Opinion Piece By Samuel Strait – November 19, 2016 – So often as we enter the holiday season we are inundated with requests for some form of charity from groups near and far. Very often we are hesitant, not knowing exactly how that donation is to be spent and whether or not “good works” will come of our donation. It is a luxury then to be able to donate to those nearer to home and witness first hand those good works.
For those that have broader horizons in their wish to donate to good works, there is a long list of groups of people doing things in the far corners of this world that further our knowledge of the progress of mankind throughout history. To those that are interested, money can be donated to support such good works all over the world. Many are reputable and connected to University’s and College’s which send researchers far and wide to scour the planet in search of knowledge which can make the world a better place. Often these groups are underfunded and in constant need for donations which will aid them in the quest for knowledge.
Recently, it came to my attention that there is such a group composed of many different nationalities all come together at a little known place alongside the Nile River in Egypt, known as Gebel el Silsila, and in ancient times as Khennui or Khol Khol. This is a place not of the ruling class in Egypt but of more average folks who were responsible for much of the quarried sandstone that was used to build many of the monuments to be found scattered along the Nile River in Egypt.
For the past eight seasons, this group has gathered on this site to preserve and learn from the discoveries made. During this particular season, I have the privilege of being related to one of the members of this group who has given her time to further the rewards gained from learning about the past at this particular archaeologic site. Because Egyptology in this area has not the claim to fame that site’s in and around Cairo, the three Great pyramids, the Sphinx, or even the temple complex at Abu Simbel, money to fund the season’s digs must come from the charity of people who wish to contribute to a very worthwhile cause that so often goes unrecognized and overlooked.
What is unique about this particular group is that they will continue to do good work with whatever comes to them and are grateful for any small amount people wish to contribute. They, the Directors, Maria Nilsson and John Ward, keep donors up to date on progress made at the site as well as acknowledging each donation with a personal message. For those that wish to donate, they have a web page, friendsofsilsila.com, or if you just want to live vicariously through their blogspot, it can be found at gebelelsilsilaepigraphicsurvey