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Africa Archives - The Wonders Expedition™ - @Archeoastronomy

June 5, 2020

Reasons why the SKA should not be built in Australia but in South Africa instead

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a guest post and not intended to reflect the position of The Wonders Expedition on this matter or any of the perceptions contained.  We offer this piece purely in hopes of beginning a healthy discussion about the future placement of the SKA–Square Kilometre Array–in either South Africa or Australia/New Zealand.  Since the SKA will be used to study astronomy, we feel it’s fitting that such discussions take place on our pages.  Thank you.

Guest Post from Gigi Zagorah of South Africa

Well the S.K.A Website  pretty much sums up the general & politically correct reasons as to why it should be hosted in South Africa as opposed to our over-zealous & gossipy competitors the ‘Aussies.’

Gigi Zagorah

Mr. Donald Claxton was kind enough to offer me a chance to iterate as to why the S.K.A should be built in SA instead, so I thought to offer a different & fun- to-read perspective. I have always believed that Science is the key to a country’s advancements. Architecture, Agriculture, Business Science, Technology amongst many things are key components to building a super successful country & continent.

You see an unspoken rivalry exists between the continents, it goes right to down into popular culture & sports. We can’t let Australia win this because…well it’s Australia!

As tempted as I am to go into the petty reasons, this time, however, I will do the right thing & that is to offer an un-biased & fair argument.

A skewed perspective exists about Africa; I blame the Media (CNN & BBC World) mostly for perpetuating this myth about Africa. It’s a place of disease, war, famine & unspoken poverty.

When a South African travels abroad you are generally met with a certain type of curiosity from Europeans & Americans alike. I experienced it when I got to attend the World Economic Forum 2010, in Davos, Switzerland to promote the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

I am familiar with it because I was once guilty of it.

During Apartheid years my parents went into exile & raised us abroad for 8 years in the Netherlands. We heard all kinds of stories about our distant home at the very tip of the African Continent. Stories of natural wonders to fun & scary bed-time stories about magical creatures that kidnapped little children who did not do their homework & the struggle that the people were fighting to gain equal rights in the country.

But when we turned on the TV we would see an entirely different picture.…

We watched in horror as we saw images of kids half-starved to death, lying on dirt as flies hovered around their mouths. The grown-ups more or less looked the same, soldiers shooting at each other.

I saw no buildings, no decent housing or infrastructure, so my 8-year-old self became very confused & even more so when my Father happily announced to us that we were going to live in South Africa now.

I nearly threw myself to the ground in protest, how can my parents take my siblings & I back to Africa??!!!

I don’t want to starve to death like those poor kids & what if my parents were not safe? Where were going to live? In a hut? I’ve never seen a building in Africa??? But those distorted views changed immediately after our 12-hour flight from Amsterdam to Johannesburg.

South Africa was not the place the Media had painted to be over these years & soon enough I began to resent this misrepresentation.
War, famine & poverty exist all over the world but why was Africa the poster-child of the aforementioned?

My mother believed that despite what you see & hear on the news , you owe it to yourself to find the truth & often it means leaving your comfort zone.
It turns out I wasn’t the only one feeling this growing resent for the Media.

Soon enough the one of the most talented entrepreneurs in the country Danny Jordaan saw the opportunity to show the World what South Africa was really like. So people put plans into motion to host the FIFA World Cup 2010. Stadiums were built, new Hotels were designed, and the country was alive with camaraderie. Many jobs were created & our economy began to flourish.

The hype grew even more so when the World Cup finally launched in 2010.

People from all over the world including the world’s best soccer players were here. It was the stuff made from dreams. Despite the negative publicity this country had received those who were brave enough to come here saw that it was not true. We had proven them wrong.

And so it is that I approach the S.K.A. Project with the same passion because I saw what the World Cup did for our country.

Australia is already a fully developed country; according to Wikipedia it’s the World’s 13th largest economy & has the 5th highest GDP per capita. Australia once upon a time was also struggling under weak economic conditions & through winning international bids ( Sydney Olympics) just to name a few, it too flourished & became the first World country that it is today.

South Africa needs that boost, we did a fantastic job hosting the World Cup & we can most certainly exceed expectations with the S.K.A & more importantly our continent will start to develop in the Scientific fields of Astrophysics , Information Technology & rumors of SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) work will done here!

Precious resources are always being exported out of Africa, but by winning this Bid, the best Scientists will come here to study & learn about the Cosmos. I liken it to CERN in Switzerland, NASA, The Silicone Valley, where the best of the best come to learn & make Scientific breakthroughs for mankind that transcend politics.

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For Parents; An Egyptologist’s Favorite Bedtime Story–The Shipwrecked Sailor

A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of interviewing Egyptologist and Archeologist Hannah Pethen Barrett before she headed to Egypt for a month of adventure and studiesand in the course of our conversation, asked her,

العربية: Deutsch: Alle Pyramiden von Gizeh auf...

العربية: Deutsch: Alle Pyramiden von Gizeh auf einem Bild. English: All Giza Pyramids in one shot. Русский: Все пирамиды Гизы на изображении. Español: Las Pirámides de Guiza (Egipto). Français : Les Pyramides de Gizeh (Egypte). Català: Les Piràmides de Giza, a Egipte. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

based on what she’s learned, what her favorite bed time story would be if she had kids.  The young archeologist said she’s not a “mum” yet, but when they do come along, a definite Egyptian bedtime story she looks forward to telling is the story of The Shipwrecked Sailor.

According to Pethen, who you can follow on Twitter @HannahPethen, this story didn’t originate as a bedtime story in Egypt, but it’s been around a long time and in our studies we found it’s even been illustrated and marketed as such over time.

We won’t spoil it here, but rather let Hannah share it with you.

Don’t forget to bookmark the Gurob site to keep up with their latest adventures!


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Safety Tips for Travel in Egypt–Egyptian Tours Deemed Safe

Our friend across the pond, Archeologist and Egyptologist Hanna Pethen of London, is beginning her travel in Egypt today.  Last week we asked her about Egyptian tours and travel and the safety precautions one should take while headed to the pyramids in Egypt or further south to Luxor or Karnak, or to her site at Gurob and the Harem Palace of the New Kingdom.

A distant cemetery on a former levee of the Bahr Yussef by Hannah Pethen

Her primary assessment was that Egyptian travel is safe at this time even though some may worry of further unrest or the potential of war in Egypt.   And it didn’t sound like there was much that could thwart her enthusiasm about studying ancient Egypt.   This is what she does and she clearly enjoys doing it.

So what are some tips for those going to Egypt tours and traveling about in the country?

Her primary points are really to use good common sense.  Stay away from areas where there is the potential for an uprising, like in the heart of a city or she even said, “at football matches.”   Then there were obvious things like not wandering the street alone, etc.  But it sounds much cooler to hear her say it, so we’ve included the video for your benefit.

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