On Saturday 20 February, in the middle of the night, the antiquities guards of Dayr al-Barsha (Middle Egypt) were confronted with a gang of tomb robbers who were looting one of the tombs at the site. In an ensuing exchange of fire, one of the guards, Ashrawy, was killed, while two others were injured. Ashrawy has been with us as a guard since the start of the KU Leuven mission to Dayr al-Barsha. He was a very loyal and gentle man. Yesterday we were informed that the second guard, Mustafa Ali, who was badly injured, also passed away. Both men did not deserve such a fate, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families.
These two men gave their lives trying to protect the antiquities of Ancient Egypt. While their families receive compensation from the Ministry of Antiquities, this will not suffice to cover the loss of wages they encounter on top of the personal loss they are now suffering. Therefore, the Dayr al-Barsha project is starting this GoFundMe campaign to support the families of both guards. The income from this fund will be personally handed over in full to the families, and updates will be posted on this page.
Please help us in showing your support for the men who protect the heritage of Ancient Egypt, and who paid the ultimate price to do so. Every donation, no matter how small, will help their families in coping with this loss.
The team of the Dayr al-Barsha project, KU Leuven, Belgium
For news reports, see: