Unfortunately, over the last five years, Egypt has suffered a tumultuous revolution, and tourist numbers have plummeted. This show follows a select cast of individuals determined to bring Egypt back from the brink, aiming to discover more of Egypt’s history, to keep its heritage safe, and to get tourists to visit the country again.
Among those we meet include Dr. Maria Nilsson and John Ward, a charismatic couple who return, year after year, to a site in the south of the country, Gebel el Silsila. They believe this ancient quarry site is where stone for temples across the country, including the extraordinary Karnak site, originated thousands of years ago. We follow them as they work on excavating tombs in a necropolis on their 700-acre site, witness the moment they discover a hidden crypt under one of the tombs, and share their disappointment as they find a modern quarry on the edge of their land. Although they are disheartened to see potential archaeological finds carted off in dump trucks, they are pragmatic. The site has been used as a quarry for thousands of years. It’s inevitable it will still be used as such.
We meet Dr. Tarek Tawfik, an Egyptologist tasked with running the build of the Grand Egyptian Museum – the biggest building project on the Giza plateau since the pyramids themselves. The museum holds some extraordinary treasures, like the finds from King Tutankhamun’s tomb, including a pair of 3,000-year-old sandals in almost perfect condition and two fetuses, thought to be the king’s unborn daughters. All these treasures will be on display once the museum is built.
Trying to keep the build on track is Eddy Cannaerts, one of 5,000 contractors working on the site. We meet him as he’s under pressure to finish the steel work on the pyramidal wall.
Together, John, Maria, Tarek, Eddy and a whole team of archaeologists, Egyptologists, engineers, builders and scientists are all hoping to get Egypt back on track, and bring the tourists back.