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Mummies’ DNA Reveals Egyptians Relatives From The East

It was found that the genetic ties of the mummies were from the Middle East and Greece

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Egyptian Mummies
Egyptian mummy casket egyptian art. Pixabay
  • Ancient DNA study of 90 Egyptian mummies revealed the hook-up history of the Egypt with the foreigners from the east
  • Verena Schuenemann was able to finally get the clean DNA samples by working on samples from teeth and bone
  • The revelation did not come as a surprise to the scientists as they found the genetic ties of the mummies to the Middle East and Greece

June 26, 2017: The mummies of the Egypt and THE Egyptian art always fascinated us. The way bodies are preserved in the Egyptian mummy caskets and the mummification process has always interested the scientists in particular.

When the ancient DNA of 90 Egyptian mummies was studied, it revealed the hook-up history of the Egyptians with the foreigners from the east.

The first DNA sample from the mummies was yielded in 1985 but the samples were highly contaminated and scientists could not find a way to get clean DNA samples, free of modern contamination.

Verena Schuenemann and her colleagues from the University of Tübingen in Germany were able to finally get the clean DNA samples from three mummies by using the latest technology on human genetic testing by working on the samples extracted from teeth and bones rather than using the soft tissue. The origin of the mummies was found to be from 1388 BC to 426 AD.

The revelation did not come as a surprise to the scientists as they found the genetic ties of the mummies to the Middle East and Greece since Egypt was a centre of trade and travel back in time.

Prepared by Sumit Balodi of NewsGram. Twitter: @sumit_balodi

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Islamic Terrorism: 4 countries list Qatar-linked Terrorists and Organisations

The list was drawn up in the light of the shared commitment of the four countries to the fight against terrorism and its funding sources

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Qatar and terrorism
4 countries list Qatar linked terrorism organisations and individuals, Wikimedia
  • Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain have listed individuals and institutions that have financed terrorist organisations and received support from Qatar
  • The list was drawn up in the light of the shared commitment of the four countries to the fight against terrorism and its funding sources
  • Qatar announced it is fighting terrorism while financing, supporting and harbouring various terrorist organisations

Riyadh, June 9, 2017: Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain designated on Friday 59 individuals and 12 institutions that have financed terrorist organisations and received support from Qatar.

The step was taken days after several nations severed diplomatic ties with Qatar for allegations that it was supporting terrorist and extremist groups in the region, which Qatar called “unjustified” and “baseless”.

The list was drawn up in the light of the shared commitment of the four countries to the fight against terrorism and its funding sources, Al Arabiya cited a statement posted by the Bahrain News Agency.

The list was also a result of “the continued violation by the authorities in Doha of its signed commitments and agreements that included a pledge not to support or harbour elements or organisations that threatened the security of states”, it said.

The majority of those entities sanctioned were linked to Qatar and were a manifestation of a Qatari government policy of duplicity, the statement read.

ALSO READFour Arab Nations Put Qatar on Terror Finance Watch List, Qatar Says No

“Such attitudes put the national security of the four countries at risk as targets for acts of sabotage and chaos by members of terrorist organisations that Qatar either hosts or supports.”

It criticised Qatar’s “double standard policy”, saying that the country announced it is fighting terrorism while financing, supporting and harbouring various terrorist organisations.

The four countries reaffirmed in the statement their commitment to consolidating all efforts to combat terrorism and to relentlessly pursue the individuals and groups on the list.

Most of the blacklisted individuals in the list are Qataris along with Qatari charitable organisations. A Libyan extremist group and four Bahraini groups were also listed as terrorist cells. (IANS)

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Jews recollect the conquest of 1967 war after completing 50 years

This year, June 5 will mark the 50th anniversary of that war which had a profound effect on many Israeli and Diaspora Jews that is felt till this day

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1967 Israeli Air Attack on Hospital on Mount of Olives Hospital- Jerusalem. Wikimedia

Israel defeated Egypt, Syria and Jordan in a six-day war in 1967 whose 50th anniversary is on June 5, 2017
The victory of Israel was viewed as a miracle by the Jews as well as Christians.
• The war enabled the movement of Jews to the Western bank and empowered the community

Jerusalem, June 4, 2017: Ron Kronish was a student in an American college when Israel defeated Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian armies during the 1967 Six-Day War.

This year, June 5 will mark the 50th anniversary of the famous War, which had a serious effect on many Israeli and Diaspora Jews, mentioned in a report by National Catholic Reporter.

Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan was seen as a miracle by Jews as well as many Christians.Israel had beaten three larger countries and, for the first time in 2,000 years, Jewish holy sites were under Jewish hands.

The war also saw the capture of the Golan Heights, Gaza and the Sinai, and displaced up to 325,000 Palestinians.

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Ron Kronish,70, who is a Reform rabbi dedicated to interreligious peacebuilding, viewed Israel’s victory over its hostile neighbours as “life-changing”.

According to Kronish, young American Jewish activists were largely preoccupied with the Vietnam War and the American civil rights movement until then.

Effects of the war

The war reunited the eastern and western parts of Jerusalem and inspired Jews being persecuted in what was then the Soviet Union to fight for the right to emigrate and freely practice their religion.

Natan Sharansky, a former Soviet refusenik and current chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel recalled, “When the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces broke through the gates of Jerusalem’s Old City, they also punched a hole in the Iron Curtain, inspiring us Soviet Jews to start our struggle for freedom.”

“This struggle, supported by Jews around the world, ultimately brought down the Iron Curtain and enabled a million (Soviet) Jews to come home to Israel,” Sharansky said.

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Sara Yael Hirschhorn, in her new book “City on a Hilltop”, has explored why thousands of North American Jews decided to settle in the West Bank in the aftermath of the Six-Day War. She said that the war was “a watershed moment for American Jewry, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.”

The author has estimated that 15 percent of Jewish settlers who moved to West Bank are American citizens.

She said, “The American Jews viewed the captured territory as the unconquered or newly conquered frontier, and they wanted to be pioneers. They felt that founding a settlement was taking an active role in their realization of Jewish and Zionist aspirations.”

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A senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute and author of “Like Dreamers,” Yossi Klein Halevi, which examines the divergent ideologies that have shaped Israel since the Six-Day War, said the war created two kinds of Israelis.

“There are the ones whose primal memory of May 1967 is the sense of existential fear, aloneness and the world’s abandonment. Then there are the June 1967 Israelis whose primary experience from the war was one of empowerment and who insist that Israel needs to take responsibility for the moral consequences of power.”

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It is evident from the above-mentioned statements, the war, like every other war, showed the fears of life to some while others viewed it as an opportunity for empowerment.

Citizens like Kronish feel that the war has given them a land of their own but it cannot be denied that Israel is still facing long-term threats from Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Islamic State group. There are hundreds of thousands of rockets and missiles aimed at Israeli cities.

– prepared by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram. Twitter: @NikitaTayal6 

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Genetic Secrets of Ancient Egypt Unwrapped: DNA from Mummies found

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Scientist Verena Schuenemann is shown examining the lower jaw bone of an ancient Egyptian mummy at the Palaeogenetics Laboratory at the University of Tuebingen in Germany in this undated photograph, May 30, 2017. VOA

DNA from mummies found at a site once known for its cult to the Egyptian god of the afterlife is unwrapping intriguing insight into the people of ancient Egypt, including a surprise discovery that they had scant genetic ties to sub-Saharan Africa.

Scientists on Tuesday said they examined genome data from 90 mummies from the Abusir el-Malek archaeological site, located about 70 miles (115 km) south of Cairo, in the most sophisticated genetic study of ancient Egyptians ever conducted.

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The DNA was extracted from the teeth and bones of mummies from a vast burial ground associated with the green-skinned god Osiris. The oldest were from about 1388 BC during the New Kingdom, a high point in ancient Egyptian influence and culture.

Genomes provide a surprise

The most recent were from about 426 AD, centuries after Egypt had become a Roman Empire province.

“There has been much discussion about the genetic ancestry of ancient Egyptians,” said archeogeneticist Johannes Krause of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany, who led the study published in the journal Nature Communications.

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“Are modern Egyptians direct descendants of ancient Egyptians? Was there genetic continuity in Egypt through time? Did foreign invaders change the genetic makeup: for example, did Egyptians become more ‘European’ after Alexander the Great conquered Egypt?” Krause added. “Ancient DNA can address those questions.”

The genomes showed that, unlike modern Egyptians, ancient Egyptians had little to no genetic kinship with sub-Saharan populations, some of which like ancient Ethiopia were known to have had significant interactions with Egypt.

The closest genetic ties were to the peoples of the ancient Near East, spanning parts of Iraq and Turkey as well as Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

Middle-class mummies

Egypt, located in North Africa at a crossroads of continents in the ancient Mediterranean world, for millennia boasted one of the most advanced civilizations in antiquity, known for military might, wondrous architecture including massive pyramids and imposing temples, art, hieroglyphs and a pantheon of deities.

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Mummification was used to preserve the bodies of the dead for the afterlife. The mummies in the study were of middle-class people, not royalty.

The researchers found genetic continuity spanning the New Kingdom and Roman times, with the amount of sub-Saharan ancestry increasing substantially about 700 years ago, for unclear reasons.

“There was no detectable change for those 1,800 years of Egyptian history,” Krause said. “The big change happened between then and now.” (VOA)

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