U.S.- Egyptian cultural ties are strengthened as Ivanka Trump’s family explores the crumbling pyramids, temples and tombs of the Nile River.
This week brought news of “hundreds” of mummies dated from the 6th to 11th century BC being found in tunnels beneath King Teti’s pyramid in Saqqara, Egypt. Furthermore, archaeologists also identified a lost pyramid that belonged to “Neith,” a hitherto unknown queen who was named after an ancient goddess of the same name from 3,000 BC.
Also this week, Egypt Today reported that Ivana Marie “Ivanka” Trump and her family were visiting the country for the first time. The former White House senior adviser and first daughter of Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States from 2017 to 2021, was taking a “cultural break” after announcing that she won’t be standing beside her father on his impending 2024 presidential campaign.
Ivanka Trump atop a camel at the Giza plateau, Egypt. (Ivanka Trump/ Facebook)
The Kushners On Camels, Pyramids, Temples And Boats
Daily Mail reported that Ivanka’s husband Jared Corey Kushner, the American businessman who served as a senior advisor to President Donald Trump, stopped over in Cairo as part of a Middle East tour “to press Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.” Under the Trump administration Kushner worked in the Middle East on the Abraham Accords (treaties) which brought about discussions between Israel and various Arab states, greatly strengthening peace in the Middle East.
Along with their three children, Ivanka and Jared jumped right into the deep end of ancient Egypt. Before their first day was out, they had explored the Great pyramid of Giza and had taken a camel ride before they headed south and visited the ancient city of Luxor where they explored the enigmatic Karnak temple and took a private boat trip.
Ivanka Trump and family on their visit to Karnak Temple complex, Egypt. (Ivanka Trump / Facebook)
Powerful People Like Powerful Places
Ancient Thebes, or modern Luxor, is located on the east bank of the Nile River in southern Egypt about 500 kilometers (310.68 miles) from Cairo. It is perhaps no surprise that this political family, who have spent so much time in Washington, visited the pharaohs’ ancient center of power during the 16th–11th centuries BC.
The political power in both ancient Thebes and in Washington is defined by huge obelisks, with the Washington monument being a 152.4 meters (500-ft) tall Egyptian style stone obelisk surmounted by a 16.8 meter (55-foot) tall pyramidion. This latter feature symbolized the highest point of an obelisk, where the Sun god Amun-Ra resided serving as fusion between Heaven and Earth.
7.5 Million People Saw Ivanka’s “Visit Egypt” Advert
Ivanka shared her experience at Luxor in a series of posts to her 7.5m Instagram followers. In one post she wrote “Exploring the wonders of Luxor, one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world!” The temple at Luxor stands in the vast burial complex at Karnak which was dedicated to the ancient Egyptian supreme god “Amun-Re.” One of the images posted by Ivanka features her family standing beside a statue of the god Amun by the entrance of the Luxor temple.
The family at Karnak Temple. (Ivanka Trump/ Facebook)
After touring the temple at Luxor, the Trump family wandered along the “Avenue of Sphinxes.” Only last year I wrote a news article for Ancient Origins after archaeologists unearthed the remains of “three giant ram head sphinx statues” beneath the Avenue of Sphinxes . Known as criosphinxes, one of the statues had a coiled cobra carved on top of its head and when fully functional this deeply sacred processional avenue connected the two main royal sites with a line of over 700 cult statues. Later that day the family took a private boat trip and posted all of their adventures on social media, which is a serious boost for Egypt’s recovering tourist industry.
Criosphinxes and others along the Avenue of the Sphinxes, Karnak Temple. ( WitR)
Ivanka Is Family Focused This Time Round
While exploring ancient Egypt the former White House senior adviser was of course questioned about her stance regarding her father’s bid to reclaim the U.S. presidency in 2024. Ivanka said that while she loves her father very much and will always support him, she’s “prioritizing her young children and family this time round,” and that she won’t be involved in her father’s race to make America great again.
The United States and Egypt share mutual interests in the Middle East so this prominent U.S. family visiting all these ancient sites is a valuable PR exercise. However, this all penetrates much deeper than politics, for in broadcasting their adventures to over 7 million people on Instagram goes a long, long way to forging richer cultural bonds and tourist partnerships between the U.S. and Egypt.
Top image: Ivanka Trump and family enjoying the features of the Giza Plateau. Source: Ivanka Trump/ Facebook)
By Ashley Cowie