On 4 November 1922 in Egypt, a stone step that was cut into the rock was found, possibly by a young water carrier (the eventual account of the find is nebulous). The step was in the valley known 1,300 years ago as “The Great and Majestic Necropolis of the Millions of Years of the Pharaoh, Life, Strength, Health in The West of Waset“. The possible boy ‘may’ have been Hussein Abd El Rassul, or possibly Mohamed Gorgar (mentioned by Karl Kitchen). An Ahmed Gerigar was a ‘Rais’ – a foreman at the site. As Arabic transliterations often vary – the 2nd name may be the same in Arabic . Or was it actually a ‘water boy’ who found it – Carter wasnt even in the valley when the step was found. His excavation team had many years experence excavating the valley and would surely have found a hidden step rather than a chance find.
Jokha Alharthi’s latest book in English, the Bitter Orange Tree, is another reflection, through the eyes of a protagonist, about several generations of an Omani family.
In the Bitter Orange Tree Zuhour, who is the protagonist, arrives in a snow covered British city to study. She slumps into a mournful reflection about a newly dead ‘grandmother, a miserable older sister and a depressed mother.
Zuhour lyrically remembers her grandmother’s scent of “civet musk, precious aloeswood oil, and ancient soil”.
He will be accompanied by Sayyid Shihab bin Tariq Al Said, the Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs, Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham Al Said, Minister of Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, General Sultan bin Mohammed Al Numani, Minister of the Royal Office, Sayyid Badr bin Hamad Albusaidi, Foreign Minister of Oman and Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Zaher Al Hinai, Oman’s ambassador to the United Kingdom.
This will be Sultan Haitham’s first visit to Great Britain as Sultan. His son, Sayyid Theyazin, was a diplomat at Oman’s UK embassy.
This week London has been hosting the World Travel Market (WTM) at ExCeL London from November 1 to 3 . Incidentally ExCeL , owned by Abu Dhabi was a centre for overflow Covid hospitalisations in London.