Cairo, October 2010
Dr. Mohamed El Gazzar
Our Great Nile River
Not (River Nile as always mentioned)
Good years ago the Nile was vanquisher, but recently he is defeated and ready for revenge..
My question is why he was conqueror??
Is it because he was still in his youth,or he was highly respected and properly used ,and why how he is now defeated???
Is it because of his old age,or he is abused and disrespected???
Reading through Emil ludwing book "The Nile",published 1935 and translated by Mary H. LindSay you will find out why he was conqueror in the past. As stated in his book "the River Vanquished".
In the introduction, he described the relation between land of egypt and the nile.
" There, an arid waste ,lies a desert ;on either hand it rises ,and between the heights lies wonderland.
To the west the range forms a chain of sandhills ; to the east it looks like the belly of lean horse or a camel's back. This, O ruler of the faithful, is Egypt.
But all its wealth comes from blessed river that moves through it with dignity of a caliph. Regular as sun and moon, it rises and falls again.
The hour comes when all the springs of the world must pay their tribute to this king of rivers, which providence has lifted high above all others: then the waters rise, quit their bed, and flood the plains, depositing upon them their fertile mud. Then all the villages are cut off one from the other ;only boats can pass between them, and they are countless as the leaves on the palm-tree.
" But then, in its wisdom,the river re-enters the bounds appointed by fate , so thet those who live beside it may collect the treasure it has confided to mother earth.and thus, O ruler of the faithful, Egypt presents in turn the picture of a dry ,sandy waste, of strech of silvery waters , of a swamp covered with many flowers , and again of spreading fields covered..
Regarding the relation between the nile and people of egypt, described as follows
" Since, even by the proto-historic inhabitants, the whole land was divided up into basins by dykes running at right angles to each other , the figure of a square, in the hieratic picture-language still denotes a province.
Necessity created on the nile the first grouping of men ,centralization,and obedience. It was the nile that led egypt's priests to observe the stars in order to calculate the time of the flood ; the calculation of the height of the flood led to the measurement of height; the marking out of single fields with boundaries that were washed away every year gave rise to square measure, to the protection of property, and the settlement of boundry disputes. it was the nile that created astronomy and mathematics , law and equity ,money and police, long before any other association of people on the earth possessed them.
Which people know the zodiac before 3000, the calender before 4000? it was the nile that thought these things, and napoleon said later that the nile made the government of egypt the most powerful of all governments," for no man could, from paris , influence the snow or rain falling because or brie, but in egypt man could directly the consequences of the flood."
While this classical example, in a land without rain and almost without neighbours, proves the law of the soil to be omnipotent, the law of race is, at the same time , proved illusory before our very eyes. For as people after people later settled in this river land , all were remoulded by its soil with its enigmatic water ;all became egyptians. even the cows, which are brought from long distances to the nile, within a few generations alter the curve of their backs by a definitely egyptian hump.
And finally he described the relation between the land , the nile and the egyptians as follows quote;
"The strength of the egyptian sun, the clearness of the desert air , the gift of the life-bearing river by these things we can measure the richness of the life on the nile, for all its burden of bending and bearing from these emerges the emotional life of the egyptians. canals are their epics,dams their dramas, the pyramids their philosophy.."
Nowwhere we stand from this harmony is it still exists or demolished and why?? is the cause of this the nile , the land, or the people???
To me the prime cause is the people, while the nile disrespected and mistreated,where people abuse its water, adding to the fact it is allmost serving as a disposal basin for human and industrial wastes.
To answer the question why he is defeated?? it is easy to mention hundred reasons:
Intially i would like to ask ; is the nile ever been properly charted and when it is amazing that the only source of life fresh water is never been mapped in Egypt eiter for navigation or human uses...
I know for sure that most european countries chart their small rivers every six or one year period, where they used it or only for navigation??
Adding to the invasion and destructions caused to its banks , due to the huge buildings and infrastructures, built their without any awareness of its fetal side effects on the routing or the quality of Nile River Water .
I can mention so many other reasons, but i will leave the answer to the question to the end users of the nile water, now if they compare the quality and quantity relative to some years ago.
For the revenge, i believe it will be fatal,one to the fact that the nile river is the source of life given to the egyptians by God..
And as Heroduts said, "Egypt is the Gift of the Nile", I said"The nile is the Gift of God to the egyptians"..
So the egyptians cannot value and take care of this gift, they should face the results..
It is interesting to mention that Heroduts describe the value of the nile to the land of egypt, where he said"with the naive regret of the tourist" the nile who first turned egypt into a land where no body can ride or drive, today we can do both....
On the other hand, i am quoting a statement by "I.G.Simmons" from his book "The Ecology of Natural Resources" where he stated...
A concatenation of the unforseen effects of river impoundment has been observed on the Nile as a consequence of the construction of the Aswan High Dam. The removal of silt has taken away a natural source of nutrients which must be replaced by chemical fertilizers, and off the Delta, the stoppage of nutrient input into the Meditarrenean has caused a decline in fishery yield to Egypt since the sardines have disappeared. In 1962 the Egyptian fish catch was 30,600 tonnes but this was reduced by 18,000 tonnes by 1965. The fishery of Lake Nasser was expected to reach 10,000 tonnes by mid 1970s, but this figure probably represents an initial bloom and will stabilize well below that figure. The productivity of Delta Lakes has fallen owing to fish kills caused by biocide runoff, and by accelerated eutrophication (George 1972).
The Nile Delta itself is now in retreat due to lack of building material. The Extension perennial irrigation is instrumental in extending the range of blood-fluke diseases such as bilharziasis which now affects 100 per cent of the population of some areas; it is virtually impossible to cure, and control measures such as improving sanitary conditions, drug therapy or snail control have all been ineffective because of their expense or their incompatibility with cultural patterns (Van DerbSchalie 1972). These examples show that the damming of rivers may have many beneficial results, but that the consequences of the alteration of the many ecosystems to which the river acts as a common thread have rarely been explored and scarcely ever incorporated into the reckoning of costs and benefits " unquote.
Hopefully this statement is taken into considerstion.