Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Daily Dispatches from Kemet - Day 3: The Great Pyramid and the Sphinx

Historian Jabari Osaze will be posting daily descriptions of this year's African Genesis Institute trip to Egypt. He's has been leading tours of historic sites in Egypt for the African Genesis Institute for over a decade. Follow along to retrace the ancient footsteps of our African ancestor who gave civilization to the world.

I write this dispatch after a long day of amazing visits to some of the most popular Ancient Kemetic sites.  I began the day by presenting an interactive lecture entitled, “African Ancestry Revealed: Who Were the Ancient Egyptians”.  The lecture debunks the 4 major arguments in favor of a non-African Kemet.  As day 3 marks our first day of touring Kemet’s major archeological sites, it is of critical importance to acknowledge the role that our African ancestors played in giving civilization to the world.  The four basic anti-African arguments include:
1)      Europeans (Aryans) from the North came to Kemet to build Ancient Kemet.
2)      Focus on Kemet’s later foreign rulers in order to imply their role is primary.
3)      Aliens or citizens from an unknown lost civilization built Ancient Kemetic civilization.
4)      Ancient Kemetic was built by the regions current (Arabic or Asiatic) inhabitants.
After our lecture, our group took a short bus ride to the ancient mortuary city known as Saqqara. The city remained an important burial site for over 2,000 years.  It features many of the early burial structures known today as mastabas (or the pr djet, the “house of eternity”, in the Ancient Kemetic language).  The early African multi-genius Imhotep develops his Step Pyramid (mrkhut) by stacking six large pr djets on top of each other.  Our group reveled at the magnificent Step Mrkhut, which was the world’s first building in stone before entering the later mrkhut of the 5th Dynasty ruler Teti.  Teti’s mrkhuti is unique as it features a version of the world’s oldest spiritual document, known as the Pyramid Texts etched from floor to ceiling on its inner walls.
Our group next traveled to the only remaining of the world’s Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Mrkhut of King Khufu on the Giza Plateau.  Originally standing at the height of  481 feet, the Great Mrkhut is comprised of approximately 2.5 million blocks weighing on average 2.5 tons. Each of the outer blocks were placed with such precision without the use of mortar, that one cannot fit a much as a sheet of paper in between them.  Many have unsuccessfully attempted to replicate the mrkhut with modern tools, but we still do know exactly how it was made.  Certainly Ancient Kemet should be considered one of the world’s earliest high-technology civilizations. 

In order to get a sense of the interior of the mrkhut, our group entered the 3rd mrkhut on the Giza Plateau, which was built by King Khufu’s grandson, Menkaura.  While smaller than either his grandfather’s or his father’s mrkhuti, Menkaura’s mrkhut features 13 courses of red granite on its lower levels and a much more intricate series of descending passages and rooms.
Finally our group raced to the site of the magnificent statue erroneously known as the sphinx today.  Most of the sites in Egypt are scheduled to close around 3 PM due to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. 
Our group discussed the original name of the sphinx, Heruemakhet, or “Heru on the Horizon”.  The name “Sphinx”, comes to us from the Greeks, who viewed the sphinx as a mysterious monster who strangled its victims.  My brief lecture informed the group of the hidden sacred meanings of the Heruemakhet.  The statue is a well-structured model of the basic tenets of Ancient Kemetic spirituality.  For more on these topics, watch the brief video of my lecture which was conducted in 2009 entitled Secrets of the Great Sphinx.
We then concluded our day with trips to a local perfumed oil factory.  Several members of the group stated that the day’s activities were so amazing that it will take several weeks to truly understand their significance.  I believe that the opening lecture and visits will properly prepare them for our visit to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.  The institution is undoubtedly one of the world’s most important museums, boasting more antiquities than any other museum in the world.  Perhaps we’ll also find out more about damage which may have been done to several of the artifacts during the chaotic days of the the nations revolution. 
Until tomorrow … Jabari Osaze from the Jewel of Africa, Kemet.  

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Daily Dispatches from Kemet

Historian Jabari Osaze will be posting daily descriptions of this year's African Genesis Institute trip to Egypt.  He's has been leading tours of historic sites in Egypt for the African Genesis Institute for over a decade.  Follow along to retrace the ancient footsteps of our African ancestor who gave civilization to the world.

It’s approximately 11 AM and we’ve just arrived in Cairo, Egypt.  We are all anxious to begin our odyssey searching for the wondrous achievements of out Kemetic (Ancient Egyptian) ancestors.  This year, 16 people are partaking in “The Mysteries of Ancient Egypt Revealed” tour sponsored by the African Genesis Institute and the Center for the Restoration of Ma’at.  Today’s simple activities include checking in at the Le Meridian Hotel which overlooks the magnificent pyramids on the Giza Plateau and a dinner cruise on the Nile River.     

It’s fair to say that our 10 hour flight has left us in need of a good night sleep.  However, each and every person on our trip has also expressed excitement over tomorrow’s visit to see the Great Pyramid (pyramids called mr or mrkhut by the Ancient Egyptians).  Viewing the monument from the hotel with their own eyes has only left them with more questions.  Even our travelers with mobility issues are considering descending the narrow long passage into the burial chamber of the third mrkhut on the plateau.         
This is my tenth year of leading tours to Egypt.  I am quite concerned about reports of the looting of sites all throughout Egypt.  The revolutionary actions in Egypt over the course of the last year and a half have also allowed opportunist to both desecrate and steal ancient items.  Archaeological sites all over Egypt have reported looting and even artifacts like the bodies of King Tutankhamen’s grand-parents have been desecrated.  I wonder whether I’ll be able to receive more information on how extensive this problem is.  As groups of people of African descent like ours are continuing to visit important sites on the African continent to look for our ancient footsteps, I can only hope that these sites will remain intact until we’ve become powerful enough to assert the importance of our homeland.  These issues have left my head spinning.  That’s enough for now.  Tomorrow I’ll recount our tour of the magnificent mrkhuti (pyramids) on the Giza plateau. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What is the African Genesis Institute?

Greetings! We are pleased to introduce you to the weblog for the African Genesis Institute. The African Genesis Corrective History Educational Program, known as African Genesis Institute, is a proactive, 3 semester, educational and cultural program for African American and Latino youth between the ages of 7 and 14. African Genesis Institute is a “school without walls” focused on developing an understanding and awareness of the African experience in America. Over this 27-month period students are exposed to their rich and extraordinary ancient African history through 8 weekend classes and 4 field trips. At the end of the program the students sojourn to Africa where they examine the land of their ancestors and share their culture and lifestyle with African youth. All youth who desire to participate in the program are accepted and the trip to Africa is free to the students, serving as the graduation reward for those who complete the program.

The Institute was founded by Philadelphia couple, Helen and Ali Salahuddin. The Salahuddins began taking children to Africa in 1997 after years of producing positive entertainment and cultural events for students such as birthday and graduation parties, talent showcases, Kwanzaa, Juneteenth and Black Music Month events. In 2003 African Genesis Institute introduced its complete academic curriculum created by renowned curriculum specialist Dr. Edward Robinson for students 10 to 14. In 2007 the program expanded to include 7-9 year-olds with a curriculum created by Atlanta educator and author Chike Akua.

The Institute has established this blog to discuss issues important to the African Diasporan community and to showcase the activities of out organization. We have lined up an impressive roster of historians and activists to who will author thought provoking articles. Enjoy! You're in for a wild ride!