900 Years of Peace

By Jheri St. James

     “The cradle of golden civilization and a masterpiece of human ingenuity,” said Sushil Chaturvedi, describing the Giza Pyramids in Cairo, Egypt—his home, and site of soil collection for Common Ground 191. In describing some countries that would be big talk, but not Egypt. To this writer’s knowledge, Egypt may be the only country in the history of the earth to ever maintain 900 years of peaceful coexistence—3100 B.C. to 2200 B.C., in the Old Kingdom period. The pyramids at Giza were built; writing and paper were developed; and Egyptian commerce flourished. This was just what happened above ground. Egypt has much subterranean wealth as well. Every so often in our time another tomb is discovered, revealing more about her ancient mysteries. Egyptologists thrill to add to their knowledge of this venerable land of royal dynasties. Do any other countries even have “ologists?”

     Egypt is an Arab nation in northeast Africa, bounded north by the Mediterranean Sea, east by Israel and the Red Sea, south by the Sudan, and west by Libya. Two important construction projects— the Suez Canal, which links the Mediterranean and the Red Seas, and the Aswan Dam, which increased the available amount of farmland along the Nile River—have furthered Egypt’s progress. The 4,000-mile Nile River is the largest in the world, and most of the population resides along its delta. Egypt is a largely agricultural nation, whose main export is cotton; also wheat, corn, millet and rice. Tourism and the Suez Canal are also big sources of foreign currency.

     Our images of Egypt—pyramids, the sphinx and royal sculptures of pharaohs . . . Cleopatra, Ramses, Tut . . . feluccas (sailboats) floating on the Blue Nile and the White Nile . . . hieroglyphics on tomb walls, golden artifacts in museums—are all peaceful pictures. Cairo, Egypt’s capital city is hot, dry and sunny, and this is where Sushil lives, where he wrote, “God bless you in your noble endeavor.” We pray that the DNA of Egypt’s soil, infused with vibrations of that long peaceful 900 years during the “Cradle of Golden Civilization”, will color all the soil of Common Ground 191 and then, by extension, infuse the earth with the ideals of the Arab word for peace: “Salaam”







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