As the world's attention continues to rest on Egypt after President Mubarak's resignation, a new and particularly tragic group of victims
of the situation there has emerged. The world's Egyptology graduate students have come together to bemoan their own plight and demand the
immediate return of their monopoly on spouting factually-vague over-earnest sanctimony directed at the Egyptian population.
"We have been expressing sanctimonious, broadly liberal sentiments about the noble, repressed Egyptian people for many years before
the events of recent weeks," explained Alan Davidson, a PhD candidate at London's UCL. "We have been doing so at dinner parties,
conferences and even in the cafes and dighouses of Egypt itself long, long before it became 'fashionable' to do so. So it is
terribly painful for us to see people who have no knowledge of ancient Egypt whatsoever suddenly crowding us out of our natural
territory of the moral high ground."
The loose coalition of students, calling themselves 'Ef-U'(Egypt for Us) has rapidly established a campaigning website and issued
a series of demands. At the top of the list is a call for anyone wishing to express support or admiration for the Egyptian
pro-democracy protestors, either in public or private, to be asked to prove that they have travelled to the country at least once,
and to sit a multiple-choice exam on aspects of Egypt, both ancient and modern.
Justifying this stance, Davidson told us: "there are only two groups of people who really understood the plight of the Egyptian
people over the last few weeks: the Egyptian people themselves and overbearingly well-meaning students from Western upper middle
class backgrounds who have travelled and worked in Egypt. In fact, when you consider the average Egyptian's lack of appreciation
for the various historiographical intertextualities that have been induced by this situation, there's really only one group."
The students are now planning a fundraising drive to raise money for a number of research projects into the pain and
suffering they have been through while they were following events on Al-Jazeera and trying to get their unique insights
heard above the background chatter of non-Egyptologically trained empathy. "It's what our brothers and sisters in Midan
Tahrir would want more than anything," said Davidson, pronouncing the glottal stop of the alif in Midan just so.
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