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Discoveries…from Egyptian Tombs to Technological Advances

Posted By Betty Capestany, President/CEO Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, Friday, October 16, 2015

Reflecting on my recent FAM trip to Egypt I got thinking of discoveries and how they drive technology in different parts of the world. Ancient Egypt stood as one of the most advanced civilizations for nearly 3,000 years. I was in awe of the craftsmanship of the temples, tombs and pyramid builders. The precision, scale and design of these creations are nothing short of amazing.

You may have seen the CNN announcements recently on the potential discovery of Queen Nefertiti’s tomb which they think is adjacent to King Tut’s tomb. She is the long lost Egyptian Queen dating back over 3,000 years. On our trip, we were privileged to have a private guided tour by the head of Antiquities for Egypt who told us an announcement would be coming in the next several weeks. Over the course of the next month, experts will use technology to confirm this discovery – using radar and thermal imaging to scan the walls of King Tut’s tomb to differentiate between bedrock and artificial walls. This will help them determine if something is there and the best way to approach it without destroying the existing tomb.

What caused me to pause is this discovery for Egypt is thousands of years old. With this discovery they will hopefully recover more of their past history, which then will draw more visitors to their country. Tourism is one of Egypt’s top economic development engines and has been dramatically impacted by political unrest and changes.

The discoveries in our region (Bellevue, the Eastside and the Puget Sound area) have a totally different focus. While our region counts its years in the hundreds, Egypt counts its years in the thousands. Yet, we stand at the forefront of the latest technological advances. Our discoveries are made by amazingly talented people and are truly changing the world. Technology is advancing across all industry sectors and transforming the way we do things. Being at the center of these advances, we continue to move from one advancement to the next - from the center of mobile, to advances in cures for many diseases like Parkinson’s, MS, Alzheimer’s, aviation and space, auto telematics (driverless cars), wearables, augmented and virtual reality and the list goes on and on. These discoveries are not only driving the economic engines of our economy – they are also attracting talent from all over the word to be part of our communities.

Our group also experienced amazing opportunities to connect with local leaders from an hour long meeting with the Prime Minister (who was removed from power one week later) to meeting with the American Egyptian Chamber of Commerce working to promote business opportunities between our countries.  As a side note, another contrast that amazed me was in the arena of infrastructure. In Egypt’s favor they were able to double the size of the Suez Canal in a year. Maybe we need a lesson on this one, since our infrastructure projects take years in comparison. I would not however change our region for the chaotic traffic driving in Cairo nor their crazy building standards that leave the unfinished top floors that looks like a sea of rebar.

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