Young Egyptians launch viral campaign against Netflix series Queen Cleopatra

Photo credit: Twitter

Egyptian experts and youth were in attendance following the release of the controversial Netflix documentary series Queen Cleopatra outraged, claiming that the show “falsifies Egyptian history” and “promotes Afrocentrism”. In the documentary, Cleopatra, one of Egypt’s most famous historical figures, is portrayed by multiracial Adele James. In the trailer, one of the voice actors says, “I remember my grandmother saying to me, ‘I don’t care what they tell you at school, Cleopatra was black.'”

The documentary sparked debate and received backlash from the start Fan was broadcast. The documentary produced by Jada Pinkett Smith falls under the category African queens Documentary series designed to shed light on the life and rule of women leaders from Africa.

In response, Egyptian youth launched a counter-campaign using the hashtag #مصر_للمصريين (Egypt for Egyptians). As part of the campaign, young Egyptians shared their photos online, with half of the image containing their face and the other half showing the faces of kings, queens or everyday figures from ancient Egypt. The aim of the campaign is to use these photos to show the similarities between modern Egyptians and ancient Egyptians.

Whether through online petitions, social media posts or reports on Netflix, Egyptian youth were keen to express their disapproval of the newly released documentary and try to highlight their lineage to the ancient Egyptians.

On Sunday, April 30, Egypt’s free satellite documentary channel AlWathaeqya will broadcast announced his plans for establishing one new documentary about Queen Cleopatra VII based on studies by historians, archaeologists and anthropologists.

Photo credit: Netflix & Wikimedia Commons – Design by Egyptian Streets

Why is there so much controversy?

Afrocentrism was shaped by African American activists over the last century Movement which promotes African culture and highlights its contribution to the development of Western civilization. In particular, it suggests that the rulers of ancient Egypt and its people were black, but this fact has been revised and eventually erased from Western and world scholarship.

Cleopatra’s physical appearance and beauty have long been at the forefront of her heritage, and her physical appearance was often noted by artists and writers such as Shakespeare and early Greek scholars, who described her beauty in their poetry and writings. Ancient works of art on statues and coins showed them plain and with a Ptolemaic “Greek” nose.

Cleopatra was primarily According to scholars, he is of Ptolemaic Greek descent and has some Persian and Sogdian-Iranian ancestry. This is based on the fact that their Seleucid family, which ruled over much of western Asia, was intermarried with the Ptolemaic dynasty, a Macedonian Greek family.

The identity of Cleopatra’s unknown mother is at the root of the controversy, as said by American archaeologist and Egyptologist Betsy Bryan of Johns Hopkins University Newsweek that the queen’s mother “was believed to have come from the family of the priests of Memphis.” If this were the case, Cleopatra could have been at least 50 percent Egyptian.”

In addition, Cleopatra was the first Ptolemaic ruler to speak the Egyptian language American archaeologist Duane W. Rollercould indicate a “close connection to an Egyptian speaker, perhaps her mother”.

Nonetheless, the debate surrounding Cleopatra’s physical appearance overshadows her legacy as ruler, and also encourages the fallacy that race is determined solely by physical characteristics and is only superficial.

Few historical artifacts, including coins and a bust, show her so far from her portrayal in the Netflix series.

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This post was last modified on May 1, 2023 at 12:51 p.m

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