On Holy Saturday, as Christians around the world held vigil for the entombed Christ, twenty-two of Egypt’s mummified former monarchs – four queens and eighteen kings – were disinterred from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and paraded through the city. Sealed in nitrogen-filled capsules and draped, like military martyrs, in Egypt’s post-1984 flag, the mummies were loaded onto security trucks unconvincingly disguised as ancient chariots (the vehicles resembled those used to haul off political prisoners).
1919 was a year of travelling revolutions across the Middle East and North Africa. The uprisings were triggered by the efforts (sometimes secret, sometimes not) of Britain, France, Italy and Spain to colonise the Middle East and to divvy up its territories at the end of the First World War. As their intentions became apparent – after both Britain and France had repeatedly promised otherwise – thousands of men and, for the first time, women took to the streets in protest.