By Tim Binnall
In response to the coronavirus crisis, Egyptian officials illuminated the iconic Great Pyramid of Giza with messages of solidarity to the world. The wondrous display, created via blue and green lights cast onto the ancient structure, was unveiled on Monday evening by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. In addition to a giant globe, the words "stay home," "stay safe," and "thank you to those keeping us safe" beamed onto the towering site in both English and Arabic.
The Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Khaled el-Anani, said that they decided to 'speak' in those two languages "so that we can address the whole world." Observing that his country has, so far, managed to keep the pandemic at bay in comparison to other nations, el-Anani explained that the light show was intended to be "a message of solidarity to all the countries in which the virus has spread to an advanced stage."
While, as noted by el-Anani, Egypt currently has a relatively small number of coronavirus cases and associated deaths, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the country nonetheless. It is believed that a currently imposed nation-wide lockdown will cost the country approximately $1 billion for each month that it is in effect, due to the shuttering of museums and archaeological sites, effectively decimating their tourism industry.