Daily Israel Report

Cairo Protesters Burn Egypt’s History

Fires set by protesters against the Egyptian military regime have literally destroyed part of Egypt’s history, burning rare manuscripts.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 12/20/2011, 9:54 AM

Protesters in Egypt (archive)
Protesters in Egypt (archive)
Flash 90

Fires set by protesters against the Egyptian military regime have literally destroyed part of Egypt’s history, burning rare manuscripts.

Firefighters caused additional damage to books by drenching a fire at a research center, where water damaged many books that escaped being burned.  

The destroyed historical documents include maps that were used to delineate the Israeli-Egyptian border at Taba.

One of the literary casualties of the protest is the Description of Egypt, a 200-year-old volume that includes scholarly descriptions of Egypt’s ancient civilization. It was kept in a building near Tahrir Square.

"The burning of such a rich building means a large part of Egyptian history has ended," according to the director of the institute, Mohammed al-Sharbouni.

Dozens of people are sifting through the rubble to try too save documents and journals, but approximately 50,000 manuscripts have been damaged beyond repair. Most of what remains is burned furniture, a charred souvenir of the revolution that succeeded in ousting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak only to see it replaced by a regime that it accuses of being equally ruthless and anti-democratic.