The Pharaoh's Shadow: Travels in Ancient and Modern Egypt
In a ruined temple on the Nile, Anthony Sattin sees a woman praying to the gods of ancient Egypt to bless her with a child. Later in central Cairo he experiences the exuberant celebrations of a saint’s day and hears their stony condemnation by an Islamist. The ancient continues to rub up against the modern just as dramatically as when Flaubert wrote, ‘Egypt is a wonderful place for contrasts – splendid things gleam in the dust.’In the company of Sattin, fearless in the face of snarling dogs and hostile guardians, we criss-cross modern-day Egypt in search of survivals from ancient Pharaonic culture. Inspired by the experiences of two long-dead English women, he visits moonlit temples and festivals, university professors and religious leaders to unearth snake hunters and magicians, wise women, tree worshippers and charlatans. The Pharaoh’s Shadow celebrates Sattin’s love of Egypt and his desire to understand her many facets – past, present and future.