King Tut’s First Visit to Chicago — 1977
The return of King Tut reminds us of near past, Jan. 28, 2005, The Future News, Arab Newspaper of Chicago. Maybe King Tut can help Arab Christians and Arab Muslims come back together, the way they were in the 1970s when he came to Chicago the first time. (Part of a project that offers a historical look back at Chicago’s Arab Community.)
By Ray Hanania
King Tut returns to Chicago after 29 years. While the “Egyptian Boy King” exhibit will display remnants of an ancient past, it is King Tut who will see the striking changes that have taken place since his last visit.
When King Tut came to Chicago in 1977, the Arab American community was organized as one. Though smaller than it is today, it was a solid community built around Arab pride.
We had a great dinner, a great celebration and all of our leaders stood together, even when they disagreed or had differences about politics. That ability to come together was the great achievement of the Arab American community of the past.
Christians and Muslims partnered at every level in the many professional organizations and also in political activism.
Today, that is an ancient and long lost Chicago past. On his return to Chicago, King Tut will instead see a community that is very divided on religious lines, and that instead of moving forward has stumbled backwards.
Just mentioning how seriously relationships between Christian and Muslim Arabs have declined will provoke some Muslim Arabs to angrily scream hatred and throw epitaphs. Meanwhile, Christian Arabs will do what they do best these days, crawl into their self-enclosed environment and hide silently, uninvolved, voiceless and unproductive.
To read more about King Tut’s first visit to Chicago and the disarray in the Christian and Muslim Arab community, visit The Daily Hookah at TheDailyHookah.com.