Every year on the Jewish festival of Passover (Pesach), Jews around the world recount the exodus from Egypt, when G-d delivered us from the hand of the Egyptians after smiting them with 10 plagues. We have a Passover seder replete with symbolism to remember what happened.
In Cairo, residents burned tires to create a black fog to keep the locusts from settling in the city. Swarms were also reported to have reached Egypt’s Red Sea city of Zafarana, some 200 kilometers (124 miles) from Cairo, and then the Upper Egyptian city of Qena where locusts appeared in at least three major villages.
The Al-Ahram daily reported that since January, swarms of the insects – originating from Sudan – have been spotted along the Red Sea coast in south-eastern Egypt, north-eastern Sudan, Eritrea and Saudi Arabia.
In 2004, Egypt witnessed one of the most serious locust infestations in recent history, when farmers in 15 out of the country’s 27 governorates suffered extensive crop damage. The Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture issued a statement saying it had set up task forces to deal with the locust plague.
A professor at Cairo University’s Faculty of Agriculture said the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations warned of the locust danger last November, but the Ministry of Agriculture dismissed the warnings as rumors and refused to examine the issue.
Professor Nader Nur al-Din claimed that over the past few months he had also warned the ministry of the locust threat
Apparently, this is not a sign of the End of Days, and it happens every year.
As if we hadn’t already seen enough Biblical events this year, a plague of over 30 million locusts swarmedover Egypt’s cities and farms just three weeks before Passover begins. But put your apocalyptic fears to rest. This happens every year as part of the locusts’ natural migration pattern, though this year’s swarm is especially large. That doesn’t mean Egyptians aren’t freaked the heck out by millions of nasty bugs buzzing through the air at all hours of day and night, possibly descending upon the agriculture fields where they’re known to destroy entire crops, just like in the actual Passover story.
Meanwhile, there’s talk of the locusts hitting Gaza, which means there will be something else to blame on the Jooooos.
About the AuthorAn Australian immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave has been blogging since early 2003.
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