Should a Monument be built in Alexandria for our modern day Cleopatra?
Alexandria was the largest city in Egypt and its capital for a thousand years; and was an important trading post between Europe and Asia. Founded by Alexander the Great two thousand three hundred and fifty years ago (332BC) the city grew to become the largest in the known world at the time.
Under a lineage of Greek kings, the Ptolemies, a lineage which lasted three hundred years until Cleopatra (30BC); the city attracted scholars, scientists, philosophers, mathematicians, artists, and historians. Home to the great library of Alexandria with its 70.000 papyrus scrolls and to schools of philosophy representing the most delicate shades of thought. Ships upon entering its harbour would be searched for books which would then be taken to the Library for inspection. Here it would be decided whether to return the book or confiscate it and replace it with a copy. Such was the passion.
At one time it was thought to have lifted the mantle from Athens as the hub.
The city attracted the trade of India and Arabia and became a centre of leisure and wealth, its markets showing off the fabulous silks and fabrics of the Orient.
The city was most famous for its Temple of Serapis, attached to the Library, and the site of the Pharos, the great lighthouse, and one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
So fast forward to 2021 and the age of the modern Cleopatra — Marwa Elselehdar; what do the Arts offer us in this post-Picasso, post-Pollock, post-Warhol, post-Basquiat, post-Banksy, Beeple world? Where the hanging gardens of Babylon are replicated in middle-class suburbs, of which there is no middle class, where hanging out of a train with a spray can suddenly looks safe in a post-viral world — going viral is way too uncool lest it be done digitally. Our greatest seers and philosophers are billionaires.
In a post-male, post-white, post-white male, post-Trumpian world: what’s a fighting girl to do to let off steam and kick some non-black male ass? What’s Marwa Elselehdar that most famous seafarer of Suez Canal fame to do? (She was in Alexandria all along.) What can a poor girl do except to sing for a rock n roll band; yea if it was 1986, and the band was The Bangles; or if it were 2012 and Pussy Riot — and kick some Russian Orthodox / Dictator Putin butt.
All that’s left for Marwa is to trend bigtime on social Media and to drive her boat: she was already doing that when everybody thought she crashed her ship in the O.K. Canal.
So what can we do for Marwa in the physical world? Marwa is a go-getter — the first Egyptian female naval captain since Cleopatra, I say we go to the scene of her victory over the patriarchy in Alexandria and drop a statue of Liberty size proportions smack down on the lot of them where the Lighthouse of Alexandria once stood!
Yes, in order to celebrate her conquest over the patriarchy I suggest we build a female Colossus of Rhodes at Alexandria — and for Alexandria to be named the new home of feminism with Marwa representing a modern Artemis — the Goddess of the hunt and moon. (She was hunted down but now shines like the moon) funded by, not GoFundMe, but ROWG’s — lest she come down on their tax-exempt balding heads post-feminist style (MeToo bigtime ass burn.)
No, Marwa is way too cool, intelligent, individualistic, confident and thoughtful for that — I will personally be building her a shrine next time I ‘publish’ while following her on twitter.