete the Cheops Pyramid. Over 2.5 million enormous blocks of limestone were used; they were cut from the Moquattam and locally. 100,000 men working a three- month shift were required. The logistics behind such an operation were astounding. More so if you consider that it happened more than 4,000 years ago! It led to the creation, for the first time in human history, of an organizational principle, the state. And it served Egypt until her absorption into the Roman Empire. Indeed, it is the basis of human organization to this day.

You can visit the inside of the pyramid, and I did so reluctantly the first time. During this visit, I dispensed with that.

The Pyramid of Chephren compares to Cheops’ in size, and, because of its position it seems higher. It is also capped with its original casing. Its interior is less interesting. Of interest here is The Chephren’s Valley Temple. It a well preserved temple since it was buried in the sands until 1853. Unfortunately, there was no time to visit it.

The Pyramid of Mycerinus is only 1/10 of the volume of the other two pyramids; in a way, it marks the end of the pyramid age. The next dynasty’s pyramids were second-rate ones. The interior (of Mycerinus) is not worth a visit.

In 1215, a sultan ordered his men to destroy all the pyramids. They started with Mycerinus; after 8 months, they realized that the task was impossible and gave up. They barely made a dent in this pyramid.

No visit to Giza would be complete without a visit to the Sphinx. It started its life as remnants of building material from the first pyramid. Chephren had the genial idea of shaping it into a figure, the figure we know today: lion’s body and god’s face, though perhaps Chephren’s own.

My guide spent a fair amount of our time on the Sphinx, it fascinated him, and he managed to convey his enthusiasm to me.

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